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Creating Your Very Own Podcast

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009 by | Filed Under: Multimedia
 
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Creating Your Very Own Podcast

With the advent of the iPod and other portable MP3 players, listening to podcasts is an essential part of day to day life. Before I show you how to create your very own podcast, let’s first define what a podcast is. The term “podcast” stands for iPod Broadcast. A podcast is an audio file created in the MP3 format that you can download and play on an MP3 player.

People have various reasons to create a podcast, such as if you’re a speaker and want to sell a multi-part audio seminar or you’re a book author and you want to interest people in buying your book by offering a few spoken pages each week to entice them or you’re a teacher and you want to create a short lecture series and so on. Podcasting is not necessarily for making profit. Often times, it’s just about self-expression, such as when you make your own music. In this article, I’ll show you how to create your very own podcast. All you have to do is follow the next three steps!

Planning

To avoid problems while recording your podcast, you need to ensure the following:

  • Decide what you’ll podcast about and name your series. For example, if you’re podcasting to teach a course on motivation, “Motivation” can be your title and the podcast should contain short lectures on building motivation.

  • Write the script. Always write the audio script before you start recording your podcast. Otherwise, you may have to re-record many times or edit the MP3 file. Both of those tasks can be frustrating and time consuming.

  • Locate a zero noise recording room. While recording, the last thing you need is a good podcast with background noise coming from a crying child or an ambulance siren. Find a quiet place to do your recording.

  • Buy the right equipment. You’ll need a microphone and a computer with a sound card in it. Most computers nowadays come standard with a sound card.

Recording the MP3 Audio File

MP3 is a fancy term for a type of audio file. Another famous type of an audio file is WAV. The Sound Recorder program that comes built in with Microsoft Windows allows you to record files in the WAV format. Since a podcast requires an MP3 audio file, you can’t use it for creating a podcast. However, there are conversion software programs that enable you to convert WAV files to an MP3 format. For my example, I’m going to use a free software program called Switch.

You can download and install Switch right here. Here’s how to use it:

1.) Connect your microphone to the sound card.

2.) Launch Switch.

3.) Click on the New File icon.

4.) Click OK.



5.) Click on the Record button. At this point, anything you say will be recorded.



6.) Click on the Record button in the Record Control window.



7.) Read from your script.

8.) Click on the Stop button after you’ve completed the recording. Then click on the Close button in the top right hand corner of the Record Control window.



9.) Click on the Save File icon.

10.) Write a name for the file and then select the MP3 file format.

11.) Click OK in the MP3 Encoder Settings window.

Voila! You’ve created your first MP3 audio file. After you’ve created your podcast, you now need to host it on a server so that people can download it onto their MP3 players.

Hosting the File

There are numerous service providers, such as LibSyn.com, who offer podcasting hosting on the Internet. LibSyn charges a nominal fee for the hosting service. After you’ve selected a service provider to host your podcast, all you need to do is advertise your creation and start planning to record the next episode of your podcast. To advertise, you should spread the word among your circle of friends. You should also list your podcast in a Podcast Directory. Some examples of Web sites that offer podcast listing services are www.allpodcasts.com and www.getapodcast.com.

After a few recordings, you’ll realize that the technology aspect of podcasting is not the challenge. Once you get the hang of it, it’s not that difficult. The challenge lies in thinking of creative and entertaining ways of engaging your audience. But it’s all in fun, so go have a good time!

~ Rupen Sharma

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