Not a very long time ago, people would sit together in their rooms, stare at their television sets and wait for their favorite programs to start. They would often put on hold other chores, rush through the traffic or hastily put their kids to sleep so as to catch their favorite television show in time.
What you read above may be said for years gone by, and for some, may stand true today itself. But the truth is, not many people now have the time to wait for the shows they want to watch or listen to. Some people have completely abandoned watching TV and usually resort to downloading their entertainment dose through the internet and enjoying them at a time of their choice.
Now if the new media consumers are getting ready, how can the producers be left unprepared?
Ever since Apple added support for podcasts in iTunes, in about 2005, their popularity has soared unceasingly. When RSS aka news feeds had popularized, they were thought of as a quick and intuitive way to read articles and follow up news updates and several other texts in a short span of time. Instead of going to the news, people now had news coming to them. After text, media followed. With the advent of the media-in-newsfeeds idea, podcasts took birth. Now instead of going to their shows, people could now get, and watch them whenever they wanted. Several podcast popularized, iTunes had a platform where everyone wanted to be.
That’s probably enough of history you would want to know about this thing called podcasts. For more, see Wikipedia.
What is a podcast?
A podcast is a combination of a media file audio or video combined with a RSS newsfeed. The name itself is a compound of the words broadcast’ and iPod’, even though Apple didn’t invent the term. Think of it this way. If you subscribe to a podcast, whenever the person who publishes it wants to broadcast a media file audio or video you will get hold of the file as soon as he publishes it. Now that you have the broadcast file in your possession, you can access it whenever you want. This is just a non-geeky explanation, feel like digging more? Go here. Now, that media file you just downloaded, could be a comedy show, a drama, a DJ music show, a talk show, an interview, a science piece, or anything on politics, movies or technology. It’s just radio. But better.
How is it different from other forms of media?
They’re live. This is not. You can miss TV or radio shows if you don’t listen or watch them when they air, you can’t do that with podcasts. You can listen or watch them anytime!
How to create your own podcast?
Now think of it. Creating your own podcast can be both easy and difficult. Easy if you think of yourself as a common Joe who wants to get his word out. It’s just about speaking and recording right? Or think of yourself as a competition to the real media guys, the TV. Then you’d have to push some skills up your sleeve. Podcasting can be done in two ways: Audio or video. Most things discussed in this guide are for the audio podcast producer, however, many may apply to the video producer too.
This guide will be divided in two parts. Beginner and Skilled. Take the Beginner option if you just want a podcast out there, or choose Skilled if you’re willing to put some extra time to go the extra mile. Also, there are some things common, that you will have to take care of no matter what route you take.