Creating a podcast involves:
Receiving or listening to a podcast involves:
CREATING THE AUDIO
The first step in creating a podcast is creating an audio file. Some free web based services like Podomatic allow you to record your audio directly to their servers where it is automatically stored as an mp3 file - the required format for podcasting. This is the simplest method if you only want to podcast a single track of audio. If you want to mix audio from different sources (eg two voices recorded separately, or a voice track with music in the background) you need to use a tool like Audacity, a free open source tool. Once you have your mp3 file(s) recorded, other free web based services like Odeo and GCast allow you to post them to their servers.
Installing Audacity (from Sue Waters)
Creating a simple voice track in Audacity is a straightforward procedure. Make sure you have microphone selected as your source, press the record button and speak. You will notice that Audacity creates a chart of the sound waves you are making as you speak. Make sure these sound waves are approximately as they are in the diagram below. If the line is too 'flat'; the volume is too low. If the sound waves are peaking (ie running off the graph above and below) the volume is too loud.
Creating a Second Track
Before recording a second track, make sure you select the mute button on the track you've just recorded. This ensures that you won't hear it while you record the second track. You should now have something that looks like this:
Mixing the Two Tracks
You now have two choices:
1. Mixing them together
Note that the two tracks each have their own volume control.
Play both tracks through balancing the volume until you have it just right. You are now ready to mix the two tracks down into one mp3 file.
2. Keeping the two tracks separate. (how to movie here)
Click on the drag track symbol (in the pink circle below that looks a bit like this <-->. )
Then click on the track you want to to drag and move it along. You will end up with something that looks like this:
Note: when you hit the play button the two tracks now play one after the other! You are now ready to mix the two tracks into one mp3 file.
Exporting as MP3
Go to the file menu and select export as mp3. After you name the file you will get a screen like this:
It's up to you whether or not you fill it in. If you do it will appear nicely named and listed in your Media Player when you eventually play the file.
WHAT TO DO WITH THIS MP3 FILE? UPLOADING YOUR MP3 FILES TO THE INTERNET
Once you have uploaded the file into one of these free services you'll notice that all of them automatically create an RSS feed for your mp3 file (your podcast in effect) so that it can be found by an RSS aggregator. (Look for the RSS button, right mouse click on it, and copy the link location or shortcut.) There are web based aggregators like Juice, but in fact most Media Players like Windows Media Player and iTunes can function as RSS aggregators. Let's look at iTunes.
or listening to a podcast
Under the advanced menu in iTunes you'll see a 'subscribe to a podcast' option. Open it and you'll see a box that asks for the URL of your RSS feed:
Enter the URL of your RSS feed and if you're online, watch what happens - the latest episode of your podcast will download automatically! (how to movie here)
THE LAST STEP - GETTING YOUR MP3 FILE ONTO A MOBILE DEVICE (iPod, or iRiver and the like)
If you have an iPod, and you're using iTunes as your aggregator, this is really easy. On the preferences tab in iTunes there is a further tab - iPod. Select it and follow the instructions.
If you are using any other combination of aggregator and mp3 player, you have to locate the file on your PC and manually download to your mp3 player using Windows Explorer. Most mp3 players connect to a USB port on your PC and automatically show as an extra drive (D:, E:, etc)
Note: podcasts really do require broadband. They are typically large files and it is a frustrating experience waiting for podcasts on a dial up connection.
(site updated 8/10/07)