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jerrywaxler
12-28-2007, 06:16 PM
I finally made it across the threshold and I am now a podcaster! It's been a long journey, from a couple of years ago when I didn't even know what a podcast was.

Here are the pieces I had to put together:

Digital recording. I bought a Sony SX46 digital tape recorder. (about $150) This thing is awesome. And they finally fixed their software to convert the proprietary file format into MP3.

My hosted Wordpress blog has built in support for podcasting. I didn't know what that meant until last week when I posted my first one. Once I uploaded the mp3 file (using filezilla ftp software), and told Wordpress about it, the player appears automatically as a control on my blog. Very cool.

I found a plugin for Wordpress called Podpress that apparently has additional automatic support for distributing through iTunes. This should expand my readership to the iPod crowd (I hope), once I figure it out.

What to podcast about? It turns out that my polished blog pieces come across nicely when I read them like a script (I think so anyway). Maybe when I speak to groups, I will tape record and post them, but that would require audio editing. I'm not quite there yet. When I do get there I can use freeware called Audacity to edit the audio file.

Let me know if you have had any experience with podcasting. I can answer questions but only about wordpress. I don't know how other blogs would do it.

Jerry

Ava Jarvis
12-29-2007, 12:37 AM
I use Blogger, which as far as I know doesn't have the built-in support.

I also have a Macbook Pro, which made the actual creation of the podcast file easy: internal mic (which has decent gain) and GarageBand, which makes it really easy to edit the audio; both came with the laptop. I've easily re-recorded bits that didn't go so well. I also used GarageBand to create my funky jingle from soundclips.

(A friend of mine gave me a BlueMic Snowball for Christmas, so I can get rid of the scratchy disk drive sounds that the internal mic is unfortunately placed next to.)

For my feeds, I use FeedBurner's SmartCast service, which turns my feed into one with iTunes information and file enclosures for any audio/video file I link to in my blog post.

For the actual blog post, I add a link to it in Odeo (studio.odeo.com), which can also create HTML code for a Flash player for your podcast.

For storage, I use libsyn. You are charged for storage, you aren't charged for bandwidth. That can be really important if you suddenly get more listeners than you planned on, but otherwise not so much. I pay $5 a month for my little podcasts.

I'm not quite sure where I want to go with the Podcasting so far; at first I just wanted to read my stories, but the medium is fun and lends itself to other things. My first podcast was fun; the second was fun, too, but not in a traditional Podcast kind of way.

I figure I'll write audio-type content that doesn't go well in a written blog post, and go on from there.

Here is my first podcast post, about 9 minutes. (http://www.arachnejericho.com/2007/12/spontaneous-derivations-first-baby.html) I talk about audiobooks and dreams of Sherlock Holmes.

And my second, just a reading of a flash fiction, about 11 minutes. (http://www.arachnejericho.com/2007/12/podcast-arcady-and-zene-decent.html) This isn't the Phoenix one (it's too lyrical for me to read with my low skillz right now!) but the Arcady and Zene piece.

I want to get better at the speaking thing. I think it's a fun extra element to add into the general blogging mix.

jerrywaxler
12-29-2007, 01:43 AM
I listened to your podcast. Congratulations. It sounds great, and definitely adds a dimension to my experience of your world.

Did you write the material, and then read it? Did you ad lib any? I have to decide if I need to be more spontaneous. Just what I need is an assignment to develop yet another micro-skill. It never ends.

Best wishes,
Jerry

Ava Jarvis
12-29-2007, 01:55 AM
Thanks for the compliments!

Micro-skills are the stuff of life. ;)

I wrote the material, and while I was reading, when it seemed appropriate--like I'd forgotten something, or I just thought of something that would add usefulness or entertainment, or if I can think of a smoother transition, etc, then I would add it in.

I pretty much couldn't ad lib through an entire podcast. Even stand-up comedians spend an awful lot of time writing their script. So it seems quite normal (and to me indicates how important the writers for talk shows are).

Ava Jarvis
12-29-2007, 02:30 AM
Here's another handy link I found: http://ourmedia.org/user/42222 - Podcast Voice Training.

Some are more useful than others. One of the most important tips I learned was to project from my entire body rather than just from the mouth and throat and whatnot. Like the opera singers do... sitting up straight (well, I cheat on that bit sometimes) but most importantly, full breaths, speak out from the diaphragm or whatnot. They explain it way better than I'm doing right now.

I typically speak in a monotone, even in conversation, so I do my best to modulate my voice. When I write my script, I imagine how it will sound, or should sound. For the two here, I had at least one rehearsal before I did the final recording (and sometimes still ended up editing anyways).

The first script was slightly spontaneous; I wrote around 2 minute blips, sounded them out, then read them. Then I would write the next 2 minutes or so, finding natural breaks where I could. Afterwards I joined the chunks of audio up together in GarageBand.

My longest chunks are in the second podcast--one of them went for five freaking minutes, which is my limit before I screw up (that one took five takes, and still needed editing, which I didn't do very well).

Podcasting is fun and addictive. There's something cool about putting your voice out over the netwaves.

Talia
01-06-2008, 05:10 AM
what type of file is a podcast file? as in the file extension

i have some recordings in .wav format and i wondered if they would be easy for people to play?

i am thinking of using some form of recording to create downloadable mp3 and maybe CDs to sell to complement my books and create a new market. would the .wav files be saleable or should i convert them to mp3??? any advice would be appreciated

i was given this link on equipment
http://www.industrialaudiosoftware.com/products/podcasting.html

this on royalty free music faq
http://www.slicktracks.com/answers.htm

Talia
01-06-2008, 05:15 AM
thought i'd post this link to another AW thread on podcasting and audio so we can keep the info together

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=85777

jerrywaxler
01-08-2008, 05:05 AM
what type of file is a podcast file? as in the file extension

i have some recordings in .wav format and i wondered if they would be easy for people to play?

i am thinking of using some form of recording to create downloadable mp3 and maybe CDs to sell to complement my books and create a new market. would the .wav files be saleable or should i convert them to mp3??? any advice would be appreciated


Podcasts are mp3. That's one reason they are so popular. People can download them to their ipods or other mp3 devices. In fact, thanks to the magic of the internet, my lowly podcast can be loaded through itunes. (Just search for Memory Writers Network). Wav files are not common on the internet because they tend to be many times larger than mp3. Definitely convert it all to MP3.

Jerry

Talia
01-08-2008, 05:28 AM
thanks jerry

my plan is for some of my products to be free podcasts but i also want to create some paid products so i need to look into this some more

it seems like i may have to purchase a decent microphone as my little headset and mic is probably not going to be good enough.

i see you bought a recorder - do you mean a separate recording system or just a mic? i thought you could record direct to audactiy???

Gooch
01-08-2008, 05:30 AM
Hi all!

I just wanted to jump in here, I posted in the thread that Talia linked to. Between my two shoes, I'm up to about 20 or so episodes, be happy to answer questions too!

Jerry's on the right track, although if you want to experiment I will say Audacity is the perfect tool for the recording as well as editing! (Free too!)

The digital recorder is great, but both of my shows are with others so it just doesn't fit our format unfortunately.

Talia
01-08-2008, 06:21 AM
thanks for that gooch

i think i'll download audacity. i'm thinking i should do it on the other computer as it's newer and it probably has a better sound card. when i was reading their website, audacity say you need a good sound card and mic but perhaps they are talking about music audio rather than just voice?

so my question is - how important is the quality of the microphone and headset for voice recordings?

because i write self-help books, i'm keen to have some paid downloadable audio as well as free audio available to help people with new year's resolutions, depression, weight loss yada yada

Marilyn Braun
01-08-2008, 07:56 AM
because i write self-help books, i'm keen to have some paid downloadable audio as well as free audio available to help people with new year's resolutions, depression, weight loss yada yada

Just curious, how would you do paid downloadable audio? Your topic will be great for that but I'm just wondering, how is it done? I don't think that NowLive allows for paid listener subscriptions.

Gooch
01-08-2008, 08:34 AM
thanks for that gooch

i think i'll download audacity. i'm thinking i should do it on the other computer as it's newer and it probably has a better sound card. when i was reading their website, audacity say you need a good sound card and mic but perhaps they are talking about music audio rather than just voice?

so my question is - how important is the quality of the microphone and headset for voice recordings?

because i write self-help books, i'm keen to have some paid downloadable audio as well as free audio available to help people with new year's resolutions, depression, weight loss yada yada

Shouldn't need to be too fancy. I use a run of the mill on board sound card, and a plantronics headset/mic. As long as you have a decent mic, and not the one built into your computer (this is common in Macs) then you'll be all right for your freebie stuff.

I don't know much on paid podcasts, but seems like a viable idea. There's a lot of fancier mic packages you can get out there if you want to spend a little money on it. There's tons of options if you got money to sink such as these (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/navigation/computer-based-recording-packages?N=100001+330290), just keep in mind you don't need all that to get started!

That is to say, if you're going to do some freebies to stretch your wings, you're fine and dandy with whatever sound card you have and a $25 pc mic or headset. For your paid content, the more you spend, the better your end product will sound.

(I recommend the head set for starters because your audio through your speakers will pickup on the recording!)

jerrywaxler
01-09-2008, 07:12 AM
thanks jerry

i see you bought a recorder - do you mean a separate recording system or just a mic? i thought you could record direct to audactiy???

I bought a small Sony digital recorder. The built in microphone is fantastic and it has a USB connector that lets me dump it into the computer. That way I can walk around when I record, and don't need to be at the computer. You can still use audacity to edit the recording afterwards if you want. So far I haven't done any audio editing, but I need to start.

Jerry

Talia
01-22-2008, 02:48 AM
Just curious, how would you do paid downloadable audio? Your topic will be great for that but I'm just wondering, how is it done? I don't think that NowLive allows for paid listener subscriptions.

I'd set up a shopping cart with a description of the items and then when people purchase they would be sent to a URL that allows them to download the files they purchased

It has to be an item that people are prepared to pay money for, of course LOL

I imagine you could also sell via itunes or even amazon

Talia
01-22-2008, 03:00 AM
My plan is to record things I do and keep them as either free bonuses (e.g. get a free audio only if they purchase a book) but also to sell separately

So for example I'm doing a free teleseminar this weekend (Why Diets Don't Work (http://taliamana.com/whydietsdontwork/)). I'll record it because in addition to talking about why diets don't work I'll also take questions. Then I will convert it to mp3.

I can podcast it or keep it as a bonus or sell it later, or if the sound quality isn't too good I can scrap it or get a transcript done.

Talia
01-22-2008, 03:02 AM
I could possibly also burn them to CDs to sell ...

benbradley
01-22-2008, 07:18 AM
thanks for that gooch

i think i'll download audacity. i'm thinking i should do it on the other computer as it's newer and it probably has a better sound card. when i was reading their website, audacity say you need a good sound card and mic but perhaps they are talking about music audio rather than just voice?

so my question is - how important is the quality of the microphone and headset for voice recordings?

because i write self-help books, i'm keen to have some paid downloadable audio as well as free audio available to help people with new year's resolutions, depression, weight loss yada yada
A "computer mic" into a "Mic" input on most any computer soundcard (which is built into virtually all computers thesedays) will work and give "reasonable" audio, but if you want the best sound you can get, there's lots learning and money you can put into it. Gooch's link to the musiciansfriend bundles gives you an idea. Publishers have audio books recorded in 'real' studios which use a selection of mics that cost between $90 (Shure SM57 and SM58) and many thousands (Neumann U47 or whatever). Also to get pro results the room is important (and this is another thing recording studios have) - larger is better to get a good sounding reverberation or 'ambiance.' Yes, reverb can be added digitally/electronically, but it usually doesn't sound quite the same.

Shouldn't need to be too fancy. I use a run of the mill on board sound card, and a plantronics headset/mic. As long as you have a decent mic, and not the one built into your computer (this is common in Macs) then you'll be all right for your freebie stuff.

I don't know much on paid podcasts, but seems like a viable idea. There's a lot of fancier mic packages you can get out there if you want to spend a little money on it. There's tons of options if you got money to sink such as these (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/navigation/computer-based-recording-packages?N=100001+330290), just keep in mind you don't need all that to get started!

That is to say, if you're going to do some freebies to stretch your wings, you're fine and dandy with whatever sound card you have and a $25 pc mic or headset. For your paid content, the more you spend, the better your end product will sound.

(I recommend the head set for starters because your audio through your speakers will pickup on the recording!)
Also, you can (and should, if you use speakers) turn the audio off to the speakers while you record. And that brings up another thing, if you're going to spend money on the mic-preamp-higherend-soundcard thing, you also need to spend money on better speakers or headphones to be able to better hear what you're recording. One more thing, if your computer has a fan (don't they all now?), put it in the next room and run a long mic cable so it won't pick up the fan noise. There's probably two or three other things too, but that's "a start."

Talia
01-26-2008, 01:17 PM
wow that's a lot ben lol
thanks for that

I noticed in a test recording I did that there was sort of breath sounds or peaks of sound sometimes when my voice got loud. hard to explain but perhaps it's just my mouth was too close??? i basically tested it using a headset and microphone so it's probably low quality. i definitely want to improve it!

today i went into the shops to look at microphones but came away bewildered as i didn't understand the ohm for interference and everything else and the shop assistant didn't seem to know much either. he was sort of "oh my friend uses that one and it sounds clearer" so i gave up.

i do have a microphone (somewhere) but i don't know where. it was for plugging into the stereo and it had a stand. i'll see if it can be adapted for the laptop but it wasn't a high quality mic. probably better than my headset though!!!

it was quite fun recording the little snippet i did. so far all i've done is an audio message that autoplays on my teleseminars page (http://taliamana.com/whydietsdontwork/). tomorrow i'm doing the teleseminar and plan to record it. that's slightly different as it is done via telephone. i did a test run today and it was awful. i sent it to the company that runs the telephone line and they apologised but not sure if it will be fixed by tomorrow!!!

i had a look at the website for mics. the catch is that in NZ they are ridiculously expensive. i may have to purchase it direct from the states but i've been looking online at the NZ equivalent to ebay and there are some new ones there (shure) that seem a bit more reasonable. they're still at least 50% more than what you'd pay to buy in the US, even when you take into account exchange fluctuations but probably a good investment for me.

Talia
01-26-2008, 01:19 PM
oh, plus i forgot to say. there's no point me buying the whole kit and caboodle from US as we have different power supply, but i'd be open to buying a mic that plugs into my laptop and go from there.

i will have to listen to the fan and see how noisy it is lol

the laptop has bluetooth so that might be a possibility rather than a long cable, but perhaps it will interfere with the quality?

Spice Islands
01-27-2008, 05:00 AM
i just started adding pod casts to my site. i bought a digital voice recorder which is dead useful

i ve started interviewing people now both for my site and espn and recording it makes recollection much easier...especially when we re in the pub

i also use the dvr for match reports immediately after the game when events and incidents are fresh in my mind but until now it s all ad lib. i work out what im going to say in my mind then record. lots af umms and ands lol

you can find one off the cuff piece here http://jakartacasual.blogspot.com/2008/01/them-vicious-football-fans.html

while snippets of an interview can be found http://jakartacasual.blogspot.com/2008/01/my-first-podcast.html

they are wav files...stil trying to work out how to make them .mp3!

Talia
01-28-2008, 03:38 AM
easy spice! to convert to mp3. check your programs. i can't remember the name of it as it's on the other computer but i have a windows program with the computer that does it

or if you edit it in audacity that will also convert to mp3

Talia
01-28-2008, 04:05 PM
Directory of places you can have your podcast listed (http://www.podcast411.com/page2.html) for free

Marilyn Braun
01-28-2008, 07:01 PM
Some of these places ask for RSS feed address. How do I know what that is?

Talia
01-28-2008, 07:25 PM
Microphone

I hunted and found my microphone and good news it has an adaptor so it can be used in a stereo or computer. I still have to test and see how it works as it's about 12 years old but I'm hoping it will be fine

It's a Sony F-V9 and the specs are:
Dynamic Microphone design is inherently rugged for the rough handling and high sound pressure levels that vocal mics sometimes endure Uni-Directional Pickup pattern is more sensitive to sounds in front, rejects noise from the sides and rear Compact, Lightweight Design ideal for on-the-go use with portable recorders 9.8 Foot Long Cable for flexibility of installation and applications Sony Unimatch® Plug combines both a mini-plug for portable cassette recorders and a phone plug for home karaoke disc players and home audio recorders Built-In On-Off Switch prevents recording or amplifying unintended sounds Integrated Metal Windscreen is durable, reduces wind noiseType: Dynamic Microphone Directivity: Uni-Directional Effective Output Level: -59.0 0dBm (0dBm = 1mW/Pa, 1kHz) Frequency Response: 60 - 12,000Hz Output Impedance: 600 ohms at 1kHz, unbalanced Cord Length: 9.8 feet (3m)