Just wanted you to hear our latest blog/cast for NASCAR at Texas Motor Speedway… After you listen here, follow the link to my JustAFansView website. I think you might like it… (anyway, it doesn’t cost anything to visit and you just might find you like it…
You’ve heard me say many times, you can get started podcasting very inexpensively and still turn out a great audio or video podcast. You have also heard me say you can spend a little more money and … still turn out a great audio or video podcast.
In reality, it isn’t the amount of money you have invested in equipment and software that makes a great podcast. It is the attention you pay to small details and the quality of the content that can ultimately make your podcast, or other type of production, as good as any and better than many, and you can still do it “On The Cheap.”
Spending a lot of money doesn’t guarantee a great podcast
You see, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get started with podcasting. Just throwing money at equipment and software for podcasting doesn’t guarantee anything about the final product you turn out. In fact, it doesn’t even guarantee that you will turn out a great podcast. Of course, you do need to have equipment and software that simplifies the job of producing it and you need to know enough about certain production techniques to make your podcast sound good enough to make it easy and pleasing to listen to.
Let me be blatantly bold and say, “You definitely need what it takes to present your information in a way that is appealing to your listeners.” (Yes, I was trying to be dramatic and pause for effect… (chuckle) In reality, I admit that wasn’t really so blatant and also not so bold, but, it is important all the same.)
Always keep in mind that you can spend a little money, or a lot of money, and still turn out a podcast or production that is terrible and will, in no way, appeal to anyone, (except maybe you).
So, why do I continue to offer the thought that you can make podcasts, “On the Cheap”, and why should you care?
Well…the answer is pretty easy and straight forward…it is because you can!
Now, I can hear those rumblings out there from those of you that say, “So Who Cares?!?” and I understand where you’re coming from, but, I also understand that your audience does care how, why and what you do to make your podcast a pleasurable experience and why it is important to consider what they think.
No matter what you think, there are several things to consider about quality…
Any conversation about quality will ultimately open wide ranging opinions and arguments. I know why there is concern for speedy delivery and I also know what I like. Most times, the two are not even in the same ball park.
I have a very good friend that owns a recording studio. He will be the first to tell you that he is “old school” and how disappointed he is with much of digital technology, (a viewpoint I understand but don’t totally agree with, although I do know what parts in particular he doesn’t like.). He was the first person to give me this description of low resolution mp3 files. He said, “It sounds like someone threw marbles into a metal bowl and they’re rolling around while their trying to talk, play or sing.” He has received some demo mp3’s in a very small file formats and has understandably been disappointed in what he heard and totally unimpressed by what could have been presented in a slightly larger file size and it would have made a more positive impact or first impression.
Generally, I know I don’t think like some and I know I have higher expectations of quality that many because I just don’t like listening to junk. I guess I have been spoiled by being around well produced material for most of my life. I’ve been involved in doing many types of media productions (both audio and video) and there are just some things I don’t like about the internet as yet, (although things are changing for the better all the time.)
I don’t like the fact that available bandwidth controls so much of what many say is ‘acceptable’. It has to load fast and be in small perspective for maximum effectiveness; otherwise, no one will stay around long enough to watch or listen. Fortunately, audio is easier to deliver and load speedily than video, but, some are so interested in making the file so small for extremely fast delivery and small file storage space that the quality suffers greatly.
Here are some things you need to consider for the near future…
This is where I see the greatest change coming for the future and what I have, and will be talking about more and more in the near future. Storage space costs and the speed and quality of delivery are becoming more and more important and it is important to consider these aspects as you pursue your journey (or adventure) in podcasting, whether it be audio or video.
For those that may be new to Podcasting Resources, I have some interesting news. If you would like to know more about a great, inexpensive storage service and some great new software to easily use it, take a look at this previous post (> link to S3 media post<) I made several months ago. It will give you some great information that could very possibly make your adventure in podcasting much easier than it used to be.
For you regular visitors, we will be talking more about the ‘small details’ that can make noticeable differences in your audio and video productions and the way they are received and/or perceived by your listeners.
See ya next time…
(all views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer)
© October 14, 2009 – all rights reserved
PCN Productions and Rusty Norman
Watch the video below and then click on the link to try:
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Click the play button below for a message from podcastnorm – Rusty Norman
Click link to go to #0044 at mypodcast.com
Wouldn’t it be great if there were just three “magic” questions you could ask yourself and then immediately progress to producing your first podcast?
Well … yes … in a way that would be nice, but, it seems as though there are many questions on getting started and then you work through to the normal nuts and bolts questions so you can make your podcast as good as it can be technically.
Why can’t you just sit down and start talking into your microphone or recording device?
Well … the truth is … you can, but, I personally believe, if you are really serious about being a podcaster and turning out a podcast with regularity, you need to consider several things before you jump in with both feet. You need to fully consider what I call ‘the broader picture’ in this adventure called podcasting. Before you go to the all the trouble and possible expense, why not think about your full, long range, plan and intentions.
Does that mean you can’t have any fun and that everything has to be set in stone, serious and perfect from the beginning?? Of course not, it merely means that you should think further down the road than next week, (unless one more week is all you intend your podcast to be around for.)
A couple of weeks ago, I presented you with three questions you needed to ask yourself before starting a podcast. Now that you’ve had a chance to think about your real reasons for producing a podcast, here are the next three questions that would be good to consider before you actually invest your time and hard earned cash in equipment or software to make it happen.
Question one – Uniqueness
- What makes your podcast unique? Just what is it that separates yours from others and what is it that will keep you and your listeners coming back over and over again? Is it your personality? Is it the subject matter? or is it just because it is so much fun?
Question two – Niche Knowledge
- How well do you know your chosen niche subject or subjects? This goes back to the question of, “just because you know a lot doesn’t mean you know it all.” If you are an expert in your field and have lots of shortcuts, tips and general, as well as specific, knowledge then you can probably be the authority on the chosen subject. If not, you may want to consider …
Question three -Type of format
- What type of format will your podcast be? Will it be an interview type? Or possibly a monologue type? Perhaps you will just depend on your ability to express yourself with your gift of gab. Maybe you will choose a disc-jockey style with all the bells and whistles as well as with playlists. May be you will simply talk about your subject with mood setting musical underlays or adding commercials and any number of technical complexities.
Look, I’m not trying to hold you back by asking a bunch of senseless questions or beat the preparation thing into the ground. I just want to see you turn out the best podcast you can. These questions don’t in any way cramp your creativity. If anything, they will enhance your ability to accomplish your end results.
You see, I want you to accomplish your goals and not be disillusioned by the pressing demands over the long run by your continued involvement in this exciting way of communicating. I hope it is your intention to always be learning and striving for excellence with your production while at the same time having a great time and thoroughly enjoying creatively expressing yourself or your subject.
You can have a lot of fun podcasting and you can teach or inform others about your subject and also learn and hone your craft at the same time. The sky really is the limit and the only thing that can hold you back is lack of preparation and planning. Sure, there will be times when it is difficult and there will be times you may be disappointed, but, if you “take the time it takes to think it through” before you run across those times, you will succeed beyond your wildest dreams.
See ya next time …
I fully intended to be giving you a review of a nice little software program I tried out at the request of one of my reader/listeners … but I have found that they are no longer around. That software was called “Podcast Station” and I gave it a good try for the thirty day trial period and wanted to buy it but found they were out of business.
Wow, how quickly things change in this world we live in … especially this audio and video podcasting world.
That’s one of the problems, or should I say challenges, of getting started marketing either yourself or a product online. Sometimes a great idea is just that, a great idea, but needs to be looked at further BEFORE you offer more than you can deliver or before your hopes and dreams for a program or product bankrupt you either physically, spiritually or financially.
I am sure all of us would like to generate some sort of income from our podcasts, products or productions, but there are some pitfalls that need to be considered also. That’s why we need to look at our future in this endeavor before we’ve invested too much money or time (which is part of the subject I talked about in my last article).
I cannot, and will not, speak for the makers of “Podcast Station” but I do kinda know how they feel. It can be really tough in this life of technology and information sharing, whether you are trying to market a podcast or trying to sell a software program. I’m inclined to believe that just because something is so easy and inexpensive for individuals, or companies, to produce does not mean it will always be successful or valuable.
That’s why I think it is so important for beginner, (or wannabe), podcasters to really think about their short-term and long-term goals for their chosen direction. Although you can’t necessarily see all of the possible problems before you actually turn out your project, you can research and analyze your possibilities by taking just a bit more time before making a long-term commitment to something. Does this mean you can’t step out and just do it? No; but it does mean that you need to take the necessary time to look at your plan before it causes you a lot of grief or heartache.
If you take that little bit of extra time, what does it cost you? Nothing but the extra time it takes. The nice part is that if you take a little extra time and decide to continue on, you may find that it makes your progress towards what you consider success that much quicker. Can that be a bad thing? I don’t think so.
You see, I have this really big “wish list” filled with all kinds of nifty items I would love to have or at least try out. I just don’t have the extra cash laying around to throw at items that I probably don’t need anyway. I have managed to keep my budget relatively low because I took a little extra time to look at what I wanted to do, what I could afford to do and how important it was for me to do it.
I have invested in a couple of pieces of equipment to make my job easier for now and they were things I could use not only for my podcasting adventure, but also for other things I like to do.
One of the best investments I think I have made is how I record my voice for this podcast. I use a ZOOM H4 Handy Recorder. It is a portable and handy device that captures (records) directly to an SD memory card (up to 2g) in either wav or mp3 files from the built in x-y pattern mics. It also has the capability to directly connect external mic or instrument inputs. In fact, it is actually a hand held 4 track studio.
As I have mentioned many times before, I use Audacity to edit my programs. It is free, versatile and works extremely well. (Now, admittedly, I use ver. 1.2.6 just because I like the stability of it but I have used the newer versions which do even more and also perform well). Did I mention it was FREE?
You see, I’m a believer in not spending more than you need to and I also believe in keeping things simple. Both of the items I have mentioned here are easy to use and affordable. I didn’t start out with the H4 but took equipment I had laying around and used that until I determined what would be the best for me to invest my limited finances in. I’ve used an old hand-held, full-size cassette recorder and then graduated to using my little hand-held, audio note-taking digital recorder (made by Olympus) until I made that investment in the H4.
Now, I feel as though I am working with two things, (the H4 and Audacity), that allow me to quickly turn out a very good production and also serve me well in other areas of interest.
Does that mean I can’t do better?
No … it means I have put off making a larger financial investment in some equipment I would someday like to have until I really need it. I think what I use serves me quite well considering what I have invested in it.
You may ask the question, “Do I really think my podcast is that important or popular?”
I would answer you this way. If I can help just one person make a better decision in their quest for a dream, then I have accomplished at least one purpose for this website. My hope is that I have reached, and will continue to reach, more than one. I have considered my purpose and investment and it is worth the price for me to continue trying to help people not waste their time or money and become frustrated.
Am I looking to be popular? Although popularity is always appealing — no — I am looking to help you make wise decisions to accomplish your most burning desire in podcasting. The most important thing I have to offer is my experience in recording, editing and turning out productions and doing it the best I can. That part may not be important to you, but I have been doing it for a long time and I do care about what I do.
See ya next time …
Click the Play button below to hear a message from PodCastNorm – Rusty Norman
“So … why can’t you just start a podcast?” Well, that’s a really good question and here’s another. “Why bother thinking about the ins and outs and pesky details of making a podcast when all you want to do is interview people and/or talk about what-ever comes to mind?” Well, that’s another good question, and here’s one more. “When all is said and done, couldn’t spontaneity be the key to a successful podcast?”
The answers to these three questions are:
- you can;
- you don’t have to
- and, yes.
But these are not the three most important questions you need to ask yourself before you start your own podcast. Hopefully, you will consider these and other questions as you progress towards producing your own podcast, but, you see, there are a lot of things that need to be considered and some are more important than others.
Let’s get real here. Audio recording and editing (especially simple, digital recording and non-destructive editing) is not at all difficult in this day and age but it is an ever-evolving craft as far as equipment and software is concerned. Although not quite the same, this same thought holds true for video recording and editing. Podcasting, more often than not, is merely an extension of recording and editing either audio or video or both.
While we’re at it, let’s not forget what a definition of podcasting actually is. It is the ability of the listener to take recorded audio or video files of information they’re interested in and listen to them at a time more convenient for them. Perhaps better stated, it is a recorded audio or video file that is portable and time-shiftable by the listener.
In the end, however simple or complicated you decide to make the above tasks determines what equipment and software you will need, but those are questions we can better answer later.
Now that we’ve gotten those preliminaries out of the way, there are other things you need to consider as you plan producing your podcast. You don’t need to consider every little detail here at the beginning, but you do need to think about the bigger picture. In other words, you may know you want to be podcaster, but, do you know what you are getting yourself into?
Let’s take a look at three of the questions you really need to ask yourself before you get started and before you make any large investments in equipment or software.
First: Just how serious are you about making a regular podcast?
- You must first make up your mind whether or not you are really serious about doing a regular podcast. Believe me, somewhere down the road you will definitely come to the point of answering this question and you might as well answer it first. It is one of the most important you can ask yourself right now, before you spend any money or invest in any equipment or software. Think it through. After the newness wears off and the drudgery kicks in will you still want to pursue this?
Second: How much do you want to invest in this adventure?
- Just because you only have a little money — or don’t have any money — to invest in equipment or software doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your goal. It just means you may have to be more creative in your approach to getting started. It may mean you have to think a little harder or consider more broadly how you can actually get started or where you want to spend what little money you do or don’t have to purchase the necessary equipment or software. It is my opinion, if you have a relatively new computer and a microphone that records your voice somewhat decently, you are ready to get started, (even if only on a limited basis to begin with.) Your options are still wide open in any case. Trust me, if you really want to be a podcaster, there are even ways to be one whether you have a computer or not.
Third: How willing are you to listen to the input of others even if you have a working knowledge of recording, editing and podcasting?
- Just because you know a lot doesn’t mean you know it all. Swallow that pride, be open-minded and listen to the input of others. You may not agree with them and you may not use all or any of what they offer but you can gain valuable input and information from them; and come to better know why you do things the way you do and why their way won’t work for you. You never know, you may actually find they have some really good ideas that you can tweak and use for your own purpose. (Who knows, you may even one day discover that people are willing to listen to what you have to say concerning this ever-changing way of communicating ideas to others.)
As I said earlier in this article, there are many things you need to consider before jumping headlong into your choice of podcasting. These are three of the ones I consider to be most important to consider before you get started. I do believe if you take the time to evaluate them and your plans for your production you will be miles ahead now and in the future.
See you next time …
If someone would have told you 3-4 years ago that podcasting was going to be as popular as it is today and that you would be able to get your favorite music and podcasts through your cell phone, would that have made a difference in your life at that time?
If your answer is yes, (or even a ‘maybe’), then I have some great information for you today. I know of someone (and I am sure he was not alone) who said just that 3-4 years ago and that’s one of the reasons I look to him for software and equipment recommendations. I listen closely what he says about the future of podcasting with audio, video or both and thoroughly enjoy the excitement in his voice when he shares his thoughts and insights into recording, editing, podcasting and production.
Who is this person, you ask?
In the past, I have mentioned to you many times this person named, Mike Stewart. If you have never visited his sites or taken advantage of his expertise, you shouldn’t put it off any longer. He has branded himself, (and is known as), the “internetaudioguy” and the “internetvideoguy“. (That’s not all he can do but that’s a good place to start in this conversation.)
I have visited his sites many times and have to tell you, he and a few of his friends are always coming up with cutting edge stuff to make the job of recording, editing and podcasting, using audio and video, easier and more understandable. He can help you get started with the proper equipment and software without you having to do a lot of trial and error along the way. His input could save you a lot of wasted time and money as you pursue your podcasting journey further.
One thing I have personally tried to get across in past discussions is, “Don’t complicate your podcasting life by making things more difficult than they need to be. Keep it simple. Make it simple for yourself and your listener.” That is why I suggest you check out Mike Stewart. He can help you get started without complicating your life with a lot of ‘stuff’ that just makes him money and does very little for you.
I firmly believe the information and resources I provide can help you get started podcasting “On The Cheap” (which just happens to be the title of my soon available ebook for beginners getting started as podcasters.) But, when I say, “On The Cheap” I want you to understand it is a relative term:
- If you have no money, you can still do this podcasting thing with no money, (depending on what you already have as equipment).
- If you have a little money, you can spend a little money and have pretty good setup.
- If money is not a real problem, it is still important to only invest in what you need and not buy a bunch of frills you will never use.
To me, ‘Podcasting “On the Cheap”, means you don’t spend money on things you don’t need or can’t afford, but, wisely invest the money you do have in what will benefit you most. To simplify, “Cheap” means, “you only pay for what you need once and because of that, you didn’t waste any time or money.
What I have shared with you in the past still holds true. I think the information and resources I give you here can help you get started at a point that you can afford. At the very least, Continue reading Why I Like Mike Stewart and His Recommendations on Podcasting Equipment and Software – episode #0039
I don’t intend to make a habit of this, but, I just couldn’t talk myself out of it. You can call me crazy if you want, but, I just wanted to put this thing out with a musical floor and so that’s what I did.
If you listened to episode #0037, then please, listen to this version (#0037a) and leave me your comments concerning your preference of the version without the musical floor under the main talk (#0037) or the version with a musical floor (#0037a).
Since a future article will talk about more reasons for using a musical floor I thought it might be fun to get some outside input from ya’ll.
Please listen to both if you have the time and let me know what you think. You don’t have to write me book and, please, don’t be too harsh, but do be honest. Maybe you don’t care one way or the other, (that’s okay, too). Whatever your thoughts are please take the time to comment.
I look forward to hearing from you.
See ya next time …
I listen to many podcasts, audio books and audio blogs by many different people and some just drive me crazy. There are just some things I don’t like and when I hear someone continually do the same things over and over … well … it just gets to me.
Here are some of the things that particularly bother me:
- Pops, cracks and scratchy sounds
- Hums and buzzing sounds
- Background noises that continually cause distractions
- Room ambience. (You know, that ‘echo-y’ sound that comes from a live room, like you’re doing your podcast in the kitchen or bathroom. I know, I know; some of you actually do that, don’t you?)
- Intro music that is much louder than the talking that follows
- Exit music that disrupts the final statements of the person(s) talking
In general, I think it is important to pay at least a little attention to detail. (In fact, I admit I probably sometimes pay a little too close attention to details. Sorry, it’s just the way I’m put together.)
I’m not here to say that everything needs to sound as though it is done in the studio, but, some of the more bothersome distractions can generally be quite simply eliminated, or, at least minimized. When I say that, I mean it doesn’t generally take a degree in rocket science to make a noticeable difference. All it really takes is paying attention to some small details.
Have you ever considered what your listeners may think about your podcast? Continue reading Simple Things Can Make Your Podcast Better
Since we’ve recently been talking about putting a musical floor beneath your talking or reading of your podcast, you may have the problem of your musical spots being to short. So, if that is the case, what can you do to make them longer?
In this article I will be talking about, and using “Audacity” (1.3.0-beta version). It’s for Windows XP . If you download a later version, (like 1.3.3, which I think is the latest) I will be updating this article and it’s information to that version soon. There are some slight differences in the 1.3.3 version and I am not totally familiar with it yet, (but you can get it by Clicking Here).
If you are using an editing program like “Audacity” I will be showing you what I consider to be the easiest way to extend the length of those short musical spots that you have access user rights to and want to use. Even if you aren’t using “Audacity”, the principles and techniques will still hold true. This is not something that is hard, but it does require you to expend a little effort to accomplish the desired results. Who knows; you may actually find that it’s a lot of fun finding ways to make them work differently.
Remember; my examples are just that– examples– and please do not think I am in anyway trying to limit your creative capabilities. I simply offer these examples as my creative offering. Continue reading When Longer Really Is Better__ … __Podcasting Quicktip #8 __(Making Short Musical Spots, Longer)