If your first thought when you consider the concept of podcasting is internet radio, you’re just hitting the tip of the iceberg. To get a feel for the breadth of material available, take a look at iTunes’ podcast directory or download the Juice podcasting manager.
You’ll find podcasting a useful delivery vehicle if you run a business and want to regularly provide clients with useful information, if you’re a student who wants to freshen up the school ‘magazine’, or if you’re a collector, hobbyist or specialist with a desire to share your knowledge with a wider audience. Even politicians could find a use in podcasting, with the format helping them to spread their message among constituents.
PC Advisor has often used podcasts to deliver technology news on a daily basis, and discuss current topics in depth.
Whatever your reason for wanting to get your voice heard, several variables must be considered before you begin. These include hardware and software requirements, and distribution of the finished product.
Planning is important too. Your initial excitement might lead you to podcast day and night, but bombarding your listeners with information can have an adverse effect, causing them to switch off. Your time is also a valuable commodity, and you should take care not to overstretch yourself. Whatever you decide, ensure your listeners know when they can expect the next instalment.
Here, we’ll teach you all you need to know about creating your first podcast. We’ll cover the basics behind recording, editing and tagging audio, and look at how to create an RSS feed for your podcast or submit your work to iTunes.
Record a podcast
Step 1. You’ll need a microphone and sound card, plus video-recording equipment if you’ll be adding visuals to your podcast. Your PC may have these facilities built-in, which will be fine for your first podcast. If your first attempt is successful, however, you’ll be wise to invest in better-quality equipment.
Step 2. You’ll also need some audio-recording software. We’re using the popular, free Audacity. Its ease of use makes Audacity a great application with which to begin experimenting with audio recordings, allowing you to concentrate on the podcast’s content and structure.