Archive for the ‘Podcasting 101’ Category

Get ATTENTION for your dangerous ideas

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005

If you're doing most kinds of community podcasting, iTunes works great as a means of drawing in listeners. But one of the finest traditions of citizen-media is doing shows that poke people in the eye — and if those folks happen to be big corporations, or the “establishment,” one day you may find yourself removed from iTunes. The way I did when somebody reported Sex and Podcasting to the nanny cops at iTunes…

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How many listeners needed to hit the iTunes top 100?

Thursday, August 11th, 2005

60? 600? 6000? I've correlated my subscriptions with my position on the iTunes Top 100 and am ready to present my report. I talk about; how many subscriptions were required to get on the Top 100, how many I had when I was at my peak (35th) and offer some suggestions to the iTunes folks to make their service less opaque to us subscribers and podcasters.

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Getting ATTENTION in iTunes

Monday, August 8th, 2005

“My life on the iTunes Top 100”

This one is the checklist that resulted from my (probably brief) time on the iTunes Top 100 list. The story of how S & P got there, plus the various gyrations I've used to stay there. Some day, hucksters will sell you these ideas for $29.99 over late-night TV. Yours for free, today and today only.

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More on ATTENTION, and trust —

Thursday, August 4th, 2005

With the growing awareness and focus on “attention”, what about our rights when we GIVE our attention to somebody? The folks at Attention Trust ( are thinking hard about this one. An especially important topic for us community podcasters.

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Getting ATTENTION is easier for us narrow-casters, here's how

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005

The first in a few shows about getting attention for your community podcast. We're interested in narrow-casting which gives us a huge edge. This show explores that kinda stuff. The “tip of the day” features Feedburner as a great tool for getting attention, especially in iTunes.

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Bandwidth — Be careful what you wish for…

Thursday, July 28th, 2005

Podcasting isn't a mass medium — it is really expensive to reach a large audience. In this show we'll run through the basic math of what it costs to reach people, and explore why podcasting is much better suited to “the long tail” — all of us narrowcasters. Becoming a super-popular mass media podcaster may force you to make choices you don't want to make.

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Podcasting 101 # 8 – Editing, a great way to improve your podcasts

Friday, July 22nd, 2005

More in the “refinement of Podcasting 101” series. This show talks a bit about WHY I edit my shows, and HOW you can do it too (if you so choose — it's debatable whether it's a good idea).

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Podcasting 101 # 7 – Ratings (subscribers and downloads)

Wednesday, July 20th, 2005

I'm tempted to hype this show like an infomercial… Proven techniques! Have worked for millions! But the truth is I have no clue why you're listening or how much you value these shows. This show tells you how to get your ratings, and then trys to convince you that maybe they're the wrong metric.

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Podcasting 101 – Episode 6 – RSS, the final ingredient for podcasting

Sunday, July 17th, 2005

This is it! In this show we'll get your MP3 file all wrapped up in an RSS feed (with enclosures) and generate your first podcast.

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Show notes

Here are links to the sites I mention in this show;

Blogger – a place to set up a blog if you don't already have one (free)

Feedburner – a site that will transmogrify your RSS feed so that it handles the “enclosures” that are crucial to podcasting (free)

Podcasting 101 – Episode 5 – Getting the MP3 file out on the Internet

Friday, July 15th, 2005

Almost done with the Podcasting 101 series – hang in there, I'll take a little break from the “how to” stuff after these are done. This one talks about moving the MP3 file you've created out to the Internet so that other people can download it.

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Show Notes

These are links to the podcast-hosting sites I mention in the show;

Podblaze – free
Slapcast – free

Libsyn – $5/month
PodLot – $5/month
PodBus – $5/month

Podcasting 101 – Episode 4 – Recording your voice to an MP3 file

Wednesday, July 13th, 2005

Continuing the Podcasting 101 series. In this podcast I walk you through getting your voice into an MP3 file — the basic building block of a podcast. This is probably the hardest, geekiest one in the series, so don’t be put off if at first you don’t succeed. If you get stuck, drop me an email and I’ll help you over the hump.

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Show notes

Here are a few useful links to help you through the hardest part (which is getting your mic connected to your computer). You’ll have to come out to to see the links (they don’t show up in the iTunes descriptions yet).

Mac people can go here (this is a link to a support page on the Apple site that shows how to set up your mic).

PC people can go here if you’re running XP, or here if you’re running Win 95 or Win 98.

If you’re a Linux person, you’re on your own. But I bet you can figure it out.

Cookbook steps

– First, get Audacity ready to export MP3 files. They have a topic about that in the help menus — it differs by computer.

– Plug your microphone into the “mic input” jack on your computer

– Doodle around with the sound control panal until you get the mic “turned on” for recording (this differs by computer, see above for links)

– Fire up Audacity and hit the “record” button

– Hold the mic about a foot away from your mouth, say a few words and hit the “stop” button when you’re done

– You should see blobby blue stuff in Audacity where your words are.

– Final step – go into the “File” menu and select “export as MP3”

Podcasting 101 – Episode 3 – The basics about mics

Friday, July 8th, 2005

Another in this series of “how to do podcasts” podcasts (I'm loving the grammar possibilities). This one is the one that will get you to the point where you have a microphone, which is the all-important link between your voice and the recording. A little over 5 minutes of talk about the two main kinds of mics (dynamic and condensor) plus some shopping advice if you don't have a mic already.

Argh! I left out one crucial component in the shopping tips. If you decide to head out and get a mic, don't forget to buy a cable to connect your new mic to your computer. Tell the person at the store what you're trying to do, they should be able to figure out a “mic to computer” cable. If they can't, I'll include a representative link in the show notes.


Here's a link to a pretty good $20 dynamic mic — sorry, the link's too long to put in “iTunes visible” form, you'll have to drop by so you can click on this link to a nice Audio Technica mic at Best Buy. No, I'm not getting paid, it's just a link to the mic i use. Note that this mic comes with a cable that will let you plug it into your computer. Pretty neat.

Here's a link to the condensor mics I use – MXL-2001. Same deal, you'll have to come to the site to see the link, and no there's no commercial connection. Maybe some time soon iTunes will let you follow these links directly.

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Podcasting 101 – Episode 2 – The starting point – get yourself some Audacity

Tuesday, July 5th, 2005

This is the first of a series of podcasts that, if you follow along, will get you to the point where you've made a podcast of your own. This episode talks about some really cool (freeware) digital audio software called Audacity. If you actually dig in and follow the steps you should have recorded some digital audio by the end. And even if you don't go through all the hoops I hope you learn a little bit about how to do digital recording.

Show notes;

Audacity software can be found at

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Podcasting 101 – Episode 1 – Going to record a remote? What do you take?

Sunday, July 3rd, 2005

Da voice of da peepul has spoken — y'all thought my “how to podcast” podcasts podcasting idea sounded good. Nice grammar, huh? So I'm going to do a series. This first one is the result of my frantic packing-up to go to the Winnipeg Folk festival tomorrow. 'Fella's got to have a list, so I decided to share it with you. Subsequent shows will trace a step by step path which, when it's done, should result in you having put together and published your own podcast. All in little 5-minute chunks. Each accompanied by a little shot of (BMI) licensed music to take the edge off the good audio geekiness.

I'll post the checklist out on my blog too — the blog's URL is

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Licensed music played here

Wednesday, June 29th, 2005

These podcasts play music licensed by BMI. Figuring out what to do about all that was a head-scratcher for me. Listen to the podcast to find out what I learned about DMCA, Sound Exchange, Harry Fox, mechanical vs performance licensing, etc. And why I think I'm ok (at least for now) with just the BMI license.

Welcome to all of you iTunes folks. I'm working on fixing the “can't seem to download the whole podcast problem” on this site. Bear with me — I have a theory, that I'm confirming by posting this repeat of an earlier podcast.

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Advertising and podcasting

Monday, April 18th, 2005

In the words of Elmer Fudd, be vewwy vewwy careful… Advertising leads to choices you may wish you hadn't made later on. It's one of the reasons that “Public” broadcasting is in the fix it's in today. And the nice thing is, community podcasters don't need advertising the way community radio stations did.

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Voice style — Why you don't need to talk like a radio DJ

Monday, April 11th, 2005

Community podcasting is about real people telling their own stories, in their own voices. A little about the history of why radio people talk the way they do, and why you don't need to.

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All the words you CAN say in a podcast, even if you can't on the radio…

Sunday, April 10th, 2005

Radio is a shared space, like a city park, and there are rules governing your behavior there. Podcasting space is also shared, but it's an interactive place that you choose to enter — so the rules are different.

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Remotes — Taking it to the streets

Saturday, April 9th, 2005

Podcasting, especially community podcasting, is all about letting people tell their own stories. In order to do that, you gotta go to them. This will undoubtedly be a recurring theme. In this one, listen to a few general thoughts about remotes, plus a little bit about digital gear that makes producing them a lot easier.

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Listen to it as a stream (starts playing immediately, doesn't stay on your machine when it's done)