Would you like to be a podcaster? You may have particular goals for a podcast series: or you may have always wanted to be on the radio. Whatever your reason podcasting is not a difficult task, but it does take time and effort to do it well.
There are numerous methods with which one can create a podcast. I'll discuss some of these and will provide links to some of the many excellent sites which explain how to use podcasting software and hardware.
The first step in creating a podcast is planning. Who is your audience and how will you reach them? How will they know that your podcast exists? Let's assume that you've done that and that you'll be making your podcast available through iTunes and via your website as well.
Use a written script, but make it sound live. One can deviate from a script, add to it, and, of course, edit it. But trying to do programs without at least written discussion points is difficult and risky. Interviews are different, but the interviewer still may want to have written questions or topics.
If you've had radio or public speaking experience you'll know something about voice quality and the benefits of using quality microphones. Many podcasts are made using inexpensive USB microphones and even microphones that are built into computers. The resulting podcasts are usually of reasonable quality. Recording Your Podcast is a clear, concise summary of what makes a good recording.
Apple's Podcasting Recipe: Producing a successful show is free, on-demand, three-part seminar on high quality podcasting using GarageBand. There are many other descriptions of how to create a podcast, but this one is in-depth, entertaining and easy to understand. It's an online seminar that you may go back to several times as you create your podcasts.
While GarageBand and Audacity are powerful, professional programs QuickTime Pro is relatively easy to use and produces high quality podcasts. Creating Audio Podcasts and Creating Video Podcasts provide the information needed to record podcasts with QuickTime Pro on the Mac. QuickTime Pro can also be used to create audio podcasts on Windows.
Completed podcasts must reside somewhere: iTunes links to podcasts, it does not put them on its servers.
One of the easiest ways of posting a podcast is to use iWeb with GarageBand. I have a Mac MobileMe account so posting is easy and fast. iWeb can also export your podcast to anywhere using FTP.
I posted a podcast entitled The Cypress Hills using iWeb as a demonstration for this blog entry. I used GarageBand and recorded my comments using a Zoom H2 microphone.
One can also export a podcast to disk from GarageBand and then use it in any blog or website.
Creating a podcast is similar to creating a brochure or a visual presentation (Keynote or PowerPoint). First, we understand what can be done, and, second, we do it. There is a learning curve, but the process gets easier as you gain experience.