How to Podcast or Toastcast

by Judd Spitzer, Mac Guild Staff Writer
12/14/05


I was recently asked how do you Podcast or Toastcast. I thought that this information would be good here since Macs are great platforms for creating Podcasting content. So here is how to create a Podcast:

If you have listened to my Toastcast (aka Podcast) and thought, wow, I'd like to do that too, it really isn't that difficult. But you may ask yourself, where do I begin and how do I get started?

There are a few things that you need to think about when doing a Toastcast, they are:

  1. Your Hosting
  2. Your recording/editing
  3. Your feed


By breaking it down into these various areas, you will quickly understand how to create a Toastcast.

First thing is your Hosting service. Depending on the size of your files, you will need ample space on your webserver. But hard drive space isn't the only thing that you'll need to be successful, you also need ample bandwidth. Many ISPs/hosting companies put limits on this. Well, if your Toastcasts are about 30 minutes, then your files could be about 40 Megs a piece (figure about 1 meg a minutes on average) If your hosting restricts you to 1 Gig of transfer, well, you may only get 100 downloads a month. On a popular podcast, that would be unacceptable.

So look for high bandwidth and larger server storage.

Next recording and editing. Well, much of this has to do with the type of computer that you have. I do my work on a Mac. The Mac has many different tools that make the job of a Podcast pretty easy. First, my Mac has a built in microphone, although I do have a USB mic and my iSight also has a microphone built in. So ensure you have an input device. But how to record your meetings. You can use a tape recorder or in my case, I use my iPod to record the meetings as wave files and convert them later on my Mac.

On the Mac there are many great editing programs, but the three major programs that I use are:

iTunes - primarily for converting files to MP3 and adding tags and graphics to my final product.

Quicktime Pro - for $29.99 you can't go wrong. You can record both audio and video with little effort. However those files still need to be converted to MP3 by iTunes at a later time if you desire. The best quality that I have experienced has been using Quicktime for recording my shows.

GarageBand - used to create all the original music for the show. Garageband can also be used to record voices as well as mix music over voices. So this is really a handy tool, and a must have for Toastcasting with music.

Okay, I've got hosting, I've got my recording converted to MP3, now what?
Well the first thing you need to do is head on over to
Feedburner.com. Here you can create a "feed" that iTunes will use to know what and where your podcast files are.

Generally, you should point your feed to a webpage that has an XML feed. This feed should be updated daily, and contain information on your newest show. Feedburner will take that data and distribute it throughout your podcasting community, letting listeners know you have new content. An XML enabled page can be made easily using free services such as
blogspot.com, and the files can be hosted in a separate place.

Once you have your feedburner feed, then log into iTunes and post the fact that you have a new Podcast you want to list. That's it, in a nutshell.

Visit my podcast at:
http://www.titusvilletoastmasters.org


Judd Spitzer
LMSS Doc Eng - By Day
MacGuild Contributor - By Night




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