It is the fourth in a series of article/podcasts for those wanting to use the new technology of TVs, the internet and antennas to “Cut the Cord” and possibly reduce the expense of viewing their chosen entertainment on their TVs. This episode talks about several things to consider before “Cutting the Cord” and the first on a list of at least five things to consider before actually making the decision to do so. Rusty will be talking about these over the next several article/podcasts to be presented over the coming weeks here on PodCastNorm dot com. These are full of great information you should listen to before you actually decide on “Cutting the Cord”…
I know I’ve talked a lot about podcasting over the last several years, but I do have good reasons for making podcasts and productions and I want you to check out at least one of these three short podcast demos from PodCastNorm Productions. (I’ll give you links for them here at the end of this article.)
I’m not doing this to brag or to get you to buy something, but I do want you to see that not every production has to be an interview with some guru about some subject that takes 90 minutes to get to the reason they wanted you to listen in the first place — buy their product!
Yeah, I know not everyone that makes podcasts just wants you to buy something and not everybody just wants to entertain you. I will be the first to tell you, most of those type things are well produced and often offer great information about the subject they talk about, but there are a number of other reasons to use podcasts, blog/casts, v-casts or whatever you might think of.
One of the reason’s I take the time to make a production out of reading my articles is for those that may not be able to read because of eyesight or health issues. Another would be so they can listen on the fly while they are walking, exercising or driving down the road. In a way, I offer to read my articles to them, (or you), so they, (or you), can multi-task and still absorb the information and hopefully use it sooner or later, depending on what the case may be.
I try my level best to make the presentation acceptable on many levels so that it isn’t offensive to the listeners in several ways. I don’t want to offend them by using harsh language and I try to make the music I use fit the project. I want it to sound at least somewhat professional and not like it was recorded in some large auditorium (although I know those type recordings have their place also.) I try to do the best I can with what I have.
Another reason I read them is because I know I may not be able to capture in writing the text the way I meant for the reader to read it. By reading it, I can put the emphasis where it needs to be for the listener to properly understand what I meant. (At least, I hope I accomplish that.) Voice inflection, chuckles and laughter can often make a big difference in the way something is understood. They also give the listener/reader some insight into the personality of the person presenting the information and, along the way, hopefully making it a more pleasing experience.
So, I tell you this today for two reasons…
So I can demonstrate to you at least one of the other type productions I make through PodCastNorm, (PCN Productions)
To give you some other ideas for making podcasts, blog/casts, v-casts or whatever type presentation or production you would like to make.
Please do click on the link and listen to the production all the way to the end. The reason I ask this of you is because I have inserted a commercial in it and I want you to see how you can make commercials for yourself, or others, and turn out productions, if not for yourself, at least for others that may not have your capabilities or talents.
The second one is another of my sites that I use for sharing on a more personal level. (I am still working on this site and it is a growing project that I will be adding more content to on a regular basis.) Please click on this link and just listen to it…
Once you arrive on the site, it should begin playing almost immediately. When it finishes, it will redirect you to the next page which contains a video of one of the songs I’ve written. (I would like you to watch the video and hear the song, too, because it is part of what I want you to see about the possibilities for production and podcast ideas and about ways to use your websites to present your material of all kinds.)
Who knows, this could open up whole new opportunities and possibilities for you as you look for a place to use your talents to make productions for yourself or others…
See ya next time… Rusty
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
Can I be extremely blunt with you? I do hope you answered yes because I’m going to be anyway.
This may not be the first time you’ve heard this, but, if you’re not using music — legal music — in your productions, you’re already making two mistakes that could cost you in a large way when it comes to getting people to listen to your podcasts or other audio/video productions.
Go ahead, check out just about any audio or video production, whether it be a commercial or an interview or even a documentary of someone or something. Chances are it uses music in some way. There are several reasons for that and all of them relate to how people respond to what they are seeing or listening to and it has to do with the music used.
The music, in many instances, sets the mood the producer wants to set with what is being presented. Whether it be pictures of a vacation or presenting a situation that needs to be addressed in some way, the music can make or break the way it is received.
So, you ask, “What’s the big deal about using ‘LEGAL MUSIC’? Can’t I use what I like? Why do I have to pay someone to use their music?”
All of those are good questions, but there is only one answer. Because the people that made the music own the rights to it and if you use it without their permission, you could be sued for a large amount of money.
That’s why you need to use, legal, royalty free music for your purposes. It makes you not have to be looking over your shoulder waiting for someone to call you up or serve you with legal papers telling you that you’re being sued for using someone’s music without permission. Believe me, the laws are on their side, not yours if you choose to use anything copyrighted by someone else. They own the rights to it and it is their property.
There are many sources for legally obtaining the rights to use music out there. Some are very expensive and some are reasonably expensive, (sometimes depending on the popularity of the song, or songs you want to use.)
We will talk about some of those other sources in the coming weeks, but for today, I would like to mention Mike Stewart one more time. The reason I use Mike Stewart’s Two Buck Themes is because it is affordable and he gives me so much more for my money. Not only does he give me music for a minimal cost, but he gives me good tutorials and ideas for using the music (and software and equipment he also sells) in different ways.
If you to have to pay for it anyway, why not get the best bang for your buck? (Yes, I am making a recommendation here.) Mike Stewart is someone you can depend on to give you your money’s worth.
The way of software and the internet today is toward making things easy for even the most casual users of the technology. Everything is moving toward software and techniques using templates. Templates allow the user to, basically, only need to know how to fill in the blanks (or overwrite what’s there) which makes what they want to accomplish much easier. I think templates are a great idea and I use the ones I have made to make my podcasts.
I make a couple of podcasts and have a couple of more in the planning stage. Using a template makes my job of editing and turning out my podcasts go much faster. I can make them either way — with or without templates — but using them makes things go a little faster, especially after I have decided on the type format I want to follow. (You see, I like to have a plan and follow it. It doesn’t mean I can’t bend it a little; it just means I have a type of map to follow.)
For the purposes of this article, I will be talking about using Audacity 1.2.6. If you don’t already know about Audacity, it is an open source audio recording and editing program that is free and it has a pretty fast learning curve to make it do what you want it to.
Now you may ask why I use the version 1.2.6 instead of the beta 1.3.7. Without going into a lot of detail, it is because it is the most simple and is fairly glitch free. (The newest version 1.3.7 is also good, but, has a lot more features and I don’t think they’re all necessary for the beginner.)
You see, I’m a firm believer in not spending more money than you need to spend for accomplishing the same ends. With what I am going to talk about today, you will find that you still don’t have to spend money to make your own templates for your audio productions (except for maybe the music). What you will have to do is learn, or become more familiar with, your free “Audacity” program and some recording/editing techniques. (Believe me, a little practice goes a long way to getting a good start.)
What equipment and software will you need to make your own templates? That’s pretty simple and straightforward. You will need:
A way to capture your voice (a microphone or recording device of some sort)
Some original or “royalty-free” music
Willingness to learn some simple recording techniques
The ability to use what you know and learn from this and others
Okay, now that you know what you need, do you know where to get started?
If not, let’s talk for a moment about the technique to use to make an audio template. The purpose we want to accomplish is to make production much easier and less time consuming, especially when you do something repetitive.)
I’ll to be right up front with you. I am not going to go into a long winded discussion right now of how to use Audacity to make a template. I am going to tell you why and how I do it. On another day, I will offer a screen capture video tutorial (on using Audacity and making a template) available for simply leaving me your first name and email address or joining my soon to come membership site. (As I said, that is coming soon, so if you don’t want to leave me your info at that time, I will also be making it available for a small donation.)
So … let’s talk about this. In fact, just take a quick listen to the audio below. It was made with the same template I use for my “Just A Fan’s View” Nascar podcast. I made this short one to tell people I had moved from one website to another. (Just click the play button below)
I actually use that template to make my podcast over at “Just A Fan’s View” and used it to slightly doctor that little audio file for the old site. I can tell you I can make my completed podcasts in one quarter the time now, (that is not counting the time it takes to write them. That has always taken more time time than I like to admit.)
Okay, now quick overview of why you should use a template.
If you think about making a podcast in a type of format, (or a planned form), then there is every reason why you should consider making a template for it. If you have heard some of my other discussions on this matter, you already know that I like a certain type of format. You don’t have to use that type format, but, you may want to have something similar.
Here is my simplified format:
I use a statement of copyright for my programs because, although I don’t mind sharing information, I don’t particularly relish the thought of someone profiting from my hard work unless I want them to. In other words, I want them to ask permission
I start off with music of some sort just because I like it. It can either fade out after 10-15 seconds or it can play as a musical floor beneath my podcast. (I have done both.) It adds so much to the presentation and besides, most people like to have either a musical beginning or some sort of multi-track concoction to either get the attention of their listener or give a signature, (so they know it is you.) If you don’t believe me, just listen to some other podcasts, radio programs and television shows.
I use “Royalty Free” music for the same reason I make a statement of copyright. This is because I believe that the people that make the music deserve what they ask for it because they work hard to make it happen. There is no reason to steal from a person and there is a lot of “Royalty Free” music available. (At the end of this article I will tell you of a great source for some very affordable “Royalty Free” music.)
I have a canned close that I can insert at the end of my talk or show. This is because I want people to remember who I am and where they can find me in the future. It is also where I can make verbal disclaimers of the material contained in my podcasts. (This protects me and the listener.)
After a template is put together, all that remains is to add the latest talk or interview. If you have planned your template properly, this is merely adding the edited version of the file you want to use to a track in the template. Now, you may be moving a few items around so they fit better with the new track and the close, but that’s very easy, too.
That sounds simple … doesn’t it? Believe me, it is with a properly planned and constructed template. You will be amazed at how easily you can turn out your podcasts on a continuing basis.
There is no reason why you cannot learn how to make templates and use this process quickly and easily. Who knows, you may find you actually have more time to do other things.
Well, I’ll talk more about it next time, but, I mentioned I would tell you a great source for “Royalty Free” music. Click on this link,
and it will take you to the most affordable sources on the planet. Not only that but some other great things, too.
Hey everybody, this is podcastnorm, maybe better known to you as Russ and I just wanted to tell you about a presently little known fact. I’ve been busy working on my twice-a-week podcast I like to call, “Just A Fan’s View” and that is exactly what it is. It is about Nascar from “Just A Fan’s View” and I have to admit it is something I am really having a lot of fun making. It gives me a chance to have a little fun amongst all of the stresses of life. In fact, I’m having so much fun I just had to let you know about it and what better way than right here on Podcasting Resources.
I can tell you from personal experience that making a podcast can be a lot of work, but it can be a lot of fun if you can make a podcast about something you really like and then it doesn’t seem so much like work. That is why I am telling you about this now. As beginner podcasters, I’ve been telling you a lot of important information about getting started right and how to make your podcasts a cut above the rest, but there comes the time when you just have to take your idea and make it happen.
You see, I enjoy Nascar racing and I’ve been a fan for a long, long time. I just decided I would like to make a podcast about Nascar from a fan’s view so that is what I did. I’ve found out what I already knew and that is what this is all about. That you can:
take your idea,
think about what you want to accomplish with it,
consider whether it is worth the effort
do a little short range planning
at least consider some long range planning
be sure you have the equipment and software you need
and then make it as good as you can with what you have
Now, you can find “Just A Fan’s View” where it temporarily resides at:
I definitely want you to check it out. It is on my main blog site and the blog is called “Rusty’s View”. That’s where I can talk about any subject I want that affects and interests me. It’s my view … It’s the way I see things. (But that’s another story for another time…)
“Just A Fan’s View” will soon be on its own site at, “www.justafansview.com” and I can’t wait until it is. Now don’t go looking for it because it’s not quite there yet, but trust me, I intend for it to be up and running all on its own on or before December 2nd. In the mean time, (and I know I’m being a little repetitive here), you can listen or read “Just A Fan’s View” at my other site :
“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 don’t have to
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.
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.
AudioGenerator.Com 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.
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.
Now we come to the main body of your audio podcast. I can’t really tell you too much about the body of your podcast. It is up to you, your subject matter and the format you decide to use with your podcasting idea. What I can tell you is that there are several ways in which you can present it.
The choice is naturally, up to you in how you want to present your information or interviews. I personally like a couple of ways. One is without a music floor and one is with. For those of you that are totally new to some of this, I offer this short explanation as my interpretation of a ‘music floor’.
A ‘music floor’ is some kind of music, usually instrumental, playing beneath your talking or reading of your scripted material. My musical choices are very likely going to be different than yours. Some of you really like to “rock out” and some of you are really into that “head bangin” stuff. Those are fine if that is your taste and choice. Others will choose “heavy metal” while still others will choose some more laid back types such as “easy listening”, “jazz” or even “classical.”
Any of these are reasonable choices because it doesn’t really matter that much what type you choose, but there are a few things to consider while you make your choices in types or styles.