Podcasting: Do-It-Yourself Guide
By Todd Cochrane
Review by Noel Davis
If your looking for a good overview on creating a Podcast then the new book by Todd Cochrane: Podcasting: Do-It-Yourself Guide is exactly what your looking for.
Todd Cochrane is the creator of the geeknewscentral.com weblog and its associated Podcast. He started making Podcasts in October of 2004 and has created as of August 12, 2005 ninety podcasts.
The book is devided up into five sections:
Part I: Listening to the Podcast Revolution
This section talks in detail about what Podcasts are; how to listen to Podcasts under Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux; and how to find Podcasts to listen to.
- In my opinion some portions of the first few chapters were too wordy and could have benefited from tighter sentence structure. I may be overly sensitive to this as it is one of the problems of my own writing.
- Apple support of Podcasting in iTunes has changed the landscape for Windows and Mac OS X users. There is no way that Mr. Cochrane could have predicted this, but lack of iTunes information does leave a hole in the second chapter.
- The first chapter really does a good job in explaining why people would want to create or listen to podcasts, not just what Podcasting is.
- Listing the features that you could look for in a Podcast client was a nice touch and because it explains how to go about evaluating and selecting a Podcasting client, the chapter will still be useful even when different clients are released.
- The descriptions and details written about each client are clearly written and cover enough detail without being to verbose.
- Chapter three has a very complete description of how to subscribe to a Podcast.
Part II: Joining the Revolution: Your Own Podcast
This section explains the basics of creating your own Podcast. It coverers everything from deciding what to Podcast about to calculating the bandwidth you will need for the show.
- The Mac OS X section of Chapter 5: Producing a Podcast with Gear You Own Today should have discussed Garage Band.
- I feel I should quibble with Mr. Cochrane's statement that you should spend five hundred dollars on a microphone. I quibble because he rates multiple microphones highly that he says cost less than five hundred dollars.
Part III: Recording Your Podcast and Performing Postproduction Tasks
- The numbered list to lay out the format of the Podcast was a great description of the details involved in laying out a Podcast. The book then flows into creating a set of notes that the Podcaster can use to lay out their show.
- The chapter on creating a semiprofessional recording studio was well done and contains a wealth of information that was completely new to me.
- The microphone and mixer sections are a clear and concise explanation of an area that can be hard to research online without being overwhelmed by to much detailed information.
This section provides an excellent overview of the process of creating a Podcast. It talks about the pros and cons of creating a Podcast in different places, including: how to improve conditions in your home to lower background noise during recording, recording inside a car, recording in public places, and Podcasting from an event or meeting.
The following two chapters discuss the process of taking a recording and cleaning it up then creating a Podcast from it.
- The time and effort that Mr. Cochrane has spent learning to Podcast really comes out in this section.
- The small tutorial on using Audacity was well done and was full of good advice.
- The advice to use a backup recording device is excellent.
- One example of the experience Mr. Cochrane has with Podcasting is the page that talks about recording on both ends of a VoIP or telephone connection then splicing the two recordings together during post production.
Part IV: Hosting and Preparing to Publish Your Podcast
This section tells us how to find a host for our Podcast, different methods to distribute a Podcast, and talks about RSS with enclosures.
- Chapter ten covers a wide range of hosting options for a Podcast and Chapter eleven follows this trent by describing a wide range of publishing methods.
- The chapter on RSS provides the nuts and bolts of RSS.
Part V: It's Show Time
This section consists of several small chapters that cover what to do when you have posted your Podcast, advertising your Podcast, and where Podcasting may go from here.
- These chapters could have been fleshed out a little bit more.
- More good advice from Mr. Cochrane on the physical layout of the Podcast files on our web server.
- Good overview of how to communicate with listeners.
- Covers how to increase number of listeners
Podcasting: Do-It-Yourself Guide is an excellent overview of creating Podcasts. Anyone who is thinking of creating a Podcast will find this book to be helpful and informative.
Table of Contents:
Part I: Listening to the Podcast Revolution.
Chapter 1:What Is a Podcast?
Chapter 2: Choosing Podcatcher Software.
Chapter 3: Finding and Subscribing to Podcasts.
Part II: Joining the Revolution: Your Own Podcast.
Chapter 4: Choosing Your Podcast Format.
Chapter 5: Producing a Podcast with Gear You Own Today.
Chapter 6: The Semiprofessional Podcast Studio.
Part III: Recording Your Podcast and Performing Postproduction Tasks.
Chapter 7: Recording Locations.
Chapter 8: The Recording Process.
Chapter 9: Recording Postproduction.
Part IV: Hosting and Preparing to Publish Your Podcast.
Chapter 10: Finding a Web Host for Your Podcast.
Chapter 11: Podcast Publishing and Distribution Methods.
Chapter 12: The Life Breath of a Podcast: RSS 2.0 with Enclosures.
Part V: It's Show Time.
Chapter 13: Uploading Files and Publishing Your Show.
Chapter 14: Feedback, Promotion, and Paying the Bills.
Chapter 15:Where Do You Go from Here?