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What is Podcasting? Edit

Podcasting is the merging of two technologies: Downloadable media (audio, usually) and RSS.

Downloadable media is simply a file (such as MP3) stored on a server that users can download and listen to. RSS is a technology that allows a user to subscribe to a podcast and have episodes automatically downloaded to their computer.


RSS Edit

RSS (an acronym used to define the standards Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary) is a way of getting content on the Web. Instead of navigating to a web site to repeatedly check for updated content, RSS automatically brings the updated content for you.

RSS requires you to have a kind of software called a News Reader or Aggregator. Many web sites provide links to files called RSS Feeds that contain information about updated content. For example, CNN.com supplies an RSSFeed that contains continuously updated headlines. Using a News Reader, you can subscribe to the Headlines RSS Feed, and whenever the feed is updated, you can read the new headlines in your news reader.

Some News Readers are software based, meaning you install them on your computer and they function as a program separate from your web browser. Other News Readers are browser based, basically web sites that allow you to subscribe to the RSS feeds of other web sites and view their content inside the browser.

A podcast is what you get when you upload a media files, such as an MP3, to a web site and provide an RSS Feed for it.

RSS Enclosure Tags are hyperlinks to media files used to attach media to RSS feeds.


Client Software Edit

  • Podcast Tuner
    • Subscribes to podcasts with a single click and reports at a glance what shows have new content available. Podcast Tuner integrates audio playback inside the application. Also, displays OPML show notes without launching a browser, and sends only designated content to iTunes. (Feb. 2005 alpha release)
  • Juice
    • Formerly iPodder, Juice Receiver (http://www.juicereceiver.com) is a cross-platform media aggregator and podcast player with a built-in podcast directory.
  • Doppler
    • A Windows client that focuses on ease of use and customization. Features include: drag and drop URL for subscriptions; scheduled feed retrieving; multiple filters to customize the numer of files to download, size of downloads, text, and more.
  • NetNewsWire
    • NetNewsWire is now more focused on reading news, with lots of new newsreading features, including podcast and OPML support. Download audio files and other enclosures; send audio files to iTunes.


OPML/Outliners Edit

OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language) is an XML-based format that allows exchange of outline-structured information between applications running on different operating systems and environments. Many elements of the podcast environment are generated and managed with Outliner applications. Program subscription lists, podcast directories, show notes, and more are all easily managed and distributed using OPML files.


How to Produce a Podcast Edit

  • Record and edit the podcast
    • Use the record capability of your computer (use a microphone) or simple recording software like Audacity, FreeAmp, Peak Express, or ProTools.
    • Save the recording as an MP3 file @ 32-64 kps.
  • Put MP3 file in RSS Enclosure
    • You can either "hand code" them, use your blog software, or use special software like Feedburner or Feed for All.
  • Publish changes to blog or web
    • Web or blog publishing software that supports RSS enclosures is required.
  • Configure news reader software
    • News reader software will automatically download selected podcasts on the schedule set by the subscriber and put them directly into the folder of their media player.
  • Synchronize media player
    • Many media players, such as iTunes, Windows Media Player or MusicMatch can be used to play, organize, and synchronize podcasts.


Podcasting Tutorials Edit

Recording Equipment Edit

These equipment packages are viable for recording professional quality audio of public presentations. Recorded audio could be used for podcast programming, educational content, research and/or other distribution applications.

  • Presenter Audio Only
    • Wireless lavalier (lapel) mic (Sennheiser Evolution G2 100 Series - $499.99)
    • Multi-channel audio mixer (Yamaha MG102 - $99.00)
    • Digital audio recorder (Marantz PMD660 - $499.95)
    • Assorted cabling
  • Mixed Recording of Presenter and Audience Questions
    • Wireless handheld mic (Sennheiser Evolution G2 100 Series - $499.99)
    • Wireless lavalier (lapel) mic (Sennheiser Evolution G2 100 Series - $499.99)
    • Multi-channel audio mixer (Yamaha MG102 - $99.00)
    • Digital audio recorder (Marantz PMD660 - $499.95)
    • Assorted cabling

The following packages would enable professional quality audio production for original podcast programming including "in-studio" interviews.

  • Podcast Host Only
    • Studio mic (Heil PR40 - $269.95)
    • Multi-channel audio mixer (Yamaha MG102 - $99.00)
    • Digital audio recorder (Marantz PMD660 - $499.95)
    • Assorted cabling
  • Podcast Host and Interview Subject
    • Two studio mics (Heil PR40 - $539.90)
    • Multi-channel audio mixer (Yamaha MG102 - $99.00)
    • Digital audio recorder (Marantz PMD660 - $499.95)
    • Assorted cabling

These recommendations are provided as a general guide, and do not represent all possible or reasonable options. Similar equipment is available from a wide variety of manufactures and vendors. Generally, the suggested price ranges will be fairly consistent among different manufactures of similar equipment.

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