Matt\’s Cuppa

My take on tea, technology, and our environment

On Podcasting

Posted by telecommatt on March 2, 2007

I was asked recently to throw together a few resources for creating podcasts on the cheap. After trolling around the web, I’m of the opinion that the best option for getting into podcasting is choosing an online podcasting community rather than going the I-can-do-it-myself route. If you have a life and are not willing to sit down and learn the ins and outs of RSS and XML feeds, W3C standards, server-side scripts, etc., a ready-made community is the way to go. These offer you space to put up your shows with little hassle and will allow you to use their tools to record your show or to upload one you’ve recorded previously using software such as Audacity (see below). Once you’ve gotten comfortable with the actual recording, tagging, and subscriber management, you can fill in the pieces of the previously mentioned technology at your leisure. Below are a few of the podcast community sites that I’ve toyed with. Gcast is my current favorite. I like the mixer that lets me record short snippets and strings them together into one longer show. And I can record from my phone, so I can podcast about my life as it happens. PodOmatic comes in at #2 because I like the interface and the “podmail” option so I can send unsolicited podcast episodes to my little bro just to annoy him.

Gcast

http://www.gcast.com/

This site aims to make podcasting “So easy your grandma could do it.” Here’s how it works. You call a toll free number, enter your ID and PIN, and start talking. Talk for 30 seconds or 30 minutes, it doesn’t matter. When you’re done, you can publish your podcast as is or save it to be mixed with other audio files via their online interface. People can listen to your podcast via an embedded Gcast player on your website, via your podcast feed, or via email subscription for those who don’t have podcast management software such as iTunes.

Pros: FREE! Easy to use. Can record from anywhere (assuming you have a mobile phone, of course.)
Cons: You’re recording with a telephone. Audio quality will be the same as a telephone call. The site mention that they are ad supported. This may be a distraction to some listeners.

ClickCaster
http://www.clickcaster.com/

ClickCaster is a podcast sharing site. It’s a social site where you can subscribe to podcasts, share podcasts, discuss podcasts, and create your own podcasts via telephone or upload.

Pros: FREE! Allows podcasting via telephone or uploading a pre-recorded podcast. Create a community around your podcasts. Allows you to charge for podcasts.
Cons: Telephone quality. No online mixing application.

PodOmatic
http://www.podomatic.com/home

This is a podcast community that allows 500MB of storage and 15GB of file transfer per month with their free accounts. Record audio or video straight from the site or upload a pre-recorded podcast. The site has a number of templates to use for your page, or, of course, people can subscribe to your RSS feed. Offers an embedded player, and the ability to “podmail” anyone with an email address a message or podcast.

Pros: FREE! Good statistics page. Podmail feature allows you to easily email someone your show. Record straight from the site via computer mic or webcam. Flexible template system.
Cons: No mobile podcasting.

Audacity
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

Audacity is a free open source application for recording, mixing, and editing audio files. As far as I’m concerned, this is THE audio program you need to have on your machine if you’re doing anything from creating ringtones for your mobile to creating podcasts to producing your bands CD’s.

Pros: FREE! Does everything a small recording rack does without the rack. Oh, and it’s FREE.
Cons: Small learning curve. Search Google for step-by-step tutorials like this one on producing podcasts.

One Response to “On Podcasting”

  1. […] there. This article is a really, really nice breakdown of podcasting basics. I did a little feature earlier on podcasting, but this article does a nice clean job of breaking the whole podcasting […]

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