podcasting 101, from blogworldexpo 2010

Rob Walch at Blog World Expo 2010Are the halcyon days of podcasting behind us? Has the time to be an on line radio broadcaster come and gone? Possibly– but I’ve so
enjoyedChris Penn’s “Marketing Over Coffee“, and have long felt that DragonSearch should be publishing a podcast. I’ve asked the DS team to figure it all out and get back to me, but since we haven’t quite gotten it out yet, I thought I’d check out Rob Walch’s session at Blog World.

We’ve already bought a Blue Snowball mic, so we’re on the right path there. Recommended software for PC is either Adobe Audition or Audacity (which is free). Some of the other tips include:

  • Self-hosting is NOT recommended!
  • Check out Podcast 411’s “How To”.
  • Always check to make sure the correct microphone is on.
  • Once you’ve edited your sound file in Audacity, export as WAV file.
  • For recording on the phone, Rob suggests FreeConferenceCall.com

Editing is your Friend

  • Edit out the “ahhs”, “uhmmms”, “you knows” and dead air.
  • Tight editing improves the flow and sound of your show.
  • Making your guest sound good ensures that they will promote the show.
  • Let your guest know that you edit and will fix any gaffs prior to starting the interview.
  • Listen to the final edit before you post!


One thing I hadn’t considered is the setting up of Listener Feedback. With k7.net, you set up a free number where users can call in and leave a message. K7 then emails you the recording. When you’re setting up your options on K7, have them send the email to you only (don’t post on-site). Use the PCM file, and make sure that you use the service at least every 20 days, or else you can lose your account.


Running your podcast through Levelator is critical to ensure that volume levels throughout the recording are somewhat even. It seems as easy as dragging a file onto the program.

Converting to MP3

After the podcast has been run through Levelator, you’ll need to convert it to MP3.

  • File Format
  • CRB–Constant Bit Rate
  • Mono or Joint Stereo
  • Sample Rate 44.1 KHz
  • Bit Rate=64 kbps to 128 kbps (64 is probably fine!)

BADAAC/M4A VBR (Variable Bit Rate), and 48 kHZ Sample Rate (a lot of Flash players can’t handle that).

Making the MP3

To encode, import settings, select “custom”, and choose 192kbps (in iTunes).
In iTunes, go to “Advanced”, “Create Mp3”.
Finally, before uploading, right click on the mp3, “get info”, and add your meta data (description, image, etc.). In “Track Number”, you can number, using episode numbers.
“Comments” is a great section to add things like URL and contact information. The “Lyrics” tab will allow you to put show notes that display along with the podcast.


Rob recommends using a podcast hosting service. He doesn’t recommend using a free service, as they often go out of business. He seems most inclined to using Liberated Syndication.

For setting up a Podcast account, get a good 600×600 .jpg or .png image for your show, along with the title of the show. The artwork is critical if you ever want to get featured on iTunes. The title is important too–not for keywords, but for people friendliness–so that people understand instantly what your podcast is about.

When all of this is done, make sure your RSS feed is set up with Feedburner. Check your feed on feedvalidator.org. This should be done before you submit your podcast to iTunes.

Submitting in iTunes

Go to the podcast section in iTunes and navigate to “submit a podcast”. There are quite a few other places to submit to also, such as Zune and Blackberry, as well as over 50 other active directories.

What’s Next?

Now that we’ve covered the basics of podcasting, I’m hoping we can get the DragonSearch podcast off the ground. What sorts of things would you like to see us cover?

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