BarCampCHS2: Podcasting 101

Presenter: Michael Carnell | @carnellm

[Finally!  Sad sad sad I didn’t make Mur Lafferty’s podcasting session back at CreateSOUTH a priority in April, so I am super excited for this session!]

1:11 – The room was locked, so it took us a bit to get in & settled.
And off we go, in the dark with big ole slides

Basics of Podcasting
up front decisions

[missed stuff in here b.c of stoopid login problems]

Consider this….

  • just you or guests?
  • where are your guests?  in your room or via phone/skype.  These two dictate your whole process up front
  • Phones sound like phones. Yuck.  Skype is excellent method; be prepared for retakes.  It fails.
  • Live in 1 take, or edited.  May depend on length.
  • frequency – be realistic.  People choose based on frequency/regularity.  [Regularity is prolly > impt, imho – A]
  • podcast artwork = separates amateurs from pros.
  • Where to submit it? iTunes = big boy.  you HAVE to put it here to succeed. 80-90% of subscriptions originate from iTunes [Wow! -A]; be on Zune, too.  The process = more archaic.  Small market, BlackBerry, Podcast Alley, Podcast Pickle
  • Make it easy to make it listen from your site & via subscription.  This helps cover ppl who aren’t gonna know you can d/l from web
  • Are you gonna be free, ad supported, hobby longterm?  Think about it early.
  • Write down this stuff, basic premise from which you work

The Flow – Plan the Episode

  • Plan the epi & write it down!!
  • Outline form is easy
  • brief idea of times for each topic
  • write down even the basic stuff, you’ll forget or screw it up during recording
  • this will all become basis of show notes.  [Sweet!  a 2fer! – A]

The Flow – Arrange the Environment

  • a padded room to reduce echoes.  Consider your closet!  Or hang quilts on the walls
  • drug the cats & dogs!
  • turn off phones, times, doorbells,
  • think about stealth sounds like keyboards, mouse clicks, chair squeaks, pc fans, lawn mowers

The Flow – Record the Podcast

  • talk normally & be real, not announcer voice.  Two person casts sound better often
  • start talking before so you can calm down. Don’t overreact to a mistake
  • multiple takes are fine
  • LOOK at your outline
  • Remember ppl can’t see you.  Spell out stuff if they don’t know how to spell it or if spelling is odd

The Flow – Process the Audio

  • back it up – first!!! DO NOT edit your original
  • edit to take out awkward pauses & missteps
  • back up again
  • add intro & outro if needed
  • add in any bumper music
  • back it up again

The Flow – Adjust audio

  • Use Levelator if needed – makes the sound volumes smooth
  • Listen to the cast – make sure audio is good, compare to your model & FIX errors, then listen again
  • export to mp3 (do NOT export to mp3 from Audacity; it digitizes sound & becomes crappy)

The Flow – Add the Details

  • adjust the mp3 tags (itunes or other)
  • add art
  • do duh check – is it the right size? – does it work or does iTunes give you an error

The Flow – Set it Live

  • upload file to your host – careful with your host.  Casts are large.  If you get any traffic at all, you’ll exceed the bandwidth allotment with your host.  Eeek! Unlimited is not really unlimited.  Check with them & your contract is set to cut you off rather than bill you a huge #
  • WP.org is EASIEST to use for podcasting
  • Add your post or show notes that will trigger the RSS feed.
  • test the feed – subscribe to it

Hardware

  • mic: built in, dynamic or condenser (condenser will pick up more noise.  Listen & decide).  Greatest headphone Heil PR-40 Studio Recording Microphone.  If this is what you’re gonna do for a living, get this.  You’ll need a mixer.  If you just want something cool & sounds good, but not crazy – Get the Blue Snowball.  Be about 12″ from it for good sound.
  • Recorder digital recorder or direct to PC? PC worry: what happens when it crashes or the virus check starts, etc.  He prefers PC recording unless live
  • Headsets – try it out.  They all get a buzz eventually.  Wear good phones when you review.  $60-70 quality ok.  Audio Technica makes nice ones.
  • More advanced: pop filers, mixers, more mics. When you’re sure this is for you.

Recording| Editing Software – Free

  • Audacity – most used.  Just stop when you’re at a finished .WAV file
  • GarageBand (mac) – this is most of what you need for a podcast.  Makes it a little easier on a Mac.
  • Levelator

Paid Software

  • ID3 Editor – pa-software.com – $15ish.  Spend the money here to edit those tags
  • ProTools
  • Logic express – mac & a little overkill for a cast
  • Adobe Audition – $$$

Web Publishing

  • Makes sure host supports it or won’t nail you – dreamhost will, for ex. let you & just cut you off
  • libsyn – meant for podcast hosting.
  • think about analytics upfront – not the same as web analytics.  Want to know how many d/l it
  • WP makes it easy because….
  • WP? Use PowerPress by Blubrry plugin – will simplify your life!

iTunes

  • needs to be here
  • apple.com/itunes/podcasts.specs.html – submission guidelines.  Looks complex, just a few minutes & blubrry takes care of rest

Books

  • Podcasting for Dummies – Tee Morris!
  • Expert Podcasting for DUmmies
  • Podcast Solutions: The Complete Guide to Audio & Video Podcasting
  • Props for the library!! – all these books are available there, he thinks. :)

Websites

  • the podcast answer man – Cliff Ravenscraft
  • podcast ally
  • audacity to podcast by Daniel Lewis

Bumper Music

  • pod safe audio
  • music alley
  • give credit to artist in podcast & shownotes

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