How to Make a Podcast


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A presentation for the Pacific Northwest Library Association conference, August 6, 2009 in Missoula, Montana.

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  • Pod – from iPod (but you don’t need one to listen) Cast – from broadcast True podcasts are serials, although standalone online audio recordings are sometimes called podcasts, too.
  • Podcasts are radio-on-demand. Public radio has an extensive menu of podcasts. CNN and Network News channels are producing podcasts, too. For example: Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Meet the Press
  • iTunes U – public and private sides… 100s of universities, some K-12, some other edu institutions like museums RadioWillowWeb – for kids by kids (Omaha, NE) BookWink – Reading Rainbow type reviews by a former librarian
  • NLM – highlights what’s new in MedlinePlus, the consumer health portal Multnomah, also Seattle and Everett – podcasting library events Idaho Commission for Libraries – podcasts to promote Talking Book program
  • Consider adding podcasts to resource lists / subject guides Crafts, learning a foreign language, investing, sermons, grammar, you name it.
  • Down time – bus riding, car driving, as you shave Because podcasting allows the user to time-shift his or her listening to the content, some have called it "Tivo for the ear." It's not quite the same. Portability changes the equation. Podcasts not only allow time-shifting but also space-shifting.
  • Discover a podcast on a website, listen directly from there. If you want to get notified when new episodes are produced, click the symbol.
  • Symbol enlarged for emphasis.
  • Lots of things other than podcasts have RSS feeds (that orange symbol) attached to them. You can use RSS readers, or aggregators, to receive updates from your favorite blogs, podcasts, news sources, photo sharing sites, etc. all in one place.
  • Think about these things carefully before launching into a podcast series. The book Listen Up! Podcasting for Schools and Libraries by Linda W. Braun will help with the planning.
  • Two sources of podsafe music – OWL search,
  • Don’t forget to practice. You don’t want it to sound too rehearsed. You want to sound conversational but you don’t want lots of hesitations and ums and ahs and you knows… That takes practice. Another reason to write down what you want to say: accessibility. Much easier to make a podcast accessible if you already have a script.
  • This American Life Fans? Another “sticky” podcast – Listening is an Act of Love (NPR) oral histories
  • To make a podcast, you need: -Computer -Microphone. Some computers (newer laptops) may have built-in microphones, and there are other inexpensive options… more on next slide -Recording Software. I’m going to demonstrate Audacity, because it is free and cross-platform, works on Mac and PC. -Access to the Internet. You will need access to the Internet in order to make your podcast accessible to others. Internet, not necessarily server. We will be using Podbean, which is a free podcast hosting service. It also creates an RSS feed for you.
  • More mic options listed on the how-to handout.
  • Podbean is a free option for getting your podcast on the web quickly, even if you don’t have easy access to your own web server. Podbean creates an RSS feed for you and gives you embed code for a media player you can copy and paste to any website.
  • Gabcast: 10 cents/minute for phone calls, 5 minutes free to test Hipcast: from $4.95/month TalkShoe and Skype (with plugins): recording conference calls or interviews “ Almost human” sounding text-to-speech converters Odiogo: free, Audiolizer: fee-based
  • How to Make a Podcast

    1. 1. Can You Hear Me Now? How to Make a Podcast Alison Aldrich, Technology Outreach Coordinator National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Northwest Region
    2. 2. What is a Podcast? <ul><li>A multimedia file distributed over the Internet for playback on portable media devices or personal computers </li></ul><ul><li>One recording or a series of regularly updated episodes </li></ul>
    3. 3. Look Who’s Podcasting <ul><li>Media </li></ul><ul><li>Schools </li></ul><ul><li>Libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Everybody </li></ul>
    4. 4. Look Who’s Podcasting <ul><li>Media </li></ul><ul><li>Schools </li></ul><ul><li>Libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Everybody </li></ul>
    5. 5. Look Who’s Podcasting <ul><li>Media </li></ul><ul><li>Schools </li></ul><ul><li>Libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Everybody </li></ul>Multnomah County Library
    6. 6. Look Who’s Podcasting <ul><li>Media </li></ul><ul><li>Schools </li></ul><ul><li>Libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Everybody (and their brother!) </li></ul><ul><li>>100,000 podcasts in the iTunes directory </li></ul>
    7. 7. Is Anybody Listening? 08/06/09
    8. 8. Is Anybody Listening? <ul><li>19% of Internet users have downloaded a podcast to play back later </li></ul><ul><li>43% of Internet users own an mp3 player </li></ul><ul><li>Podcast listeners are more likely to be </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Male </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Under 50 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>College educated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Broadband users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project , 2008 </li></ul></ul>08/06/09
    9. 9. Listening to Podcasts <ul><li>Listeners control what, when, and where </li></ul><ul><li>Makes use of downtime </li></ul><ul><li>Great for aural learners </li></ul>
    10. 10. Listening from the Web 08/06/09
    11. 11. Really Simple Syndication 08/06/09
    12. 12. Notifications from a Feed Reader 08/06/09
    13. 13. Catching the Feed in iTunes 08/06/09
    14. 14. Why might YOU want to make a podcast? <ul><li>Raise awareness and advocate for the library </li></ul><ul><li>Reach more and different users </li></ul><ul><li>Take on a new role within your institution </li></ul>
    15. 15. Plan Before You Begin <ul><li>Think about: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Production team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Audience and purpose </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Permissions and consent </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Frequency, format, length </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Get buy-in from those who matter </li></ul>
    16. 16. Crafting Your Message <ul><li>For any podcast: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Standard introduction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduction if there is a guest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brief description of what will be covered </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The actual content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Standard “outro” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Optional musical intro and outro </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[Link to WillowWeb] </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Tips <ul><li>Write down what you want to say </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t use library jargon </li></ul><ul><li>Have someone else listen to it </li></ul><ul><li>Practice, practice, practice </li></ul><ul><li>Educate but don’t bore </li></ul>
    18. 18. What Sticks? <ul><li>What people will remember: </li></ul><ul><li>SUCCESs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unexpected </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Concrete </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Credible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emotional </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From Made to Stick. Heath, C. New York: Random House 2007 </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Checklist <ul><li>A Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Some Content </li></ul><ul><li>Computer with Internet connection </li></ul><ul><li>Hardware </li></ul><ul><li>Software </li></ul><ul><li>Web Hosting </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s make a podcast! </li></ul>
    20. 20. Here’s What You Need
    21. 21. Microphone Options Built-in audio Headset ( Plantronics, $25 ) Standalone USB Mic ( Blue Microphones Snowball, $81 )
    22. 22. Software <ul><li>Audacity – cross-platform free audio recording & editing software </li></ul><ul><li>LAME encoder – for converting audio to MP3 format </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Download: </li></ul></ul><ul><li>GarageBand – audio recording software for Mac </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Web Hosting <ul><li> </li></ul>
    24. 24. Checklist <ul><li>A Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Some Content </li></ul><ul><li>Computer with Internet connection </li></ul><ul><li>Hardware </li></ul><ul><li>Software </li></ul><ul><li>Web Hosting </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s make a podcast! </li></ul>
    25. 25. Promoting Your Podcast <ul><li>Submit it to a podcast directory </li></ul><ul><li>Talk it up </li></ul><ul><li>Use the symbols </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More at </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Web pages, newsletters, posters etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared to teach </li></ul>08/06/09
    26. 26. Other Ways to Podcast <ul><li>By phone </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gabcast , Hipcast , TalkShoe , Skype </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Text to speech </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Odiogo </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Screencast </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Camtasia , Captivate , Jing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Find existing podcasts serving your audience and record an episode </li></ul>
    27. 27. Image Credits <ul><li>Slide 1: Modified podcast logo by Colleen AF Venable on Flickr, Creative Commons License </li></ul><ul><li>Slide 8: El bosque de cuentos by borya on Flickr, Creative Commons License </li></ul><ul><li>Slide 10: Untitled by Seth Mazow on Flickr, Creative Commons License </li></ul>08/06/09
    28. 28. Questions? <ul><li>Slides available at </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>Alison Aldrich Technology Outreach Coordinator NN/LM Pacific Northwest Region [email_address] 206-221-3489 or 1-800-338-7657 in AK, ID, MT, OR, WA