Led by Pal MD
Description: learn the basics of podcasting including how to record and publish a simple podcast. Then try yo put your new skills to use during the rest of the conference. Included topics will be suggested/needed software, xml files for creating a feed, etc. Please feel free to add topics you’d like me to cover. Essential recommended freeware includes Audacity and LAME, or Garage Band, which I’m not too familiar with. I’d also recommend an external mic, which doesn’t have to be expensive. To distribute your podcast, you’ll need to find a place to host it, and create an rss.xml file which will tell the internet how to find your podcast.
Folks, if you have questions pre-meetup, please post them or email me so that I can prepare a cogent, useful answer.
Since this is an “un-conference”, I’m going to make these materials available now with the caveat that I may change them at any time.
Podcasting can be a valuable stand-alone medium or one to complement your blogging or other writing. It is a unique format in that it is portable in a different way than writing is: it can be accessed while working out or driving.
Content is a personal choice, but think of your audience. It’s not a bad idea to take some notes beforehand, but I think that podcasts that are simply read aloud suck.
What you will need
As linked above, you will need some software (free), a computer (not free) and a mic (also, not free). You will also need a server on which to host your podcast. My (on hiatus) podcast is hosted by ScienceBlogs. I tried hosting it on some rented server space, but found that I used up my bandwidth very quickly.
I recommend testing out your equipment in a quiet place. I also recommend you listen to your entire podcast and edit it to take out technical glitches and if necessary for content. Audacity is relatively easy to figure out, but is not a no-brainer.
Once you’ve finished editing, you can save your podcast but you should also convert it to MP3 format. The first time you do this, Audacity will ask you to find LAME for it. When you download LAME, remember where you put it. Make a note of the length of your podcast in 00:00:00 format and in bytes. You will need this info for creating an .xml file.
Creating an .xml file
The first time you do this is a pain in the ass—-there’s just no way around that. You will need to use a feed validator to make sure you didn’t do something stupid like leave out a character. There are several examples out there but basically this is the file that creates a feed for your podcast. You will want your podcast registered with someone, usually iTunes.
This is what my rss.xml file looks like when rendered by most browsers. To see the code, simply go to “page source” in your browser.”
iTunes doesn’t much care how good or bad your podcast is, as long as the .xml file is valid. To get listed on iTunes you simply submit as directed here. You can also use tools such as feedburner.
Each time you add a new podcast. you must update your .xml file and you should “ping” iTunes and whomever else you wish (such as feedburner).