How To Create A Podcast!
There are several ways to create your first podcast. The easiest way is to use a free web service such as moozi.cc which automatically creates a podcast RSS/XML file for you.
The others require a little technical knowledge, one of which is pretty simple and uses the free services of blogger.com and soundcloud.com, while the other is more complex and requires you to have your own web hosting. For the most part, I recommend using the free service, however if you are more technically minded skip to the technical way.
Useful podcasting resources on Amazon - click here to browse our podcast store!
The Simple Non-Technical Way (approx. 2 minutes set up)
If you don't want to get your hands dirty setting up a podcast, then take a look at moozi.cc.
This site allows you to set up a free account which gives you a page to showcase music uploaded to SoundCloud, but the really cool thing is it automatically creates an iTunes-ready podcast for every public track you upload!
Setting up a SoundCloud account is free as well, and you get the option to buy additional storage space as you need it, but to start with it's probably the cheapest and easiest solution for all budding podcasters.
The Easy Technical Way (approx. 5 minutes set up)
A podcast is actually a very simple thing. It is simply an MP3 (the podcast) which is referenced by a special type of file called an RSS feed. This type of file can be understood by software such as iTunes which allows iTunes to grab the MP3 file and play it.
If you don't mind a bit of techincal poking around then another fairly simple way to get up and running with your own podcast is to use several FREE hosting services in combination with one another, and providing you already have an MP3 of your podcast, you should be able to get this up and running within the next 5 minutes if you carefully follow the instructions below:
Step by Step Guide
10th Feb 2012: Updated for newer blogger.com control panel
1) Set up a free account at soundcloud.com and upload your MP3. This website allows you to set up a basic account to store up to 2 hours worth of audio completely free of charge. There are options to upgrade if you need more space.
2) Once your MP3 is uploaded, make sure you check the boxes to make the MP3 public, downloadable and activate it for widgets.
3) Browse to your newly uploaded MP3 on Soundcloud and copy the URL (should be something like http://www.soundcloud.com/YOUR-USER-NAME/YOUR-MP3-NAME). Paste this URL into notepad and add /download.mp3 to the end of it (e.g. http://www.soundcloud.com/YOUR-USER-NAME/YOUR-MP3-NAME/download.mp3).
4) Go to blogger.com and set up a FREE blog. It doesn't matter what you call it, but it would probably be better if it was somehow related to your podcast.
5) When your blog is activated, click on the 'Settings' tab at the bottom left then click the 'Other' tab. Just to the right will be an option for RSS Enclosure Links. Set this to 'Yes' and save your blog.
6) Click the 'New Post' tab. Give the post a title and description to describe what your podcast is about then just to the right, click on 'Enclosure Link' underneath the 'Post Settings' section, and paste the amended Soundcloud URL from step 3 into the 'Add Link' box. The mime type should be added automatically. Once finished, click 'Publish'.
7) Go to feedburner.com and set up a new account, or login with your existing Google account if you have one.
8) Paste your new blogger URL (e.g http://YOURBLOG.blogspot.com) into the section which says 'Burn a Feed Right This Instant' and tick the 'I am a podcaster' box, then click 'next'. Select the RSS feed format from the options available on the next screen.
9) Give your feed a title and feed address. NOTE: Make sure you choose something relevant as this cannot be changed. Click 'next'.
10) At this point your new podcast feed is live, but we need to do one more thing to make it iTunes friendly. Click 'next' on the 'Congratulations' screen.
11) The next screen will allow you to set various options to make your podcast iTunes friendly. At the very least you should set a category, subtitle and description. Click 'next' when done.
12) The next screen will allow you to track various stats from your podcast. Very useful and well worth setting up so you can see exactly how popular your podcast is!
13) You're done! Use the various tools to share your podcast with the world. Your feed address will be http://feeds.feedburner.com/FEED-TITLE (as set in step 9). If you can't remember it just click on the RSS icon at the top left of the Feedburner screen just underneath the title and it will open in a new window.
14) To add more episodes to your podcast, simply upload another MP3 to soundcloud and follow the steps to make your MP3 downloadable (Steps 2 & 3) then add a new post to your blog in the same way as outlined in step 6. Your podcast feed will automatically be updated and everyone who subscribes to your podcast will be notified there is a new podcast to download.
The Harder Technical Way
What you will need:
1) An MP3 of your podcast
2) Some web space (if you need some web space then I recommend using One & One)
How to create the podcast:
1) Create an MP3 of what you want to broadcast (bear in mind that unless it's 100% original you could be liable for breaking copyright law, so choose what you record carefully!). If you don't know how to create an MP3 then click here and browse Google for some advice. Alternatively you could download and try some free software such as Audacity.
2) Upload your MP3 to a folder on your website (e.g. www.somewebsite.com/mypodcasts/)
3) Using the amazing FREE podcast XML source code creator, enter the relevant information for your podcast then click 'Create XML Source Code!' When the source code has been created for you, just cut and paste into your favourite HTML/text editor (not Word please, it screws up the format) and save the file as 'filename.xml'. If you don't have something like Dreamweaver then I recommend using Notepad.
4) Upload your XML file to your website (e.g. www.somewebsite.com/mypodcasts/filename.xml)
5) The link to the XML file on your website is now the active link to your podcast. Go on, give it a go! You can view an example XML file here that was created with the podcast XML source code creator. You can even link to it in your favourite podcast player such as iTunes or iPodder and listen to me (please note this Podcast is purely for demonstration purposes and is unlikely to ever be updated).
6) Once you've got your active Podcast link, you need to let people know it exists. If you want to get your Podcast published to a wider audience, then I recommend using the free Podcast submission service at www.podcastalley.com
Check out these websites for more podcasting resources
http://www.podcastingnews.com- Excellent podcast resource website including podcast news, forums and feeds
http://macs.about.com - Tools and information to help you create and publish your podcasts
http://www.podcasting-tools.com - Comprehensive website covering practically everything you need to know about podcasting
The links below are resources as recommended by the Mashable Podcasting Toolbox
Podcast Creation Guides
How To Create a Podcast – About.com’s step-by-step tutorial for podcast beginners.
iLounge Guide to Podcast Creation – another guide for creating your own podcast for absolute beginners.
Podcasting Legal Guide – find about legal issues relevant to podcasting in this Creative Commons guide.
Podcast Hosting, Sharing and Networking (Free)
Pickstation – A Digg for podcasts and music.
Collectik – “Mixtapes for podcasts”: find, share and organize podcasts.
Podbean – Free podcast hosting and publishing.
Castpost – Free hosting for audio and video clips.
HeyCast – A tool to create video podcasts. Essentially, HeyCast creates RSS feeds from any existing video files on the web. It doesn’t provide hosting or sharing features.
Blubrry – A podcast network that lets you create a podcast and browse the podcasts of others.
Evoca – “YouTube for voice recordings”: create audio recordings from your computer mic, your phone or Skype, share them with others and embed them on websites.
ThePodcastNetwork – A network of podcasts on a range of topics including business, entertainment and comedy.
MyPodcast – podcast hosting solution offering unlimited storage, bandwidth, and free templates for your podcasts.
PodServe – this service is still in alpha stage, but everyone’s invited to try it out. It offers a hosting space for your podcast and a directory of user-created podcasts.
PodcastPeople – a service that enables you to post text, audio and video materials to your own customized show, and even earn some income from it through sponsors.
PCastBaby – free podcast hosting service offering 10MB of storage space and unlimited bandwidth.
Podomatic – create, find and share podcasts with this free service.
Blubrry – create your podcast on Blubrry; browse through other podcasts and create your personal playlist.
Podango – get free unlimited hosting for your podcast and share ad revenue with Podango 50/50.
Podbridge – Provides podcast metrics and advertising.
Podtrac – a service that connects podcasters with advertisers.
Veodia – Create live TV shows and convert them to video podcasts.
Blip.tv – A “video podcasting” service. Broadly similar to YouTube, but the focus is on independent creators, who get a share of revenue.
Text to Podcasts
BlueGrind – Converts text (especially blogs) into podcasts.
Feed2Podcast – Convert any RSS feed into a podcast.
Talkr – Convert blogs to audio podcasts.
Odiogo – convert RSS feeds, text articles and blog posts to podcasts.
Podcasts to Text
CastingWords – a podcast transcription service that converts podcasts to text for $0.75 minute. It employs human transcribers.
Grepr Podcasts – A directory that makes recommendations by finding patterns in your interests and comparing the interests of others.
Yahoo Podcasts – Explore podcasts, listen to them, subscribe to them and even create your own.
MobilCast – directory of podcasts and radio shows, complete with playlists.
PodcastAlley – a podcast directory with over 30,000 podcasts. Maintains a monthly top list.
DigitalPodcast – a simple, categorized podcast directory
Podcast.net – a very comprehensive podcast directory; contains tens of thousands of podcasts.
PodcastDirectory.com – a directory of podcasts with a top list, a list of featured podcasts, and categorization.
PodcastDirectory.org- a simple directory with a very clean layout.
Podfeed.net – on Podfeed you can host and share your podcast, find podcasts, as well as read and write podcast reviews.
iAmplify – A premium directory where you pay to download self-help podcasts.
Earkive – Directory that lets you listen to podcasts on your phone (mobile or landline)
Talkshoe – Create your own live talkshow or interactive podcast.
Waxxi – Audio shows streamed live, mainly with notable technologists. Once recorded, the live shows are available as podcasts.
NowLive – A social network that lets anyone create a live, interactive talk show.
Podcast Hosting (Premium)
PodcastSpot – Offers both free and premium podcast hosting.
SwitchPod – a podcast hosting service, with unmetered bandwidth, statistics and even some promotional opportunities.
Hipcast – create audio, video materials and podcasts and post them to your blog.
Libsyn – Liberated Syndication will host your podcasts for a modest monthly fee.
Everyzing – Audio and video search engine.
Podscope – an audio and video search engine that searches the words spoken in podcasts.
Pluggd – Discover and share podcasts, and search for specific parts of podcasts using advanced search technology called HearHere.
PodNova – Podcast search and community.
Podcast Creation Software (Offline)
Propaganda – Create professional podcasts including background music, jingles, crossfading and more. Windows only. Free trial, $49.95 to buy.
Audacity – Free, open source software for recording and editing audio. Versions for Mac OS X, Windows, GNU and other operating systems.
Adobe Soundbooth – Advanced audio editing from Adobe. Windows and Mac. Free trial, $199 to buy.
Wildvoice Podcast Studio – Record audio, add music and sound effects and upload to Wildvoice.com or other sites. Windows only.
SnapKast – Podcast creation for Windows. $79.99.
Podcast Creation Software (Online)
Odeo – Perhaps the most popular podcasting platform. It allows you to record audio within your browser, embed it anywhere and create your own audio channels.
Hipcast – Record high-quality audio right through the web browser or your phone. No additional software needed.
Gcast – Record, mix and broadcast your podcasts. You can record messages by phone and upload MP3 files from your computer.
Podomatic – This site lets you record video and audio online directly from your browser. You can also receive in line calls from listeners wanting to leave voice comments.
ClickCaster – create, broadcast and sell your very own radio shows and podcasts. You can record audio right from your browser or upload an existing MP3.
Wild Voice Shout Recorder – Online service that lets you record audio files through an intuitive interface but doesn’t let you edit them or add special effects.
Miscellaneous Podcast Tools
Enablr – make your podcasts indexed and searchable.
PodShow – a network that brings audio, video, podcasts, and music to your computer, iPod, mobile device, or television.
Divicast – enhance your podcast with images and text and share it with everyone.
Divvycast – where podcasting and music meet. Helps bands to create podcasts.
Podbop – Find bands in your city and download free MP3s to your iPod to preview their music ahead of the show.
Noisely – Enter a subject you’re interested in, and Noisely serves up a selection of podcasts you’ll like. Press play, and all the ‘casts stream continuously until you stop them.
Other Useful Resources
Locksmith London – Very useful site if you ever find yourself locked out in London (like I did!). The guy that turned up got me back into my house within 5 minutes so thanks Mr Locksmith!
Sell My Tablet – Want to sell or recycle your tablet? This website guarantees the best resell prices in the UK
Podcasting Articles and Advice
Creating a Podcast
When recording an audio podcast the show should be recorded in the highest quality possible. One of the best, and most simple, programs out there for audio recording and editing is Audacity; coincidentally it is also free. After recording you should export your audio into MP3 format, which has become the standard for podcasts, although there are many podcasts available in WMV (Windows Media) format also. However, exporting your podcast in anything other than MP3 format may mean that some users will not be able to listen to your podcasts.
When creating your MP3 you should keep the following in mind about quality. A 64k bit-rate is great for talk radio, audio books, talk radio with background music, and just about anything else you can think of. However, if you are intent on publishing quality music, if you are say a musician or DJ, then you should strongly consider publishing your content in a 128k bit-rate.
There are also podcasters who choose to include ID3 tags. The most frequently used ones are title (the title of the show), and artist (mostly the podcaster), although I have seen podcasters also include genre, year, and even comments. This isn't a bad idea, particularly if you are a musician, but also for those who may save their own podcasts.
After creating your audio media, you must upload it to your website for distribution.
Next comes the task of creating the RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. A RSS feed contains all the needed information about your podcast, and points prospective listeners to both your website and to your hosted audio files on the Internet. Some podcasters create their own feeds by hand, but for many people this is a fairly difficult task to undertake. There are many free options available on the Internet for creating your podcast feed, but I would personally recommend FeedForAll, a quality program that can be downloaded for a modest price, available at www.feedforall.com. Not only do these programs help you properly format your RSS feed, which is essential, so that everyone may be able to read it, but they also simplify the entire process.
One of the major mistakes I see with podcasts is that many podcasters fail to provide detailed descriptions for their podcast series and individual shows. It is unfortunate that all too often many podcasters may include only a few words or no description at all for their series or shows. This is a major selling point for your podcast, and should not be overlooked; many times this is the only chance that a podcaster will have to sell their podcast to potential listeners.
The podcast series description should be brief but descriptive, containing 75-100 words (approximately 4-5 full sentences), and should give your listeners the gist of what the podcast series is about. Information such as the host's name, any credentials, and when and how often the podcast is updated, are all very important to include.
Item descriptions, or descriptions of individual shows, should be detailed about the show. It is not necessary to include information about the entire show, but should always contain information on at least the first one-half of the show. Many successful podcasters item descriptions are only a transcript of their verbal intro at the beginning of the show. The item description should also be approximately 75-100 words, and should contain talking points for the show, music line-up, or other relevant information. It is also important to note that the item description for a show can also contain HTML coding, allowing you to create hyperlinks or include images.
Another important aspect of creating your RSS feed is to include an [image] element in your feed; although it is not required for the functionality of your RSS feed, it is almost a necessity. Many podcasters call this album art, or a cover; it is extremely important for branding purposes.
After finishing up your RSS feed and saving it you should upload the feed to your website.
Finally, it is up to you to get your feed out onto the Internet. Publishing the feed on your homepage is not enough. You should take the time to list your podcast in several podcast directories/portals.