Last week, we posted Part 1 of “Building a Podcast” on our blog, which explored the benefits of podcasting and outlined the steps one should take to prepare for a podcast. When talking with others, it seems that one of the largest factors stopping people from creating a podcast is the perceived technical difficulty. This common perception is wildly inaccurate. Almost anyone has the skills needed to produce a podcast and the equipment required can be purchased for cheap.
At this point, you are probably wondering, what type of equipment do I need? Surprising to most, the equipment required is fairly minimal:
• Computer (PC or MAC)
• Internet connection
• Audio Recorder/Editor
• MP3 encoder
• iTunes or Windows Media Player
• File transfer program
Minimum requirements for your computer to podcast include a sound card, 512 MB of RAM, 2-3 GB of HD space, and in/out or microphone/headphone jacks. Fortunately, almost any computer produced in the last 10 years should come standard with these features. Programs your computer may not have right out-of-the-box include an audio recorder/editor, MP3 encoder, iTunes/Windows Media Player, and FTP program, although, most of these programs can be acquired legally, for free on the Internet.
Audacity is a free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, and other operating systems. It is available for download at: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/. In addition to the free download, they also offer free tutorials on recording and editing audio using Audacity. Click here for the tutorials!
Once you create your podcast, you need to convert it to MP3. LAME is a program that works with Audacity to convert your audio to an MP3 format. Digital audio files are typically large in size. Converting your audio to MP3 makes the file size smaller and easier for others to download and listen to. You can “a href=” http://audacity.sourceforge.net/help/faq?s=install&item=lame-mp3”>download LAME here from Audacity’s site.
Many of your fans may use iTunes and Windows Media Player to download and listen to your podcast. You will want to download both to verify that your podcast plays correctly on each player. You can download iTunes by clicking here. Windows Media Player can be downloaded for PC by clicking here and for Mac by clicking here.
File Transfer Program
Once you’ve recorded your audio and converted it to MP3, you will need to upload it to the Internet. A file transfer program allows you to do just that. FileZilla is a free, open source FTP solution available for both PC and Mac. You can download FileZilla by clicking here.
In addition to the computer software, you will need to buy a microphone or headset to be able to record your podcast onto your computer. There are a lot of nice microphones available for cheap that can be purchased at your local electronics store. However, it is safe to assume that the nicer the microphone you buy, the better the sound quality your podcast will have. This would be the one place where you might invest some money. Simply, plug in your microphone to the mic jack and you are set to record.
Next week, we will finish up our three part Podcast series with learning how to publish your podcast, and making it accessible to others on the internet.