Thursday, February 14, 2008

How to Create Your Own Podcast - A Step-by-Step Tutorial

So, What Exactly is a Podcast?
(Note: Before attempting to learn how to create a Podcast the hard way, you might consider skipping this whole article and taking advantage of the automatic and many times free or low cost websites that make Podcast creation simple with no programming.

For more resources, see Online Tools and Software to Create Podcasts.)
First Things First
Why is the Radio Guide writing about Podcasting? Because it's very clear to me the Internet coupled with pesonal technology like iPods and MP3 players have empowered everyone with a new voice while redefining what "Radio" is in the 2000s from both a technical and distribution sense. Although I love traditional Radio, I'm also willing to embrace new paradigms. If you're reading this, then apparently you are, too.
A Pocast is:
1. An audio file you create in .mp3 format... 2. Which contains your own radio show or any audio you wish others to have...3. That you upload along with an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) file to a server (your website for instance)...4. That your intended listeners download using one of several programs that have been created to retrieve your audio file automatically...5. So they can listen to it at their convenience on their own iPod or .mp3 player.
That’s it. Now, don’t let things like “RSS file”, “server” or “.mp3 format” scare you.
I’m going to show you exactly how to do all of this in the simplest of terms. By the time we’re done, you’ll be podcasting to the world. Kind of exciting, huh?
Before we get into the mechanics of podcasting, let’s think about just some of the reasons you might want to create your own podcast:
1. You always wanted your own talk show but you don’t own a radio station or work at one.2. You’re a musician and you want to build up a fan base by providing some of your music to potential fans.3. You’re a speaker and you want to sell a multi-part audio seminar but don’t want to create CDs, labels, mail them, etc. (Yes, you can use podcasting for profit, too.)4. You already have a radio show but you want to make certain segments available to the world to increase your reputation and reach.5. You’re a book author and you want to interest people in buying it by offering a few spoken pages each week to entice them.6. You’re a school Principal and you want to create your own weekly message to the students.7. You’re a raving lunatic and you want to rant to the world about conspiracies, UFOs and Men in Black.
Podcasting is for anyone for any reason. It empowers you with a voice that can literally reach around the world.
In order to podcast you will need to learn a few skills in this order:
1. How to record your audio and save it to an .mp3 file.2. How to create an RSS file which holds the “directions” for sending your file when a user’s program like iPodder requests it3. How to write the “directions” that are inside the RSS file4. How to upload the RSS “feed” and your .mp3 file5. How to validate that the file is written correctly and will send the file correctly.