Your recording setup can be quite elaborate, even approaching that of a small radio station, or it can be as simple as an inexpensive headset or microphone bought at your local Radio Shack. Your investment will vary depending on what type of podcast you plan to create, and how professional you want it to sound. For most classroom applications of podcasting, you probably already have all you need to create a decent podcast.
There are three types of podcasts:
• Audio Only
Most of the podcasts listed on iTunes are audio only. They are easy to record and edit and require a very simple setup in terms of hardware and other equipment. Audio processing requires much less power from a computer than video editing does. In terms of recording equipment, all you need is a desktop microphone or a headset with a built in microphone. You may even get decent results from the microphone built into your computer if you're using a laptop, but this option should only be used in a pinch because the built-in microphone will pick up a lot of ambient sounds including those coming from your computer such as the hard drive, etc. You can even set up a podcast where you conduct an interview with someone over the Internet using one of the many instant messaging programs that support voice chat. A popular choice for podcasters is Skype, an application that allows you to make computer to computer phone calls over the Internet (using a protocol called Voice Over IP).
• Enhanced (with photos and chapter markers)
These podcasts are a little more expensive and difficult to create. Not only do you need a decent video camera to capture the video, but your computer also needs to be more powerful than with audio only podcasts. Video files are very large even after they are compressed, so you will probably have to invest on an external hard drive to store your files while you work on a video podcast. Video also takes longer to edit than sound. For editing your video content, you have a few choices. On the PC side, you can use Windows Movie Maker. This program is included with Windows XP, or you can download the latest version for free from the Microsoft website. The latest version of the iPod supports video. iPod compatible videos can be created using the latest versions of Apple's video editing applications (including QuickTime Pro on Windows).
Step 2: Put the Content Online
As a USF student, you have space set aside on a web server that you can use to host files, including audio and video files. You can also use a site such as Our Media to host your file. While Our Media allows you to use a form on a web page to upload your files, the USF blog requires you to install an SSH program before you can connect. You can download an SSH program for Windows from the Academic Computing site, which also has some instructional videos describing the procedure for using SSH to log into the USF web space. On the Mac, you can use a program called Fugu to connect to the USF web servers. Fugu works a lot like SSH, providing a drag and drop interface that shows your hard drive on one side of the screen and your folder on the server on the other side. You simply drag files from one side to the other to upload them to the server.
All videos are saved as .mov and require the QuickTime Player to view):
• Locate file on hard drive
• Upload file to server
Step 3: Create a Blog that Supports Podcasting
Create a blog that supports podcasting. You only need to do this if you are not creating your own RSS file. The blog can create it for you. All faculty and students have free blog accounts already, courtesy of the fine folks at Academic Computing. You can set yours up by logging in to blog.usf.edu. Something to keep in mind is that the USF blog is a public blog. Every time you post something to your USF blog, it is also posted to Planet USF, a page that has the latest postings to all USF blogs. The USF blog also only supports .mp3 attachments for podcasts. While this is not a problem if you are doing an audio only podcast, it means you cannot do an enhanced podcast, which must be saved. There are many other free blog sites available on the Internet. A popular one is Blogger, which is owned by the search company Google. Whatever blog you use, make sure that it supports audio attachments.
Step 2: Attach Your Content to a Blog Post
Attach the audio or video content to a blog posting. You'll create a new post and add a link to your audio or video file in the body. The link is a standard HTML link. If you are using the USF blog, you must include an absolute address.
The USF blog automatically generates a feed for you. The feed address is in the format http://NetID.blog.usf.edu/wp-rss2.php, where NetID is the user name you use to log into Blackboard and other USF sites.
Once you've done all of that, you are podcasting. Anyone can subscribe to your podcast by opening up iTunes and selecting Advanced, Subscribe to Podcast and entering the address of your feed.