How To Podcast In 6 Easy StepsHow To Podcast In 6 Easy Steps

Getting started with podcasting is easy. All you need is a computer with an Internet link and a portable media player. I'm going to provide you with 6 easy steps to help you create your very own podcast. If you still have questions, there are other articles to help you at www.findpodcasts.net. So here you go:

1. CREATE YOUR CONTENT - This is really the most fun part of podcasting. You can create a podcast for just about anything you can dream up. You can talk about religious, politics, entertainment or even your kids. Really, the content can be anything. There's no formula for what makes great podcast content.

It also doesn't matter what platform or application you use to record the audio, or whether you're using a PC or a Mac. Don't worry about the quality of the microphone or the recording. Especially when you're just starting out, it's more important to actually finish making your podcast than anything else. One option to consider is Audacity, a free open source application that let's you mix together multiple audio files. On the Mac, GarageBand is a popular choice, because it is free and also powerful.

2. SAVE! SAVE! SAVE! Once you've created the content, make sure to save your finished audio show at maximum quality in the native format of your audio application. That way you can go back and edit or reuse it and you'll have a good version.

3. CONVERT. Now that you've saved the audio file you have to save it to MP3 format. MP3 is the defacto standard format for podcasts since it's the most universal. Stick with MP3 unless you've got a very good reason for using another format. Using anything else will mean that some users may not be able to listen to your podcast.

Use the minimum bit rate that provide good results. Here are some suggested settings:

* 48 - 56k Mono - sermons, audio books, talk radio
* 64k+ Stereo - music, music & talk combinations
* 128k Stereo - good quality music

4. PUBLISH. Save your MP3 files to your web server, and test them with any MP3 player. The files can go anywhere on your site, but you may want to put all of them into one directory, so they are easy to find and manage.

5. CREATE A NEWSFEED - Podcast feeds are RSS files that describe your podcast, along with information for each show. An RSS file is bascially just a text file linking to your MP3 file. RSS newsfeeds normally feature news Items that contain a title, link and description. Each item in a news feed provides meta-information about a URL on the web. In the case of a podcast newsfeed, each item describes the content of an audio file referenced by the enclosure URL. Save your RSS file with a .rss or .xml extension.

Normally, you'll want to have one news feed that contains all of your recent podcasts, ordered from newest to oldest.

6. PUBLISH YOUR NEWSFEED - Transfer your podcast RSS file to your webserver, like you would any other content. Validate it using an online RSS validator. If the podcast news feed is valid, it's ready to be published to the web.

That's it! Check your podcast and publicize it. Several designers have come up with some great podcasting logos, so make sure you make it easy to find your podcast.

by S Wright
References and Bibliography

About the Author

Steve Wright is the webmaster for the podcasting community at http://www.findpodcasts.com Go there to find helpful tools, ask questions, read articles, and increase your podcasting knowledge.

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