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Take Control of Podcasting on the Mac, Third Edition
Start podcasting or take it to the next level with our step-by-step guide!
Start podcasting or take your podcast to the next level with start-to-finish guidance from Andy Affleck. You'll learn tricks of the trade as you assemble your hardware and software, make recordings, and add polish by editing and mixing. Once your audio is in the can, you'll find real-world advice and steps for encoding and publishing your episodes.
Take Control of Podcasting on the Mac provides the help anyone interested in podcasting on the Mac needs:
What do other podcasters do? Find out about the gear and techniques used by podcasters Chuck Joiner (MacVoices), Louis Trapani (Doctor Who: Podshock), Kelly Guimont (Ask TUAW), and Kirk McElhearn (The Committed).
Choose the right mic. Pick out audio gear while considering your budget and studio (or mobile!) needs. Plus, you'll learn if you should buy additional audio hardware, like a breakout box or mixer, and find an explanation (with photos) of the main cable types that you'll come across.
Pick audio software. Apps discussed at length include GarageBand for Mac and iOS, Audacity, Audio Hijack Pro, Voice Record Pro, VocaLive Free, and Ecamm Call Recorder. Apps that are discussed briefly include Amadeus Pro, Fission, Sound Studio, Nectar Elements, SoundSoap, and The Levelator.
Learn key recording tips. Find advice about how to prepare for and conduct a successful interview, plus get a few essential tips for using a mic well.
Record in the studio or the field. Get step-by-step recording directions for GarageBand for Mac and iOS, as well as Audacity, Voice Record Pro, and Audio Hijack Pro.
Record online interviews. Follow the book's steps for recording an interview online through services such as Skype and FaceTime.
Edit and mix your audio. Find directions for removing unwanted noises and pauses, adding professional polish, and generally editing and mixing a recording in GarageBand for Mac or Audacity.
Encode your podcast files. Before you send your podcast episode out on the Internet, you'll want to save it in the right format, and add tags.
Get syndicated with RSS. Understand what should be in a podcast's RSS feed — and how FeedBurner can help.
Be a publisher! Get ideas for blog services that can host your podcast and related blog posts, and find directions for publishing your podcast in Apple's iTunes Store.
"Our school podcast is sounding much more professional now that we're using software recommended in the book and following Andy's tips."
-Mark Warner, Teacher, The Downs CE Primary School (UK)
Tell us if you create or improve a podcast with the help of Take Control of Podcasting on the Mac, as Mark Warner did.
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About the Author
Andy J. Williams Affleck built Dartmouth College's first Web site in 1993, created the original Web site for the sitcom Friends, and started a virtual community that's still around nearly 20 years later. When he's not producing podcasts, he's a Senior IT Project Manager by day and an actor/director in a community theater by night.
Table of Contents
Read Me First
This book helps you to begin your first podcast quickly and inexpensively by suggesting Mac and iOS software and hardware for good results and then teaching you how to use it. It was written by Andy J. Williams Affleck, edited by Geoff Duncan, and published by TidBITS Publishing Inc.
When I was 11, I was a DJ on WZKU out of Bronxville, New York. That is to say, I had a tape recorder and I created tape after tape of radio shows, skits, copies of music I recorded off the radio, and more. My next door neighbor David helped me out, too. It was a lot of fun creating those tapes, and I dearly wish they were still around today. Later, in college, I studied and composed electro-acoustic music in Dartmouth College’s Bregman Music & Audio Research Studio in multiple classes taught by the wonderful Jon Appleton (featured on Apple’s 30 Years of Mac Web site). My interest in sound equipment, music composition, and having fun with audio tools has waxed and waned over the years, but never left me completely.
And then 2004 arrived…in August 2004, Adam Curry, a former MTV VJ, began producing a daily show from his home in the Netherlands in which he talked about topics that interested him and he played music he felt like sharing.
Others had produced “audio blogs” before, most notably Dave Winer, who created subscription and update standards first for text and later for attachments—including audio—without which podcasting couldn’t exist. But it wasn’t until both Curry wrote some primitive software and Winer popularized it that something gelled, making podcasting a fad, then a trend, and now a part of tens of thousands of Web sites.
In its simplest form, a podcast is a downloadable audio file. It could be as simple as a song that a podcaster wanted to share, or it might be a full-blown audio show edited together in the style of a radio program. Most podcasts are free to listeners.
Subscription and automatic downloading capabilities make the podcast listening experience distinct from the experience of listening to audio files linked from Web sites. Listeners typically retrieve individual podcast files, also known as episodes, using iTunes (on the Mac or in Windows), Apple’s Podcasts app in iOS, or with a third-party app. A podcast file is usually in MP3 or AAC format, though some podcasts use other audio formats. The publishing side of podcasting is syndication; the retrieval side is subscription. Most podcasts can also be downloaded manually.
Podcasting combines elements of several disparate technologies—audio recording and editing, content syndication, and Internet file transfers—into a single process that retrieves audio from a Web site onto listeners’ computers or mobile devices. A computer, in turn, can synchronize podcasts to an external digital audio player such as an iPod or iPhone. One click or tap can often initiate the whole process.
Note: You can read about the history of podcasting in a TidBITS article that I wrote, called Podcasting: The People’s Radio.
Creating your own podcasts can be highly rewarding. Podcasts don’t need the professional veneer of a commercial radio broadcast. Just start recording. If your content is worthwhile, you’ll find an audience. You can always improve your format and production as you discover what works and what doesn’t.
You don’t need an iPod to listen to podcasts: almost any device that can handle digital audio will do. The name came about only because Apple’s iPod was the most popular digital audio player on the market at the time. There were rumors that Apple would demand a name change to protect its iPod trademark, but Apple (and all others) have since embraced the term.
Apple’s GarageBand app is a major player in this book. To keep pace with Apple, I’ve provided directions for GarageBand 10 for Mac and GarageBand 2 for iOS. At the moment, these versions of GarageBand run on OS X 10.9 Mavericks and iOS 7 respectively.
Earlier versions of GarageBand for Mac are covered in previous editions of this ebook. To download them (for free), flip ahead to Ebook Extras. Note that the directions for GarageBand 5 found in the second edition work fine for GarageBand 6 (there was no GarageBand 7, 8, or 9; see the sidebar GarageBand 10 and Podcasting).
This book shows you how to plan, record, edit, encode, and publish a podcast. You can learn about these steps in any order, but I encourage beginners to read the material in sequence.
Understand the process; see the Introduction for an overview of what podcasting is, and then Plan Your Podcast.
Brush up on your vocabulary in Learn Podcasting Terminology.
Make sure you have the hardware and software that fits your needs and budget; see Set Up Your Studio.
Consult Use Good Microphone Techniques in order to avoid common mistakes.
Find advice and procedures for how to Record Your Podcast on your Mac or on an iOS device.
Learn basic audio editing techniques in Edit Your Podcast.
Decide which encoding settings you want to use and encode your podcast for uploading; read Encode and Tag Your Show.
Understand Bandwidth Costs so you don’t go broke if you become popular.
Upload and host your show; see Upload and Publish an Episode.
Syndicate your show; consult Understand Syndication Formats and Promote Your Podcast.
Six years after the publication of the second edition, I had some extra time and decided that it’d be worthwhile to bring this ebook into the current era. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s new:
Added profiles of experienced podcasters so you can get an idea what others are doing (and find cool shows to follow):
Podcaster Profile: Chuck Joiner
Podcaster Profile: Louis Trapani
Podcaster Profile: Kelly Guimont
Podcaster Profile: Kirk McElhearn
Added descriptions of my personal studio and mobile podcasting setups in Andy’s Home Studio Gear and Andy’s Mobile Podcasting Gear to provide an idea of what works in the real world.
Updated throughout for GarageBand 10 for Mac throughout; see especially:
Mac Applications and Tools
GarageBand 10 and Podcasting
Record with GarageBand
Edit with GarageBand (including Use GarageBand Track Presets and Use GarageBand Smart Controls)
Export and Encode from GarageBand
Removed coverage of a number of programs that are no longer available or recommended, including WireTap Studio and Übercaster.
Added coverage of Audacity in Mac Applications and Tools, Record with Audacity, and Edit with Audacity.
Added information about recording Skype conversations with Ecamm Call Recorder for the Mac in Mac Applications and Tools and Record Online Interviews.
Added a step-by-step discussion of how to Record with GarageBand for iOS and Record with Voice Record Pro for iOS.
Added information about how to set up an RSS/Atom feed for your podcast in Understand Syndication Formats (including Setting up a FeedBurner Feed) as well as how to Create a Logo for the Podcasts section of the iTunes Store.
Updated tips on podcast hosting in Host Your Podcast and how to find an audience in Publish and Promote Your Podcast.
This ebook covers GarageBand 10 for Mac and GarageBand 2 for iOS. If you want to read about podcasting in GarageBand 6, 5, 4, or 3 (that's GarageBand '11, '09, '08, or '06, respectively), once you've purchased the ebook, click the Ebook Extras link on the cover (or look in the Read Me First, if you have the EPUB or Mobipocket version) to access the ebook's special blog. From there, you can download an older version of the ebook, with instructions for an older version of GarageBand.
There are lots of great ways to read our ebooks on these devices. For more details, please read our latest Device Advice.
Feel free to ask us if you have a question about this title!
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June 19, 2014 -- We don't have any particular plan for updating this ebook in the future, but a future update is certainly a possibility.
—Tonya J Engst
June 25, 2014 --
The third edition of “Take Control of Podcasting on the Mac” caught podcasting pro Chuck Joiner’s attention, leading to a 45-minute podcast full of podcasting pointers, as Chuck and author Andy Affleck chat about podcasting. Watch or listen to the discussion at MacVoices.
—Tonya J Engst
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