What is a Podcast? Despite the implication that it must involve an iPod, this is not the case, and although Apple’s iTunes software is a popular destination for many podcasts ( iTunes makes subscribing to Podcasts easy for listeners, so even though it requires extra steps from producers to submit, most prefer to do so), iTunes is not necessary for a podcast either. This basic definition from wikipedia is a useful starting point:
“A podcast is a digital audio or video file that is episodic; downloadable; program-driven, mainly with a host and/or theme; and convenient, usually via an automated feed with computer software.”
– Wikipedia via Academics at the Community, Journalism & Communication Research group at the University of Texas at Austin.
And this weeks reading ( as discussed by radioblaster and nikkichook), expands on that definition, outlining some of the technical foundations that make it possible, and some of the social uses that spring from this.
Some Example Podcasts?
Technopodcast – note their automated availability via itunes, soundcloud, mixcloud, twitter and facebook.
Rocketboom.com – daily 3 minute dose of net culture as a video. ( Which dovetails podcasting with ‘video blogging‘ )
Radiolab ( WNYC ) – An existing radio show expanding it’s reach.
Why Make A Podcast?
Where is your potential audience? How can you remove barriers to them finding out about your work? How can you adapt your own workflow to take advantage of automated systems? What are the strengths and weaknesses of subscription based media / feed based media / push (notification) based media?
How To Make A Podcast
b) Rolling your own, with all the added customisation ( and potential monetisation ) benefits
Wikihow’s guide to making a podcast is probably the simplest set of instructions available online, boiling the process down to:
– deciding on what type of material you will produce (research + planning )
– recording, producing
– Adding metadata – ‘Tag it, give it ID information (Artist, Album) and give it album art.’
– Creating an RSS Podcast Feed (using a blog and the Feedburner service)
– Uploading your .mp3 ( to any site or server that will generate a media file URL that ends with .mp3 )
– Make a blog post, and including a direct link to the .mp3 file ( This will enable Podcast software to auto-download it for any subscribers)
– Add a podcast button and link for people to subscribe to your show
More details are included in the Wikihow guide, but those are the basic steps. Another guide?
c) Adding your podcast to iTunes?
Generating a Podcast from Soundcloud
Soundcloud wrote in January 2011, that they will ‘soon’ be offering podcasting abilities from within Soundcloud:
“We’ll soon be able to offer RSS feed capability for your tracks and will be rolling this out slowly with selected users. If you’d like to apply to be included in this program and possibly have the chance to become a featured podcaster, just fill in the form below… SIGN UP FOR BETA ACCOUNT! Check out our SoundCloud for Podcasts 101 and Podcasting 101 for further details on the features and technical side of podcasting.”
You can see this being rolled out already with some Soundcloud artist pages that have an RSS icon, such as Create Digital Music ( a podcast to accompany their website ) ,whose Soundcloud page has this RSS address. In the meantime, this useful script at Cloudflipper, makes it easy to generate podcasts from Soundcloud artists, and subscribe to these with say Google reader, or any dedicated podcast software. Examples?
Group Research Tasks: (To be done in class today, in separate groups)
1. Popular software (mac and PC) for subscribing and listening to Podcasts? List some of the key distinguishing features. Make a recommendation for best mac and PC software.
2. Research cost for:
– buying your own domain name
– buying your own server space
– having your own custom email address ( eg email@example.com )
3. Find examples of podcasts that have large audiences, and find examples of podcasters who appear to be making some form of income from podcasting.
Creative Task: (To be done in class today)
– Brainstorm a podcast that could take advantage of remote collaborations ( eg something as involved as co-editing, co-curating, remixing, or something as casual as using specific twitter hashtags ),
– Think of a suitable name for your podcast, and a suitable domain name.
– Write a brief blurb describing your podcast.
– Describe some ideas about how you might use social media for research, collaboration, production and promotion of your podcast.
– Outline potential roles for delegating between participants.
– Develop a simple budget that would show the minimum costs needed.
– Publish as a blog post.
Individual Research Task :
Find a good podcast worth sharing with your peers. Write a brief blog post that includes a link, summarises the podcast and describes what makes it successful. When publishing your blog post, use a subject line like this: “Podcast: Name of chosen podcast”. This should deliver us a large range of podcasts from the group as a whole.