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How to make a podcast

Making a podcast is a surprisingly easy process, with only a basic amount of technology needed. At the minimum you will need a computer that records sound and an internet connection. However, if you want higher quality you will need a microphone, headphones, and possibly an audio recorder or mixer.

Equipment

You’ll need:

  • Computer
  • Microphone
  • Headphones
  • Recorder/mixer
  • Soundcard
  • Audio software

 

Audio Recorder

If you are not using your computer to record your podcast you can use an audio recorder. A digital audio recorder like the Zoom H1 is cheap, portable and easy to use and is more than adequate for a beginner. Alternatively, the Zoom H4n is more expensive, but will result in better quality recordings.

Microphone

It is possible to use the built-in microphone on your computer, however the sound quality will not be very good. If you are looking for an external microphone the Shure SM-58 is a good omnidirectional microphone that isn’t too expensive. An omnidirectional microphone is necessary if there will be more than one person talking but only one microphone.

For more tips on microphone choice see RNLD’s webpage here.

Headphones

Headphones are useful to see how everything sounds. Headphones can be as cheap or as expensive as you can afford. At the cheapest end try Sony In-ear Headphones; a middle priced pair would be the Sennheiser Over-the-head Headphones; or if you can afford a more expensive pair the Sony Sound Monitoring Headphones are comfortable and fold up for easy portability. 

Soundcard

If your computer does not have a soundcard or a microphone input, the Griffin iMic is a useful addition. It simply plugs into a USB port and incorporates a microphone input and headphone jack. This is extremely handy for podcasting.

Audio software

There are many types of audio software available, however Audacity is free to download, and a very capable software which works well for podcasting.

There is a great set of Audacity tutorials for podcasting here.

 

Creating your podcast

Now that you have your equipment ready it is time to make your podcast.

1. Record your podcast.

Before you do it is best to make a plan. Think about what you want to say and how long you want it to be. Make notes or write out a script. If you are interviewing someone, write down the questions you want to ask them.

2. Edit your podcast.

Once you have recorded it, you can edit it using a sound editing program such as Audacity.

3. Save your podcast.

The podcast itself should be saved as an MP3 file. The higher the encoded bit rate, the higher the sound quality.

You should also edit the ID3 tags of the file to give the listener more information.

Title – The name of the episode

Artist – Who made the show

Album – The name of the show.

Year - When you made it

Genre - Pick the music category, or use Speech for shows that are mostly talk.

Comments – Anything else you might want to say about the episode.

4. Make your podcast available.

The easiest way for people to access your podcast is through iTunes. iTunes has explained how to do this here.

You could also put the podcast on your website if you have one, or create a blog for your podcast. This way, people can listen to your podcast and also learn what it is about. You could also include other interesting items to do with the subject of your podcast. Websites such as Blogger have the ability to create a podcast feed. You can find a tutorial here.