Podcasting is the art of creating audio content that is delivered via an RSS feed presenting a downloadable or streaming file (usually in mp3 format). You can get a podcasted show sent to your computer automatically so that you can listen to the show at a time that is most convenient to you. When you subscribe to a podcast, it will automatically download to your computer whenever a new show is produced, allowing you to decide when and how you choose to listen.
So how do you make your own podcast. Whether it’s just recording your own audio blog, or if you want to host your own radio show, you can create your own podcast and put it online for public consumption.
There are plenty of sites out there that will help you with uploading your content, but our main concern here is getting the best quality recording you can at the right price. Whatever your budget, you can, with the right equipment, make a professional audio recording, then with a bit of editing you will be podcasting with the best
With the right microphone and a PC or mac, it’s easy to record and edit your own audio clips and create an mp3 of your finished product. How slick and professional they are depends on how much time and money you have to spend buying equipment, software and editing. We have a range of mics that are ideal for podcasting, the most popular in the first instance being the USB mic range, as they really are a one-stop solution without having to go the expense of buying a separate microphone and interface, and also stock specialist podcasting kits which come with everything you need, including mic, software, stand etc. in a neat portable case if you want to podcast on the move
USB Microphones for Podcasting
The Samson C03U Podcasting Kit
Many podcasters have found USB Mics are the simplest and most cost-effective way to produce a good quality podcast
How do you convert your file to MP3, and which software should you use? Well if you buy the dedicated kits, the software is already included, but for a simple start you may find that the fabulous free Audacity gives you all the functionality you need. For slicker results and more functionality you could look at other composition software.
The Samson C01U USB Microphone
The Samson C01U Studio Condenser Mic is a cost effective option, and in the basic edition comes with a small desktop stand and recording software. It is also available in a complete C01U podcasting kit which contains the C01U USB microphone, software and top quality accessories including professional shockmount, sturdy cast iron base and rugged aluminium flight case.
image – Samson C03U Recording / Podcasting Pak
Samson also make a complete podcasting kit with flagship Samson C03U multi-pattern USB microphone, software and accessories.
image – Mixcraft 6 Multi-Track Recording Software
Mixcraft 6 Home Studio Software: Record, Mix, Arrange, Create, Share
If you want your podcasting kit to double up as a home studio microphone as well then you could also look at the very well featured and simple to use Mixcraft 6 recording software . This will enable you to create polished, professional recordings right from your home computer: no previous recording experience required.
You will need some webhosting to put your finished mp3 online and might want to create a website and write a blog to promote and accompany your podcast. You should note however that once someone subscribes to your podcast they never need to visit your site again and when they are listening, chances are they’ll be away from a computer.
The most important aspect is creating the ‘feed’ that will allow people to subscribe to your podcast. This is based on RSS, or ‘Really Simple Syndication’, which is a way of receiving headlines and updates automatically to your computer.
By installing a piece of software called a news reader and subscribing to an RSS feed, you will get headlines delivered to your desktop without you have to visit a website or use a search engine. Radio 1 has it’s own RSS feed.
Podcasts are ‘broadcast’ or distributed in exactly the same way. The podcaster creates a RSS feed which allows people to subscribe to their show.
RSS is based on a way of coding webpages called XML (Extensible Markup Language). The RSS feed is written RSS 2.0 XML or RDF XM. Unless you are familiar with XML, you will need help to create your feed – though there is plenty of help and information about this.
There are many sites that offer help in this area and some commercial sites allow you to buy software that creates your code for you. Searching the web under ‘how to podcast’ will bring up a list of these sites and of software manufacturers. Again the BBC has many help pages and links to help you with the RSS.
If you have never recorded or edited sound before, the BBC has opened up a great deal of its training resources to the general public by putting them on the web. These online courses and guides are free for you to use. Just vist BBC Audio Courses