Monday, November 2, 2009

Podcasting

A podcast is episodic downloadable audio (or video) content. Despite the name, it does not require an iPod, you can listen to (or watch) a podcast on a computer or almost any portable media device. A podcast also usually has an associated RSS feed to allow listeners to subscribe to it.

Creating a podcast.

To record a podcast you will need a microphone, although you can use the microphone built into your laptop. I'm a fan of the Rock Band microphone, which you can get for about $20. You may also want to look at getting a pop filter to put in front of it.

You will also need recording software on your computer. On the Mac, GarageBand is excellent. On any platform there's Audacity, which can be run portably if you can't install software on your computer, or the online audio editor Myna.

Unless you just want to save your mp3 (or video) podcasts in a shared folder, publishing your podcast requires some sort of hosting provider. Some free options, that also set up an RSS feed for you are ourmedia.org, technochild.net, or mypodcast.com.

To make your podcast sound more professional, you can add some intro and outtro music. Some sites that have podsafe music and sound effects that you can use include: jamendo.com, audiofarm.org, and musicalley.com

Speaking of podsafe, when using or creating content it is good to become familiar with Creative Commons, how it is different from Copyright.

Some recommended podcasts for you to listen to:

Technology: This Week in Tech
Science: Quirks and Quarks, Science Update
Social Studies: Stuff You Missed in History Class
Math: Math Grad
English Language Arts: CSTW Writers Talk
Arts: CBC Arts Podcasts
Medicine: White Coat, Black Art

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