How do I Podcast?

Question

Where can I learn how to start podcasting?

-Alex

Answer

This question was answered on September 29, 2006. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Podcasting is a term that was originally used as a substitute for "audioblogging" It's a combination of words to reflect the popularity of the iPod and the ability to use the Internet to "broadcast" audio content.

Anyone that has something to say to the world these days can find any number of methods on the Internet including blogs (web logs - a public diary of the author's thoughts), social networking (MySpace, Facebook, etc.) and the increasingly popular Wiki reference sites (a Hawaiian word for quick) that allows anyone to comment on any posted topic.

Podcasts are a natural extension to any of these forms of communication, because it's essentially an audio file that can be posted and streamed from any web page.

What has made them more of a broadcasting vehicle is the popularity of RSS (Real Simple Syndication) that allows anyone that installs a (typically

free) 'feed reader' to subscribe to any 'feed' of information from any website that offers them.

For instance, instead of having to tune into our weekly radio show live, you can go to the radio section of our website and click on any of the archived audio files that we have made available (this is the 'old school' method of sharing our radio shows).

This isn't really 'broadcasting' because the user has to specifically go to our website and navigate to the area where the files are offered and click on one to begin listening.

With podcasting, folks that want to have our shows delivered to them as they are posted can subscribe at feeds.datadoctors.com through the use of a news reader (RSS reader) that supports podcasts

Anyone can begin podcasting their own shows, thoughts, music, etc from any Internet connected computer that has a microphone and a couple pieces of software.

If you are fairly technical type, you can find lots of free programs that you can piece together to begin your podcasting career.

You will need a decent microphone (the one built into many laptops is often

adequate) a program to capture and edit your audio and a way to post your podcasts.

A good free audio capture/edit program called Audacity that works on just about any operating system is available at audacity.sourceforge.net.

From there, if you already have a blog, social networking page or anything that supports podcasting, you simply need to learn how to upload your audio files to your current site You can also upload your little audio gems to the world via Google Base (base.google.com) which will make your podcasts searchable via the Google search engine.

If you are completely non-technical, there are a number of sites that can provide you with the software, instructions and even sound effect files to create your own broadcasting empire including PodcastBlaster.com, FeedForAll.com and HipCast.com

At AudioBlogger.com, they take a unique approach that allows you to post audio to your blog via any telephone You literally call from any phone to add audio to your blog if you have an account at Blogger.com (which is free).

If you want help on all aspects of podcasting, visit sites like

PodcastExpert.com, PodcastFreeAmerica.com, and Podcasting.about.com.

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Author

Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on September 29, 2006