10:38 am

MacMost Now 118: How to Create Your Own Podcast

Gary Rosenzweig briefly goes through the steps to create a basic audio podcast. You must first set up a blog, then create the audio content, then link the audio to the blog posts, and then publicize your RSS feed.

Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
Hi. This is Gary with MacMost now. On this episode, let's talk about how you can go ahead and make your own podcast. There are a lot of steps involved in podcasting, and there are a lot of different ways to do it, and different systems that support it. So, let's talk about it in very general terms, and hopefully, I'll give you enough information to get started.
You follow the same basic techniques for audio and video podcasting, but let's focus on audio podcasting. Audio podcasting is a lot more predominant, and it's a lot easier to produce. The first thing to realize is that a podcast is really just a blog. It's a blog with something called "enclosures." These are links to external pieces of media, such as an audio file. So, the first thing you need to do to set up a podcast is to set up a blog. You can do this many places for free. For instance blogger.com, wordpress.com, a lot of times your own ISP will provide a blogging interface, or, if you're tech savvy, you can go ahead and download some software like wordpress, and install it on your own website and create a blog that way. Any way you do it, the important thing to do is to establish a normal, regular blog first. But it's always a good idea to use your own domain name. So whatever system you use, make sure that you can buy your own domain name, and assign it to your blog. that way you're in complete control of the location of your new podcast.
The next step is to record your podcast. Garage Band is a great choice. In fact, it even has a podcasting mode. When you create a new document, you can select a podcast. You can look in the help for Garage Band for tips on recording a podcast on Garage Band. Once you have that setup, you want to make sure you have a really good microphone. This is very important. Don't use the internal microphone in your MAC, as there's too much noise created from your machine to make that a really good sound input. So, you want to buy a microphone, probably with a USB interface. USB will allow you to plug it right into your MAC. The MAC doesn't have a microphone input, it has a line in jack which doesn't work directly with microphones. But, you can get USB headsets for $10, $20, or $30. You can get better microphones for about $100. But it is definitely very important to have a good microphone.
Garage Band has a whole bunch of different settings for improving the quality of the audio. And you can also overlay a little bit of music at the beginning and end of your podcast. And you can copy and paste bits, like an opening or ending to your podcast to use every week.
Once you've completed your podcast in Garage Band, you can use the share function to export it as an mp3 file. Once you have an mp3 file, that's all you need to upload it to use it in your podcast. Now, the trick is to find a place to upload it. If you've got a regular website where you can upload files, or you have a mobile ME account, it's very easy to go and put the mp3 file there. But you can find lots of other services, hosts, that will allow you to place your mp3 file on them. So now you should have your blog, you should have your mp3 file ready for your first episode. All you need to do is connect the two.
So a blog post and a podcast episode are basically the same thing. The difference is an enclosure. An enclosure is basically a link, in a blog post, to an external media file, like this mp3 file. Now, once you have that enclosure, that link, podcatchers, like itunes, will know that that post has an audio file associated with it, and will treat it as a podcast. Now it depends on what system you're using as to how you create this link. For instance, in Blogger, theres a way to add a link to a blog post. You can do this different ways in different systems. Some will even allow you to upload your file. So, you can basically upload it and store it in the same place as your blog.
You should then be able to go view your blog and see that there's an mp3 attachment to that blog post. The blog post, of course, should be the description of your episode. If you click on that mp3 link, you should actually hear the episode play in your web browser. Once you've got that set up, you know you are ready to go actually make this podcast.
So what you need now is to find out the RSS feed for your blog. This depends on the system you're using, but it should be easy to poke around and find out the RSS feed for your blog. This is what you need to submit to various sites to tell people that you have a podcast, or to email people directly and say, "Hey! subscribe to my podcast!" Or to even link to it on your website and saying, "Hey, click here to subscribe." Also, you probably want to submit it to itunes. If you go into itunes and log into your itunes account, you can add a podcast. Just give it your RSS feed and it will go ahead and categorise and add that podcast to itunes so others can find it.
Alternatively you can use Feedburner (Feedburner.com) which is a Google service that will take your RSS feed and allow you to easily customize it and make it into a better podcast by adding all kinds of categories, tags, and icons.
And that's it. I realize this was a very basic tutorial, it didn't go into detail. So, if you really want to do this and you're having trouble, just search the web. There's tons of site to help you set up your own podcast. And if you are doing a video podcast, it's even easier because there are a lot of sites that help you. We'll talk about that in the next episode.
Now, at the end of this week, I'll be at the new media expo. That's a conference in Las Vegas that's all about podcasting. If you're there, be sure to look for me. You can contact me by email (questions@MacMost.com) or you can also follow my twitter feed. (twitter.com/garyrosenzweig) I'm sure I'll be putting out lots of tweets during the conference. Till next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig at MacMost now.
Also, if your microphone takes a battery, make sure it's good before recording. This one is going, as you can probably tell.

Comments: 3 Responses to “MacMost Now 118: How to Create Your Own Podcast”

    Ling Gose
    4/19/10 @ 11:37 am

    Sensible read, sensible points, some of which I’ve got learned along the approach still (humility, grace, layoff the controversial stuff).

    11/22/10 @ 12:41 pm

    Which blip.tv URL do you use in Feedburner? I tried my channel and my episode archive, but both burned a feed of all recent blip.tv uploads, not just mine. I tried searching help on all relevant sites, so forgive me if it’s somewhere and I missed it.

    11/22/10 @ 1:14 pm

    Nevermind! Found it on the blip.tv podcast! Thank goodness I can skip Feedburner altogether at this point.

Comments Closed.