University of New Mexico
At the Valencia Campus
Philip A. Leimbach, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCDST
A Short History of Podcasting
Podcasting is a play on the words IPod and broadcasting. The term took hold about 2004 and quickly became a generically coined phrase. Podcasting allows you to publish Audio recordings, traditionally to RSS or Atom Feeds via blogs. Therefore, a Podcast is your blog read aloud. Now some of you might wonder; what is the difference between a Podcast and a Vodcast, actually it is all in the name. A Vodcast is a Video on Demand Broadcast.
Why Should You Podcast
How do you reach your students? Do you simply teach them and forget them? With Podcasting you can now allow your students a 24/7 portal to you, without phone calls or a continuous barrage of emails asking the same questions! Podcasting allows you an avenue to your students that while very similar to Blogging gives a much more personal touch!
In addition, a Podcast allows you to continue your class without using classroom space. Therefore, if you know you will be out of town, the weather is bad, or you are sick, you can build in a system where your students can grab the Podcast and
Scripting? Of course writing what you are going to say before you say it makes a world of difference. I strongly recommend scripting your content out and practicing it a few times before actually sitting down at the microphone. Remember to be thoughtful and insightful in what you are going to say, the students will not be there to ask you questions so you should consider giving them as much information as possible in anticipation of their questions. Practicing your script will allow your presentation to flow smoothly and the information to be delivered in an accurate manner.
Software & Hardware Needed to Podcast
First, we will look at the hardware you will need to Podcast. You will need a computer, yes, a laptop works well. Next, I suggest a headset with microphone, nothing fancy a $20 set from a local mass-market store will work fine. However, as you advance you might want to consider an upgrade for quality reasons. Now a standard microphone and speaker system will work, but in my experience, the quality is not as good. In addition, you have to work about technical things like feedback and echo.
There are many brand names when it comes to recording your voice for web use. With Macintosh (Apple), you can use software like Garage Band. For this class we are using Windows PC so we will look some free software called Audacity. Audacity is also available for Mac and Linux.
Audacity comes in two parts. First, Audacity itself can be found at http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/windows the second item you will more than likely need is called LAME, which can be found at http://audacity.sourceforge.net/help/faq?s=install&item=lame-mp3 both places you will also find full installation instructions. Now you will see other download options on these pages. While there is, nothing wrong with installing the add-ons I recommend learning the software before installing more than you must.
Loading the Software Up
How do I download and install the LAME MP3 encoder?
Because of software patents, we cannot distribute MP3 encoding software ourselves. Follow these instructions to use the free LAME encoder to export MP3 files with Audacity.
- Go to the LAME download page.
- Under "For Audacity on Windows", left-click on the link "libmp3lame-win-3.97.zip" and save the zip folder to anywhere on your computer.
- When you have finished downloading the ZIP folder, unzip it and save the file lame_enc.dll that it contains to anywhere on your computer.
- The first time you use the "Export as MP3" command, Audacity will ask you where lame_enc.dll is saved.
- In case of difficulty, please view our more detailed instructions at the Audacity Wiki.
Mac OS 9 or X
- Go to the LAME download page.
- Download either libmp3lame or the version of LameLib for your operating system.
- When you have finished downloading, use Stuffit Expander to extract the files. (This may happen automatically.)
- Save the file called "LameLib" or libmp3lame.dylib anywhere on your computer.
- The first time you use the "Export as MP3" command, Audacity will ask you where LameLib or libmp3lame.dylib is saved.
Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista: Audacity 1.2.6 installer (.exe file, 2.1 MB) – Is the latest version of the free Audacity audio editor. The actual link is http://sourceforge.net/project/downloading.php?group_id=6235&filename=audacity-win-1.2.6.exe this link will start the download process and just follow the instructions on the screen.
Windows 95 and NT are not supported.
The values in the "Recommended RAM/processor speed" column below are for tasks like recording for an hour, or editing three 20-minute tracks simultaneously. The values in the "Minimum RAM/processor speed" column will be fine for smaller/shorter tasks, especially if unnecessary programs are closed.
Windows 98, ME
128 MB / 500 MHz
64 MB / 300 MHz
Windows 2000, XP
512 MB/1 GHz
128 MB/300 MHz
Windows Vista Home Basic
2 GB / 1 GHz
512 MB / 1 GHz
Windows Vista Home Premium/
4 GB / 2 GHz
1 GB / 1 GHz
Table 1 Requirments for Audacity
Recording Your Podcast
Table 2 Screen Shot of Audacity
In this section, we will discuss the basic menus and the buttons need to start a Podcast
Edit Your Podcast
Below is the basic editing screen. We will not discuss editing in depth, which is something for you to learn as you get more experience.
Table 3 Scree Shot of Audacity in Edit Mode
Publish Your Podcast
So, now your podcast is done! How do you get it published to the masses or at least your class? The easiest way is to publish your podcast to your University of New Mexico website. From there you can easily link it to your blog or class wiki.
The Basic Steps of Publishing Your Podcast
To publish your podcast to the internet, you usually need to do the following:
- Register a Web Address – also called a domain name
- Find/Buy Web Hosting – to store your blog/site and your audio files on the internet
- Start a Blog - this is your web site for posting your show notes, links, etc.
- Create an RSS Feed – this is the feed that your listeners subscribe to so they can automatically download new episodes of your podcast
These four things make up a typical podcast hosting setup for publishing your show to the internet: web address, hosting, blog & RSS feed. There are a number of tools and services you can use for each of these four things. (Orden)
Sale Your Podcast
How do your students know about your Podcast? How do your co-workers, family and friends know about your Podcast? Why should anyone worry about a Podcast?
Well it is obvious your producing it for your students, so you must reinforce every class where and why there is a Podcast for them, at least for a few weeks. You must sale your Podcast to them as a meaningful and useful tool to ensure that your students will gain the most benefit from your hard work!
Friends, Colleagues, Associates and Enemies
Why should they care? Well the reason will vary from person to person but here are a few reasons to consider a Podcast as a valuable tool.
Friends and Family
Here is a way you can stay in constant contact with your friends and family. They will be able to watch your success and help you progress.
Colleagues and Associates
Here is where your Podcast can shine the most. How do you collaborate with others? How do you progress in your career when you are expected to work in a collaborative environment? If you Podcast while working on other projects others will see the work, you are doing, beyond just the one project. It is not unusual for people you are working with to be enthused and exhilarated by work you do outside of the actual group activities.
Podcasting is a simple process that becomes easier with time. Once you have done the initiatory you can work on building a better product and then streamlining the Podcast for maximum ease of creation with maximum effect and benefit of your students. Just remember your Podcast becomes a public document once published, so measure what you say and how you say it.
Orden, J. V. (n.d.). How to Podcast Tutorial. Retrieved from http://www.how-to-podcast-tutorial.com/21-podcast-hosting.htm