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Monday, 2 July 2007

Howto: Podcasting

What is it?

'Podcasting' refers to a sort of audio blogging. The podcaster posts a piece of audio to the internet and subscribers automagically download it via itunes or another client program. It's a good way for people to keep up with your audio output.

How do I subscribe in iTunes?

For Safari/iTunes users, this is really easy. Click on the RSS icon in the podcast you want (this is on the right hand side of the URL address field). Safari goes into feed reading mode. On the right hand side, there's a link that says "subscribe in iTunes." Click that and you're good.

If you use another browser, find the URL of the feed and copy it. Open iTunes. Go to the advanced menu. Select subscribe to podcast. Paste in the URL. Hit ok. You're done.

How do I prepare the audio for my own podcast?

Usually, people post MP3s. You can record audio with software called Audacity. This is very handy software, which can also be used for normalization. (This means making the recording as loud as possible - a good thing or it will sounds really quiet in a playlist.) It is also possible to use Audacity as an MP3 converter. iTuens and other software can also be used for that. I convert audio to be 160 kbps stereo. If you are just recording your voice talking, it possible to a much lower quality conversion and still be totally understandable.

How can I host my own podcast?

If you have your own server, you can ask your sysadmin for WordPress. This is blogging software, which is easy to install. It requires SQL. Your sysadmin or hosting company can help you with that. There are many templates that you can use to change the way it looks. I host my entire professional website with wordpress.

  1. Upload your MP3 to your website. It doesn't matter where exactly you put it. It can be on a free site like Geocities or on your own server, or wherever. Let's say you put it in a directory called 'mp3s', under your web directory 'public_html.'
  2. Using your webbrowser, log into the wordpress dashboard and click to write a new post.
  3. In the body of the post, include a link to your mp3: <a href="mp3s/new_mp3">My new MP3</a>
  4. say whatever else you want to say
  5. click to publish

That's it.

How can I have somebody else host my podcast?

You can sign up for a free blog at http://wordpress.com. Do everything just as above, but your dashboard is at their site instead of yours. Or, you can pay to have them host your mp3s for you.

How do I get my podcast listed in the Apple Store so it shows up when people click on "podcast directory" in itunes?

You need to have a store account, which usually requires you to submit a credit card. There are ways around this, for example, by joining the developer network. Launch iTunes. Click on the podcast section. Click on the podcast directory. Scroll down. There's a link that says "submit a podcast."

Find out more

I swear, this is all really, really easy. Leave questions in the comments.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you need help learning how to subscribe to a podcast check out my tutorial at www.learntosubscribe.com

Dave Jackson
www.schoolofpodcasting.com