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Welcome to "How I Make Podcasts" - So you can make great Podcasts.
Written by Ray Basso   
Saturday, 12 June 2004
PodCast Secrets from someone who makes podcasts

So what is a podcast?  Simply put it's an mp3 file that can be downloaded from a web page either directly or by RSS Feed.  The term podcasting is a word made out of combining two words:  iPod and Broadcasting.  However you don't need an iPod to listen to podcasts.  At the same time one of the really great things about podcast is you can download them to your iPod or Mp3 player and take them with you and listen to them when you have time.  You don't have to set in front of your computer to listen to podcasts.  It's just that iPods became popular about the same time podcasting became popular. 

 

I made my first real Podcast on August 15, 2005.  It wasn't long ago but there were not many podcasts on the Internet at that time. I own and operate many web pages and one of the most popular one is The BBQ ForumI have had this very active forum since 1995 and I am always looking for new Internet technology to entertain the good people who visit this forum.  It was a couple of months before I made my first podcast that I started hearing about podcasts.  Podcasting really got started big time in 2005 but there was not much information on the Internet telling you how to make one.  Most of the information I found recommended that you use some equipment but I had trouble finding out just how to use the tools to produce a good podcast.

 

Podcasts would have never been popular if it wasn't for broadband Internet connections.  Around 1998 I experimented with recording interviews on a tape recorder and then converted the interviews into mp3 files.  I put one of them on a web page and all I got was complaints because the file was way too big for download by dial up Internet connections.  By 2005 broadband was common and a 15 meg file could be downloaded in about 15 seconds instead of 30 minutes or more by dial up connection.

 

That first podcast in 2005 was just me talking into a small very cheep microphone plugged into my computer.  I saved it as an mp3 file and uploaded it to The BBQ Forum web page.  I told everyone on the forum that it was a podcasts.  A lot of people downloaded it and I was in the podcasting business.  Since then I have made about 25 other podcasts.  All of my podcasts were made to discuss Barbecue and Archery, (not the biggest audience in the world) never the less they have been downloaded over 30,000 times.  The quality of my podcasts have grown a great deal since the first one.  I have experimented with every low cost piece of software I could find and found a couple that work very well.  I have learned how to record the podcasts, mix them, compress them, low and behold the latest ones are really good.

 

I would like to see podcasting grow even faster then it is now.  I think one of the reasons it is not growing at a faster rate is the lack of good step by step tutorials.  So I decided to write this web page to help everyone out.  In this web page I will tell you every thing I have learned about making podcasts from recording to promoting and everything else in between.  I will tell you how to get your podcast listed on web pages and listed on the itunes web page.   In addition I have a forum on this web page so we can all help each other make better podcasts.

 

The tools I will tell you about is the things I have found that work.  I am sure that some of you will be able to find other tools that work well. 

 

 

Last Updated ( Sunday, 16 July 2006 )
 
Podcasting how big is it?
Written by Ray Basso   
Friday, 21 July 2006

Podcasting is very big and getting bigger on the Internet all the time.  In a recent Nielsen/Net Ratings  list it was announced that 6.6% of the population or 9.2 million web users recently downloaded a podcast.

The screen shot on the left shows a search on Google Trends for the word "podcast."  The growth rate of people searching on "podcast" show an obvious growth.  If your not involved in podcasting then you better get started.  These figures put the podcasting population on a par with those who publish blogs, 4.8 percent, and online daters, 3.9 percent. To put this in perspective, though, Nielsen notes that podcasting is not nearly as popular as paying bills online, 51.6 percent, or online job hunting, 24.6 percent.

"The portability of podcasts makes them especially appealing to young, on-the-go audiences," said Michael Lanz, analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings. "We can expect to see podcasting become increasingly popular as portable content media players proliferate," he continued.

Young people are more likely than their older counterparts to engage in audio or video podcasting. Web users between the ages 18 and 24 are nearly twice as likely as the average Web user to download audio podcasts, followed by users in the 25-34 and 35-44 age groups, who were also more likely than the average Web user to do audio podcasting.

 

Last Updated ( Friday, 21 July 2006 )
 
About My Podcasts
Written by Ray Basso   
Wednesday, 07 July 2004

You need to know a bit about the podcasts that I have made because this will explain a lot about the layout of this tutorial.  All of my podcast have been "interview" podcasts.  Also all of the these interviews have been made over the telephone except for the first Podcast that I made.  My first podcast was me just talking into a cheep microphone that was plugged into he back of my computer. 

 

All the rest of them have been me interviewing people, talking to them on the telephone.  I recorded the conversation in real time, directly to the computer.  The reason I made this type of podcasts is because, that's what I wanted to do.  I wanted to interview personalities in the barbecue world around the country.  These people were all famous in the world of barbecue cooking, in particular, the world of competition barbecue cooking.  It seemed to me to be a great way to give people a chance to learn about these great cooks and actually hear them talk about barbecue cooking.  Later on I did some podcasts with people involved in archery.  Archery is a sport that I have always been fond of. 

 

Some of these interviews were local telephone calls in Kansas City, MO USA.  Other interviews were long distance in the USA and I did one podcast interview from Kansas City to Australia.  They all worked well and they were all single one on one interviews.  There is no reason why these interviews couldn't have been with more that one person on a conference call.    You should also know that I have had absolutely no experience interviewing anyone, before I started doing these interviews.   Yet they still came out well and have been downloaded tens of thousands of times.  This same type of interview could be conducted remotely using a portable tape recorder and a microphone.  After the interview with one or more people (like a sporting event) and then could be transferred from the tape to your computer.

 

All of the interviews were done without the aid of a script.  I did have some notes in front of me sometimes but I found it difficult to conduct the interviews and read my notes at the same time.  So I just imagined that the interviews were just phone calls and I just tried to talk normally.  While all of my podcasts were of one type,  the experience I gained has given me a lot of confidence.   I would feel very comfortable doing an interview in a studio with a couple of people. 

 

If you start off with studio type podcasts then your going to have to have a lot more equipment then to do interviews over the phone.  Basically to do the interview type podcasts all you need is, a computer, telephone, a telephone pick up device and some software.  You don't even need a microphone because later on I will tell you how to use your telephone as a microphone.

 

My telephone connection has been voice over internet conversations.  These VOIP phone companies offer free long distance, and very reasonable international calls.  The company I use is Vonage.  I almost hate to mention the telephone company I use because the Internet if full with people complaining about this company but I like them and have had very good service with them.  So you can do interviews with anyone anywhere in the world and not spend hardly any money.   The possibilities for this type of podcast is endless.  

 

Now that you have the background information for the podcasts that I have made, I'm going to do is tell you how I did them step by step.  If you just do what I did in the beginning you will have good results.  Then later on you can change the way you do the podcasts. 

 

Last Updated ( Friday, 28 July 2006 )