Week 5: Podcasts

This weeks lecture taught us how to create and host podcasts.

What is a podcast?

First, let’s clear up what a podcast actually is: A podcast is any media file (audio, video or even PDF) which can be subscribed to on the internet. Podcasting is different from webcasting (streaming), because it enables the listener/viewer to download the media content for offline consumption. Podcasts consist of the media file(s) and a web feed (usually RSS) which informs the user if there is new content or downloads it automatically.

What steps are involved in creating a podcast?

  1. Creating an audio file: See last weeks post!
  2. Polishing the audio file: Polish your audio file using any audio editor to remove distracting noises, add in background music and/or create effects like Fade-Outs. In Audacity you can use the features ‘Remove Ambient Noise‘ and ‘Dynamic Range Compressor‘ to make your audio more clear.
  3. Upload your audio file: There are various websites you can use for uploading audio files. PodOmatic is free, easy to use and helps you in the next step as well.
  4. Turn your audio into a podcast: Create a correctly formed RSS file which includes all the basic information on your podcast. Use FeedValidator to check if your file works. PodOmatic automatically does this for you when you upload an audio file and provides you with a link to the RSS file.
  5. Include your podcast on your website: Finally you should include your audio file and a link to the RSS file on your website or blog.
    1. Include audio directly on WordPress: [ audio http://yourwebsite.com/audio/podcast.mp3 ] (without spaces)
    2. Or include link to audio file: <a title="Subscribe to my podcast" href="http://yourwebsite.com/audio/podcast.mp3">Listen to my podcast!</a>
    3. Include link to RSS file: <a title="Subscribe to my podcast" href="http://yourwebsite.com/audio/rss.xml">Subscribe now!</a>
  6. Spread the word: To get even more listeners, consider uploading your podcast to iTunes! Make sure your RSS file matches the iTunes guidelines.

Now everyone can enjoy your podcast!

Image Source: evepodcasts.com


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