Wikipedia, on Podcasting
Podcasting is a method of publishing files via the Internet, allowing users to subscribe to a feed and receive new files automatically. It became popular in late 2004, intended largely for downloading audio files onto a portable MP3 player. However, listening to podcasts does not require a portable player and it is not traditional "broadcasting" to a mass audience at a fixed time.
Podcasting is a portmanteau word, combing "broadcasting" with the name of Apple Computer's iPod audio player (although podcasting was not invented by Apple, nor do podcasts require a portable player or Apple software).
A podcast is much like an audio magazine subscription: a subscriber receives regular audio programs delivered via the internet, and she or he can listen to them at her or his leisure.
Podcasts differ from traditional internet audio in two important ways. In the past, listeners have had to either tune in to web radio on a schedule, or they have had to actively download individual files from webpages. Podcasts are more flexible and much easier to get. They can be listened to at any time because a copy is on the listener's computer or portable music player, and they are automatically delivered to subscribers, so no active downloading is required.
How to Produce a Podcast
You have several options when creating a podcast. Your choice should be based upon your production budget, time and experience.
Sign up with Audioblogger. It's free, and the easiest choice in terms of podcast production.
STEP 1: Create a Podcast Recording
Create content (speech, music, etc.) using your favorite sound editing program. GarageBand and Audacity are popular options. Save the file as an MP3 and set the ID tag information; this can be done with iTunes (Artist, Genre, Date, Comments, etc.).
STEP 2: Upload your Podcast
You need to be able to upload (sometimes using FTP) your .mp3 file to a host somewhere that will allow downloading of the file using HTTP protocol.
For example: http://www.asu.edu/public/mypodcast.mp3
STEP 3: Post a blog entry or web link that references your Podcast file in an RSS2 enclosure tag
Add a tag that looks like this to your RSS feed:<enclosure url="http://www.asu.edu/public/mypodcast.mp3" length="5221964" type="audio/mpeg"/>
(length is the size of the file in bytes)
The high cost option involves the same steps as the medium cost option, but requires more sophisticated equipment. The Digital Media and Instruction Technologies department has used the following equipment in a production environment:
- PMD-671 - Hi-Resolution Compact Flash Field Recorder
- 2GB Flash Card
- Two rechargable battery packs for PMD recorder and recharger
- Portrabrace AR-PMD650 Audio Recorder field bag
- PSC DV Promix 3 - Portable 3 Channel Field Mixer
- PSC Breakaway Cable with XLR and Mini Monitor Connections for PSC Portable Field Mixers - 15'
- Noga Arm to boom mic
- Sennheiser Me-66/k6 mic w/ Rycote pistol grip and softie
- Sennheiser 100/500 G2 Series Wireless Combo Kit - Includes: EK100 Receiver, SKP500 Plug-In Transmitter, SK100 Body-Pack Transmitter and ME2 Lavalier Microphone (Channel Set C/740-776 MHz)
- Audio Technica AT896 - Short Condenser Shotgun Microphone
- XLR Audio Cables (2) 25'
- Sony 7506 Headphones
- Cinebag Production Bag CB-01
- Audio Mic Stands
- Gaphers Tape
- Lots and lots of AA and 9V batteries
- Digital Still Camera
- Production editing station - Dual 2.5 Ghz G5 Tower
- External Speakers
- Software [Soundstudio Pro, Final Cut Pro, iTunes, Safari]