Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

Lesson 10: Podcasting

Posted by Adam Graham on April 29, 2007

Of all the lessons we’ve covered, these last two will be the ones that are most revised, because they are the least fully formed of new media technologies.

What is podcasting:

No doubt, you’ve seen the popular I-pods that are everywhere, generally these are used for downloading music, but some enterprising individuals have had the idea of creating files like talkshows which can be downloaded onto I-pods, thus Podcast.

A Podcast will be:

1) A MP3 File
2) Accessible through an RSS feed so that Itunes and other readers can download them.

There are numerous ways to achieve this. There are services that hosts podcast, which will give you a free feed. You can also upload podcasts onto your own server and then link to them on your blog, and feed your blog through Feedburner.

You also want to insure you add your podcast to the Itunes Store.

The Benefits of Podcasting:

1) It is less time consuming

2) It is a pioneer market

3) It is accessible to our culture.

Hosting Your Podcast (what you need)

1) I reccomend a Skype Account. Skype is a great service that allows you to call any number in America with no charge for $29.95 a year. You can also call up to nine different people at once, so you can easily call multiple guests at once and it’s right at your computer with your news stories that you’ll want to talk about.

2) A good headset. When I first started out, I used a cell phone. Then I used a little strap on headset that had come with a camera phone. My reccomendation is a good over the ears, stereo headset with a good mike. Since I began to use that, it’s fundamentally changed the way I podcast. I’m getting better sound, I’m feeling more comfortable because I don’t have to fiddle with a phone or ear clip microphone.

3) Audacity. If you’re going to podcast, you need Audacity. This goes back to why I reccomend you record through Skype. When you do, you can set audacity to record your podcast as a back-up. One of my big frustrations early in podcasting,(which led to early retirement from podcasting) is that I would phone in a podcast and it would not post and I’d have to call it back in. Using Audacity, you never have to do that, if you’re using Skype as well. Set Audacity to record Stereo Mix and it will record everything you’re saying as well as anything guests are saying to you and you can upload it later.

4) A Way to Publish Podcasts: There are many phone only services out there, where basically you phone in your show, do it live and that’s that. I used these for the first 200 odd podcasts and I don’t reccomend them. Any good podcasting service will have the ability to upload files. This way you can upload a back-up in case your phone recording fails.

I reccomend TalkShoe because I use it. One of the most interesting benefits of it is that TalkShoe pays you to podcast on the basis of how many downloads you can get. It also provides you interactivity by allowing people to call in and join the show. Blog Talk Radio is another service that does the same thing, but without paying you for doing podcasts.

Now, some people will consider networks that pay to be somewhat base. Make money? How impure. Well, there’s no better way to make something easier to do it than to throw in some money for doing it.

In my opinion, it beats the alternative of the costs on the other end of the podcasting spectrum. Hosting a podcast on your own server can be an expensive and time consuming proposition.

Success can become your enemy. What do I mean? Well, a good quality MP3 is going to take a little less than 1 MB for every single minute. If I do a half hour show, it’s going to take 28 MB. If I have 200 MB of disk space, after about 7 shows, I’m going to run out of space. Even if I have 400 or 500 MB, I’m going to run out. But there’s another issue that’s an even bigger concern. It’s called Bandwidth. Bandwidth is the amount of downloaded information that’s allowed to come off your server. Everytime someone downloads your 28 MB podcasts, it takes away 28 MB of bandwidth. If you have a reasonable server size, lets say 3 GB of Space, and 200 GB of Bandwidth, you’re going to go along for quite sometime without any problem.

But success will come back to bite you. I took a look at last week’s downloads and found that 62% of downloads from my political podcast where from prior weeks. Basically, once you post these things, these podcasts get downloaded months and years later. What does that mean for you? As your podcast grows, more people will download your podcast, more people will download your prior episodes and it won’t be too long until you have more than 7142 download attempts of your podcasts in a month. If you’re going to do this on your own server, you’re going to need high capacity bandwidth limits.

A great service I’ve heard of is Ten Buck Terabyte where you can get a Terrabyte of space for about $4.69 a month. You will really want to stay up on your usage to make sure you don’t go over, because then you’ll want to upgrade. But for a half hour show, that’ll mean 35,000 downloads a month and you’ve got that type of traffic, I’d humbly suggest it’s time to monetize to help pay for some of your expenses.

But I’d rather not worry about it, so I prefer to use another service and just link to the podcast on my blog. If you’re interested in finding out more about Talkshoe, e-mail me, and I’ll send you a link and information. I’ll be honest that I get referral credit on it. It doesn’t cost you any money, but if you decide to use them and make money with TalkShoe and you heard about it hear, it’d be nice to get credit for it. There’s no cost to you for me getting the referral credit.

Regardless, I hope you consider the world of podcasting, because it truly will be the next thing in new media.

Click here to download the podcast.

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