I spent the weekend discovering the world of Podcasting. It was an amazing journey fraught with pitfalls and frustration. Podcasting is not as easy as it sounds. Creating the audio vocal track is only the beginning. To create something that sounds professional you’ll need to mix the audio track with intro music and add noise reduction. Then you need to upload it, create a XML feed and publish the link where people can find it. There are a few software packages that make this task much easier.
If you have a Mac, the garage band software that is included in the iLife suite is setup to make this task easy. Unfortunately on my Mac-Mini you can’t just plug a microphone in and start recording. The Mac is setup for line-level input so you’ll need to purchase a USB microphone or amplify a standard microphone. This was a frustrating little “gotcha” that kept me from using my Mac on my first Podcast experience.
Next I tried my Windows XP computer. I plugged my Sony microphone into the PC and tested the recording. It worked great and I was on my way. I went online and looked for PC based podcasting programs. The most popular was a program called Propaganda which is available for free testing (full featured but with unacceptable company name audio overlays on the final output). The test went well and I decided to purchase the full version.
With the full version loaded, I was ready to go. I recorded some audio which was full of um’s and ah’s and paused all over the place. I found that I couldn’t just wing it. I needed a script. I tried using some blog posts as the outline and the result was much better. The more I practiced, the more expression I was able to add. One of the big battles was trying to get a consistent vocal level. I found that keeping the microphone close but below my mouth worked pretty well. This reduced the breathing noises that are sometimes picked up in audio recordings.
With the audio recorded, I added some intro music and put all the clips together. I added some clip info and cover art and then published the final podcast on the web. The next step was the creation of a XML file for subscribers and then a listing on feedburner. The final step was a link uploaded to iTunes and Odeo. This whole process took many hours the first time around. There are actually quite a few steps and multiple pieces of software are involved.
The finished product is available on a feed from Feedburner. You can subscribe to the feed and be notified when it is updated. The link on iTunes is in process and hopefully will be available in a day or two. Once I get this process refined I’ll post some detailed instructions on the individual steps.
For now you can subscribe to the link by clicking the icon below. Please let me know what you think.
Our first full podcast is entitled: Employee Evangelism & Primal Marketing
For a listing of all of our current blog feeds, please check out our feed page.