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Take Control of Podcasting on the Mac, Second Edition
Start podcasting or take it to the next level with our step-by-step guide!
Beginning a podcast is easier than starting a radio station, but it's still hard to assemble your hardware and software, and learn the tricks of the trade. You can easily meet that challenge with start-to-finish guidance from long-time podcaster Andy Affleck.
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Older ebook alert! Please note that this ebook was last updated in 2009 and no future updates are planned. Although some of it is quite general and should apply well into the future, the specific software covered (such as GarageBand '09) is the software that was current in 2009.
The ebook opens with a look at how to plan a podcast's topic, format, and polish. Then Andy focuses on choosing the right microphone and audio software, followed by step-by-step instructions for recording using Audio Hijack Pro, GarageBand, Sound Studio, WireTap Studio, and Übercaster, with advice about conducting interviews by phone, iChat, and Skype. Once your audio is in the can, you'll learn how to use audio plug-ins to make the recording sound better, complete with downloadable sound files to supplement the text. You'll also find out how to edit out any awkward bits, plug in additional audio, and mix tracks. Finally, the ebook covers how to encode your podcast, add useful tags and chapters, find a publishing tool, and publish your podcast for the world to hear.
Includes a coupon worth up to $14 off Audio Hijack Pro and Fission.
Read this ebook to learn the answers to questions such as:
Be sure to listen to the Take Control of Podcasting podcast!
"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 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 a decade later. When he's not producing his Take Control of Podcasting on the Mac podcast, he's a senior project manager and accessible Web design expert.
Table of Contents
Read Me First
This book gives you all the information you need to begin your first podcast quickly and without spending much (if any) money by suggesting which software and hardware to buy for better results and teaching you how to use it. This book was written by Andy J. Williams Affleck, edited by Geoff Duncan, and published by TidBITS Publishing Inc.
I discovered podcasting before it had a name. 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 summer that something gelled, making podcasting a fad, a trend, and now a part of tens of thousands of Web sites.
When I heard Curry's original show, I was immediately fascinated. I began producing my own show just a few months later. I started podcasting because I've always been something of a sucker for new technologies. My Web log has been continuously active since 1994, making it one of the oldest out there, and I had always dreamed of adding media beyond text and graphics. Podcasting opened that door for me. I wrote this book to open the door for you as well.
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 makes podcasting distinct from audio files linked from Web sites.
An individual podcast, also known as an episode, is typically retrieved using software, sometimes called a podcatcher, that automatically and regularly checks for newer episodes. A podcast file is usually in MP3 or AAC format, though other audio formats can be used as well. 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 seamless process that retrieves audio from a Web site onto listeners' computers and, usually, synchronizes it to an external digital audio player. One click on a subscription button can often initiate the whole process.
More Background Info: You can read about the history of podcasting, as well as the basics of subscribing to and listening to podcasts, in a TidBITS article that I wrote called "Podcasting: The People's Radio". See also my follow-up article detailing Apple's iTunes podcatching features.
Creating your own podcasts can be highly rewarding. I enjoy pulling together music, my writings, random thoughts, and interviews with people into a single show. Other people simulate the classic style of old-time radio theater.
Academic institutions such as Stanford University and the Harvard University Graduate School of Education are looking at how podcasts can supplement classroom teaching. Major companies use podcasting as a way to get their content out to a much wider audience.
Podcasts don't need the professional veneer of a commercial radio broadcast. In fact, some podcasters feel it's antithetical to the podcasting spirit to be overly professional. Just start recording. If your content is worthwhile, you'll find an audience. You can always improve your production as you discover what works and what doesn't.
What's in a Name? You don't need an iPod to listen to podcasts. If another media player were the cool toy everyone had to have, podcasting would be called "sandiskcasting" or "zunecasting." (Okay, no it wouldn't; Apple has a gift for names, but Apple didn't coin podcast.) Some people use the term audio blogging, which doesn't encompass the variety of material found in podcasts, or netcast, which has neither the charm nor the specificity of podcast. There was rumbling at one point about Apple asserting legal rights to the term "pod" and some people worried that calling something a podcast would open them up to litigation. We're several years into the podcasting phenomena and that hasn't happened, so I don't feel a need to re-title this book just yet.
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.
I updated this ebook to version 2.1 to add coverage of GarageBand 5, which was released in early 2009 in iLife ’09. GarageBand 5 is also known as GarageBand ’09. To read about GarageBand 5, see Choose Your Audio Software, but changes relating to GarageBand are sprinkled throughout the book.
The second edition of this book (version 2.0) was published in mid-2008, and it included new advanced techniques and sample sounds. The most important changes were:
This ebook covers GarageBand '09 (version 5). If you want to read about podcasting in GarageBand 3 or GarageBand '08, once you have the PDF version of the ebook, you can click the Check for Updates button (it's located on the cover, page 1) and from the Check for Updates Web page—look on the Blog tab, you can download version 1.2 of this ebook (GarageBand 3) or version 2.0 (GarageBand '08) for free.
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!
How could we not publish such kind words? If you'd like to send us your comments (good or bad, though we hope they're all good), just click the Feedback link on the cover of your copy of the ebook. Be sure to let us know if we can publish your comment. Thanks!
August, 2011 -- Although we had fun with this ebook, we've moved on to other projects. Although it is possible that some day we would update this title, we have no immediate or particular plans to do so.
April 4, 2011 --
Apple has released a minor update to the Mac version of GarageBand '11. Version 6.0.2 reportedly improves overall stability, but most notably it introduces support for opening projects created in the iPad version of GarageBand. When you first open an iPad project after installing this update, GarageBand on your Mac will need to download an additional update that’s just shy of 200 MB. Note also that when you open iPad GarageBand projects, you’ll immediately be prompted to save them under a new name. That’s because once you’ve modified a project in the desktop edition, it can no longer be opened by GarageBand for iPad.
July 10, 2009 --
Podcasting expert Andy Affleck is back with a new version of his Take Control of Podcasting on the Mac ebook. This new version 2.1 is fully updated for GarageBand '09, so if you own the latest version of iLife, you can now follow along properly in GarageBand as Andy provides provides start-to-finish guidance on rolling your own podcast.
The 121-page ebook leads off by discussing how to plan a podcast's topic, format, and polish. Then you'll learn the practical details of choosing the right microphone and audio software, followed by step-by-step instructions for recording using Audio Hijack Pro, GarageBand, Sound Studio, WireTap Studio, and Ubercaster, with advice about conducting interviews by phone, iChat, and Skype. Once your audio is in the can, Andy explains how to use audio plug-ins to make it sound better, complete with downloadable sound files to supplement the text. He also explains how to edit out any awkward bits, plug in additional audio, and mix tracks. Finally, Andy walks you through how to encode a podcast, add useful tags and chapters, find a publishing tool, and publish your podcast for the world to hear.
The ebook also includes a coupon worth $3 off on either Audio Hijack Pro or Fission. Or save $14 off both.
If you already own version 2.0, click Check for Updates on the first page of the version 2.0 PDF for a free update.
Listen to Andy talk about the ebook.
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