Podcasting Hacks review
I recently read this book and found it to not only be a good read but also a valuable resource to some other projects I am working on. Hope you enjoy the review.
"Podcasting Hacks is a great book for anyone who wants to create a podcast and a great book for anyone who is already recording but wants to improve their podcast. I enjoyed reading it from cover to cover but as all hacks are cross referenced I will also be using it as a reference book to improve my podcasting and audio skills. Without any reservations I would recommend this book to anyone involved with podcasting."
(Submitted by Noel Mon Oct 31, 2005 )
By Jack Herrington
Reviewed by Noel Davis
A podcast is an audio show delivered over the Internet. Podcasts can be compared to a radio show in format and content and only significantly differ in the way the show is delivered to the end user.
Recently my wife and I started creating a weekly sailing podcast we named The FurledSails.com Sailing Podcast. We both host the show and I do the audio engineering end of things. This includes recording the show, editing the recordings, and then producing the files for distribution.
On the surface producing a twenty five minute audio program seems like a simple task and to some extent it is. However, there is a huge difference between producing twenty-five minutes of audio and twenty-five minutes of audio that sounds good.
That is where Podcasting Hacks comes in. This book is a collection of hacks in lots of different areas relating to podcasting. Hacks are clever tricks not a way to break into someone's computer which is more properly referred to by the term cracks.
The author of Podcasting Hacks is Jack Herrington who is a computer programmer / engineer with a primary focus is in the area of code generation. He is the creator of the Bound Cast book review podcast. It seemed a little strange to me that a person with his primary interests in other areas would create a book about podcasting hacks. However the fact that he was not a highly experience podcaster worked in his favor and helped him to fully explain concepts and ideas that otherwise might have been glossed over.
So with all that out of the way lets get down to the part where I tell you what is actually in this book:
Podcasting Hacks is a great book for anyone who wants to create a podcast and a great book for anyone who is already recording but wants to improve their podcast. I enjoyed reading it from cover to cover but as all hacks are cross referenced I will also be using it as a reference book to improve my podcasting and audio skills. Without any reservations I would recommend this book to anyone involved with podcasting.
- Chapter 1. Tuning into Podcasts
This chapter talks about how to find and listen to podcasts. It also includes Perl hacks to "rebroadcast" a list of podcasts using RSS (Real Simple Syndication) and convert a text blog into a podcast using a Mac. If your not currently listening to podcasts your missing out on a lot and this chapter will help you find, download, and listen to podcasts.
- Chapter 2. Starting Out
Starting with recording a basic podcast and then continuing with advice on how to create a more professional recording this chapter provides a starting place for anyone who would like to record a podcast.
- Chapter 3. Quality Sound
This section covers all sorts of information on how to make your podcast sound better. In the hardware topic it covers picking a microphone, mixer, and compressor. There are also hacks that talk about building a home studio and training your voice. This is a chapter that I found fascinating and find myself going back to again and again. There is a lot of information and each time I read through it I pick up something new.
- Chapter 4. Formats
What type of podcast are you planning to create? Is it a news podcast? Will you review music? How about politics or a radio play? This section of the book explores what a format is, how radio stations set up a show, and then talks extensively about what you should think about for each type of show.
- Chapter 5. Interviewing
When I was in school I never imagined that I would still be writing book reports when I had teenagers. One other thing I never expected to do prior to creating a podcast is to interview someone. (Well I have done a few interviews on RootPrompt.org if you count sending a list of questions by email an interview). This chapter provided a lot of great information on how to do a good interview. There is also information on interviewing someone over the telephone or the Internet with VoIP.
- Chapter 6. Blogging
If your already creating a blog you might find the information on how to get popular blogging software to work for podcasting helpful. If you are not blogging then this section will tell you more or less what you need to know. There is also an interesting hack that tells you how you can get your podcast syndicated onto regular radio stations.
- Chapter 7. Publicity
Unless your podcast is aimed only at other family members and personal friends then you will need to let your potential audience know about your show. You should read this chapter to learn about podcasting directories, marketing your podcast, monitizing your podcast, and more.
- Chapter 8. Basic Editing
If you listen to our first few podcasts, then listen to the latest ones you can hear the difference that spending some money on equipment and following some of the advice in this chapter can make. (I say some of the advice because this is another one of the chapters that each time I read it I pick up more information I can use to make our podcast better.
- Chapter 9. Advanced Audio
Chapter nine starts with a hack that shows how to pick even better tools and hardware, then describes building cedub studio. Reading this chapter made me want a studio of my own, and it is one that I will be going back to when the less advanced chapters have been mastered. The chapter also covers a diverse selection of topics including copyright, using music legally, and integrating email and voicemail into your podcast.
- Chapter 10. On the Go
Would you like (or need) to record audio in the field away from your home studio? This section will tell you how to put together a remote recording rig, how to podcast while driving a car (not sure about how good an idea this is, I am easily distracted with out trying something like this), how to record and event, and how to create a "sound seeing tour".
- Chapter 11. Videoblogging
Not a lot of information in this chapter. I am not pretty enough to do a video podcast, but if you are check out this chapter. There is an interesting hack on how to build your own teleprompter.
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1. Tuning into Podcasts
1. Listen to Podcasts on the Web
2. Rebroadcast Your Favorite Feeds
3. Build Your Own Podcatcher
4. Import Podcasts into iTunes
5. Tune into Videoblogs
6. Convert Text-Based Blogs into Podcasts
7. Install Perl Modules
8. Listen to Podcasts on Your PDA
9. Podcatching with Your PlayStation Portable
Chapter 2. Starting Out
10. Make Your First Podcast
11. Professional-Quality Podcasting
Chapter 3. Quality Sound
12. Set Up a Basic Home Studio
13. Pick the Right Microphone
14. Mix Your Podcast in Hardware
15. Reduce Noise
16. Podcast in Surround Sound
17. Control Your Recorder with Your Mobile Phone
18. Construct Your MP3s
19. Train Your Voice
Chapter 4. Formats
20. Adopt a Format for Your Podcast
21. Build a Great News Podcast
22. Build a Great Story Show
23. Build a Great Personal Show
24. Build a Great Political Show
25. Make a Mystery Science Theater Podcast
26. Build a Great Music Podcast
27. Build a Great Review Podcast
28. Build a Great Sports Podcast
29. Build a Great Technology Podcast
30. Build a Beercast
31. Build an MP3zine
32. Produce Great Audio Theatre
Chapter 5. Interviewing
33. Record Great Interviews
34. Record Telephone Interviews
35. Record Interviews on Skype
36. Edit Your Interviews
Chapter 6. Blogging
37. Podcast Without a Blog
38. Blog Your Podcast
39. Manage Bandwidth
40. Tag Your MP3 Files
41. Feed Your MP3s to Movable Type
42. Podcast by Email
43. Syndicate Your Podcasts to the Radio
Chapter 7. Publicity
44. Get Listed
45. Launch a New Category
46. Market Your Podcast
47. Make Money with Podcasts
48. Connect with the Community
49. Join or Build a Podcast Network
Chapter 8. Basic Editing
50. Choose the Right Audio Tools
51. Juice Your Sound
52. Automate Audio Hijack Pro
53. Timestamp Your Show Notes
54. Build a Simple Sound Cart for Macintosh
55. Build a Simple Sound Cart for Windows
56. Maintain the Gain
57. Build a Sweet Sound
58. Add Special Effects
59. Fix Common Audio Problems
60. Mix Multiple Tracks
Chapter 9. Advanced Audio
61. Set Up a Home Studio
62. Integrate Audio and Email Feedback
63. Add Top, Bottom, and Bumper Music
64. Record and Add Background Ambience
65. Speech Synthesize Your Podcast Introduction
66. Make a Mash-Up
67. Grab Audio Legally
68. Use Copyrighted Music Legally
Chapter 10. On the Go
69. Assemble a Small Recording Rig
70. Podcast from Your Car
71. Podcast at an Event
72. Create a Soundseeing Tour
Chapter 11. Videoblogging
73. Start a Videocast
74. Make a Quick-and-Dirty Prompter
75. Build a Teleprompter
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