Upcoming event

Be-Delphi Delphi Developer Day

Be-Delphi is organizing their first (of many) Delphi Developer Day on November 17th in Edegem near Antwerp. That day will be completely dedicated to Delphi and Prism.

At Be-Delphi, Devia will be holding a talk about the new LiveBindings in Delphi XE2, so be sure to grab a hold of me and say hello !

Common Myths about Podcasting

written by Stefaan Lesage on 01/02/2009

Today, there are still quite a few misconceptions about podcasting. The goal of this article is to demystify some of those myths and give you a few facts about podcasting.

Sometimes when we discuss podcasting with other people, we get strange reactions like: 'Oh, I didn't know that' or 'I thought podcasting was just a way to distribute music to people with an iPod'. At that point it is our job to explain what podcasting really is, and what it can be used for. The goal of this article is to dispel a few myths about podcasting, myths we tend to hear quite often.

Myths

You need an iPod to listen to Podcasts

The term is actually a combination of the words "iPod" and "Broadcast", with the Apple iPod being the first portable media player which made it easy to automatically transfer the media from your computer to the actual device. Today, more and more devices are able to synchronize with the so called podcast feeds.

image

Podcasts can also be listened to on quite a number of Satellite Navigation devices like the Tomtom and others ...

— John Arnold - PhotoWalkthrough

Another common mistake is to a assume that podcasts can only be consumed on Apple computers. You can actually listen or watch podcasts on many different kinds of computers and on a wide array of Operating Systems.

Podcasts are just another way to distribute music

The initial appeal of podcasting was to allow everyone to distribute their own radio-style shows, but quickly it became very popular to distribute all kinds of media. With podcasting you can actually distribute any kind of digital media wether that it is music, recorded radio shows, interviews, pictures, videos, PDF files, ...

Podcasting became so popular that it is even used as a way to distribute educational content. Using podcasts you can share any kind of information with anyone, from any place in the world.

Podcasts can only be created using Apple Hardware and Software

Podcasting commonly gets associated with Apple's brand of computers and devices, but you can actually create Podcasts on any kind of computer with the correct software. There are a lot of applications available that allow you to record podcasts using Microsoft Windows, Linux or Apple OSX.

You need a lot of expensive equipment to record a podcast

You don't really need all that much equipment to record a podcast, you only need a computer, a microphone and some recording software to get started. The microphone can actually be a simple USB microphone, and the software could be one of the many applications available for many operating systems.

image

One of the applications I like on the Mac is Amadeus. Although it isn’t free, it has proven to be a very reliable tool. Another great application available for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux is The Levelator, great for evening up levels on multi-voice podcasts, and free.

For interview style podcasts, Skype is also worth investigating. To record Skype conversations I used Pamela on the PC and Call Recorder on Mac OS X.

— John Arnold - PhotoWalkthrough

Listeners will only put up with near perfect audio !

John Arnold actually sent in this little myth, which he heard from Leo Laporte. Audio Quality is important to the listeners when the presenter of the podcast is concerned, but they actually tend to put it with recorded phone calls which might lack some quality.

image

For that reason I like that both Pamela and Call Recorder allow you to record yourself on one of the two stereo tracks and the rest of the callers on the other track.

This allows you to process your own voice separately and lets you make everyone on the conversation sound as good as possible. If you're going to do that, though, make sure you mix all the tracks to that they're back in the center of the stereo image. A podcast with voices way off to one side or the other is VERY hard to listen to.

— John Arnold - PhotoWalkthrough

So, creating an effective podcast is cheap ?

Well, ... that's not completely true. Although you could in theory record a podcast in your attic with a cheap headset and microphone, you might not get the best recording quality. The general rule here is that the better your input is, the easier it will be to create good output. An USB microphone might be good to start with, but it can also pick up a lot of additional noise you don't want in your recordings. The recording might require some post processing to clean up the unwanted noise, and that requires additional time.

Comments

  • 1

    Just found your site through CSS Beauty.  Very nice website.

    I had to smile when I saw your posts about podcasting because I literally just got done talking with a client (a church) about podcasting and it’s benefits!  I will be sending them a link to your articles.

    Good Job!  and Thanks!

    written by Karen on 21/02/2009
  • 2

    Hi,

    Glad you found the article useful.  Feel free to send the information to your client.

    In the future I will be writing a few more articles on Podcasting and Podcasting related topics.  The next one will probably be related to the educational powers of podcasting.

    Best Regards,

    Stefaan

    written by Stefaan Lesage on 21/02/2009
  • 3

    Odd that Leo Laporte would think that listeners would only put up with near-perfect audio. A recent Adam Carolla podcast with Laporte had great audio from Laporte, but horrible audio of Carolla replete with drop-outs and artifacts.

    written by Leigh Hanlon on 11/04/2009
  • 4

    Hi Leigh,

    You have to take into consideration that Leo also has the equipment which helps him deliver the best audio quality possible.  Most podcasters can’t really afford that.

    As far as Audio Quality is concerned, I’ve heard many people say that they will put up with lower audio quality if the content is good.  The other way around just won’t work :-)

    Regards,


    Stefaan

    written by Stefaan Lesage on 14/04/2009
  • 5

    Very useful article.  I have heard the term podcast, and people have recommended I create one for my site, but I honestly believed a lot of the myths you dispel here.  Thank you much!

    forex forum

    written by Dylan on 06/07/2009
  • Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.

    Archive