You've always enjoyed listening to other peoples Podcasts on your iPod, but now you're ready to put your own content out there for others to enjoy. What you want to do is create a show that will update to peoples iPods whenever you put out a new episode. Podcasting is great because it takes downloading audio content further than it has been in the past. In this brief tutorial we will go through the steps of setting up your first Podcast. The first thing you will need to do decide what sort of program you want to Podcast. It can be informational, musical, comedy, cooking, or just about anything else you can imagine! Once you decide, make yourself a loose script to follow. You don't have to be precise to the word just the broad strokes, after all, you want your program to have some spontaneity. A common structure is to have a main topic that is discussed in segments. One rule of thumb is that segments for a half an hour show should be about 5-8 minutes in length. Using royalty free music allows you to incorporate mood and background to your presentation. Just look at the formats used by other Podcasts you have downloaded. Once you have penciled out a structure, you have to get your content recorded, and edited in some kind of audio editing software. From there export your file as an MP3. There are a few other file types that work with Podcasting technology, such as ACC for instance. The good thing about MP3 is that it still provides some of the better sounding compressed audio in a reasonable sized file, and it's a file type that is supported by a wider range of media playing software. You may have to some tests to see what compression works best for you. However for this exercise I will be using an MP3 file.
What we want to do now that the Podcast episode is recorded and edited is optimize it for search queries when people are looking for Podcasts. To do this open iTunes, and select your Podcast episode. While it is selected go to File>Get Info
This will bring up the following window, which has information pertaining to the file selected in iTunes. Take a moment to fill out the information about your MP3 under the "Info" tab, this information is what will make your Podcast searchable by others.
(fill out the information pertaining to your file)
Feel free to jazz up your presentation a bit by filling out information under the other tabs as well. You can include lyrics, or artwork that will be visible through the iTunes interface, or on the iPod video.
Once you have your audio file completed the next step is to get it onto the web where other people can download it to their computer, and in turn upload it to their iPod. In order to do this you will need to have access to some kind of blogging technology. Don't worry if you don't just yet, setting up a blog account is a simple process and many places offer this service free of charge. What blogs are famous for is allowing people to have accounts where they can keep an online journal of sorts...a "blog." The reason you will need this kind of technology is because it will generate what is called an RSS feed. This is something the software does in the background that you wont have to deal with. So why do you need it? Basically what this file does is let someone who subscribes to your Podcast automatically download any new episode you post, to his or her iTunes Podcast library. Sites like www.freevlog.org, which provides a free space, or www.libsyn.org which charges a fee, are two examples of places where you can set up this kind of an account. If you want to have it at your personal or company webpage, you will have to contact your web host and find out if they support blogging technology, and if so what you need to do to incorporate it into your account. Another thing to find out is what sort of bandwidth limits your account has. You don't want to accrue additional charges for exceeding your limit. For this tutorial we are going to use liberated syndication (www.libsyn.org), which provides a nice little testing area that you can use to familiarize yourself with their software, and the process of uploading a Podcast. At the time of this article you can purchase basic Podcast storage space for your episodes for only $5.00 a month. With a little research you can find places like freevlog.org, which uses the Internet Archive to provide free storage for your media.
The first step in posting our blog is to go to www.libsyn.com.
I am using them for this tutorial because they provide a testing arena where you can create a blog/Podcast, and view it live on the Internet. Once you are there, scroll down and you will see a password and username.
(testing password and username)
This name and password is to allow people to test drive their technology. Use them to log in as though you owned the place! Once there you will see a menu across the top of the page, and across the middle will be a series of boxes labeled 1-3. In the first box, which says step 1 "Setting up your Podcast," select "settings."
(select the first box marked "step 1")
The next page will you see will have a menu above it that looks like this...
(the submenu of settings)
You are currently looking at the submenu of "settings." All of these options will allow you to personalize your blog account. If your account is at a different site, it will look different of course, but should essentially offer you similar options. For the purposes of this tutorial we are only going to look at "basic," "iTunes," and "publish." Go ahead and fill in the information in the boxes with your own information if you like. It will write over the previous information that was posted. I used the alias Steve Hankey to fill mine out.
(fill out the information)
Once you have filled it out, click save changes and at the top click on "view your blogpage." You will see that the information you entered is currently at the top of the page as the new header.
(your information is now at the top of the blog)
If this were actually your account and not a test account, the previous entries would be your previous journal/Podcast entries. Since this is a test account, the previous entries are by the people who tried this out before you.
Go ahead and close out of that page and return to main libsyn.com page. Now were going to click on the "iTunes" button at the top menu. You will again get a bunch of text boxes to fill out. Go ahead and fill those out as well. Here you will identify categories, and even an image that will appear on your blog.
(fill out the iTunes information)
Once you have filled out the information and saved your changes, you are ready to move on the adding the audio file you created. Back at the top menu select the "Publish" button, this will open the following page.
(select publish, and fill out this information)
This is where you choose such things as a category and a title for your blog/Podcast. At the top make sure you select the radio button that says "Podcast" so that you will be able to post audio media. Under where it says Podcast you want to select "Choose File" and browse to where the MP3 file of your episode is saved. I saved mine in a folder within my iTunes folder, that I have specified only for my Podcasts and titled "my podcasts." (the other "Podcasts" file you may see in there is the one iTunes created for the Podcasts that I download.)
(find the MP3 of your episode)
Once you have targeted you're your file, and all of the pertinent information is filled out (I named mine "Yours and Mine"), hit the "Post" button at the bottom. Ta-dah! You've done it...welcome to the world of Podcasters (and not to mention bloggers)!
(your Podcast is published!)
Near the top of the list you will see text that reads "Yours and Mine has been published to your blog page and RSS feed."
Select the "blog page" link, and it will show you your latest blog entry.
(list of "sandbox's" latest blog entries/Podcasts)
You will see this list of Podcasts that have been done using the "sandbox" account name, with yours (the most recent) at the top. Next to your name you will see a small POD icon. Selecting it will open a web file that plays your audio content. When you are finished close that window and log out of libsyn.com. Once you actually set up an account you will be searchable on libsyn.com's directory. When someone finds you they can view your latest blog entries, listen to your audio content, and at the bottom right hand side of the page, they can select to subscribe to your Podcast through iTunes!
This tutorial is © Award Winning Music 2013