Recording podcasts

A few people have asked how I go about recording my podcast. So I don’t need to keep repeating myself, I thought it worthwhile to write it up here.

Skype

So, the format of my podcast is usual an interview, or really just a chat, between myself and one other person. It’s done using Skype,  just a normal free call using the basic service. It’s not perfect but is usually good enough.

When recording, I wear a pair of Logitech UE 4000 headphones which feature a microphone on them, which cuts down on too much background noise, and using headphones means there’s no echo too.

Call Recorder

To record the conversation I use a Mac app called Call Recorder. This really does exactly what it says – you start the Skype call, then when you’re ready, hit record and it starts to record both ends of the conversation.

The file is saved as a .mov on your desktop, and Call Recorder comes with another app to convert this file to mp3.

If you’re on Windows, then you could try Evaer instead of Call Recorder.

Garageband

I tend not to bother editing the podcast, unless something catastrophic happens during recording like Skype dropping out or similar. I use Garageband for this, which is a free bit of software on the Mac.

If you’re on another platform then the open source Audacity would be a good place to start.

Libsyn

Once the file is ready to go live, I upload it to Libsyn, which hosts the audio file and also creates an RSS feed for the podcast with the appropriate enclosure. Libsyn also submits the podcast to iTunes, helps you add an image to feed and so on, to make things look at least reasonably professional.

It’s pretty cheap – the basic tier is just a few pounds a month, although I pay a bit extra for more storage and some stats.

One thing I have found with uploading the file is that rather than using Libsyn’s browser based uploader, it’s best to save your audio file in Dropbox first and then use Libsyn’s tool to transfer that file into Libsyn. Just seems to work better and have less chance of failing.

WordPress

I then promote the podcast by creating a post on my blog here in WordPress. WordPress has an inbuilt audio player, so all I need to do is paste the URL to the audio file into my post, and WordPress does the rest for me.

I listen through the podcast and add links to the show notes as it plays, to help listeners find out more about what I am talking about with my guest.

Hope that’s useful! Any other podcasting tips?

Link roundup

I find this stuff so you don’t have to:

Link roundup

I find this stuff so you don’t have to:

Link roundup

I find this stuff so you don’t have to:

Link roundup

I find this stuff so you don’t have to:

Link roundup

I find this stuff so you don’t have to:

Bookmarks for July 3rd through July 7th

I find this stuff so that you don’t have to.

You can find all my bookmarks on Delicious. There is also even more stuff on my shared Google Reader page.

You can also see all the videos I think are worth watching at my video scrapbook.

A quick start guide to Twitter

Twitter Guide You will all be delighted to know that I have written a handy quick-start guide to Twitter for people who work in and around government!

I have had loads of requests for this, from people who can see that Twitter is taking off in a big way, but who also just can’t quite make their way around the service enough to make the most of it.

The guide takes absolute beginners to Twitter right from the start – explaining what Twitter is, and how to sign up – right through to replying, retweeting, hashtagging and using tools to measure success.

It’s free to download, just click the cover graphic or the text link below!

Download Learning Pool’s Twitter Guide

I’d love to know what you make of it, and if you have any suggestions for an updated version. Maybe you have an idea for another subject crying out for the Briggs treatment. Drop me your comments using dave@learningpool.com or send them via Twitter to @davebriggs.

And don’t forget, you can follow Learning Pool on Twitter too – @learningpool.

ICELE eDemocracy Guides

Alastair Smith at Newcastle City Council today brought my attention to the fact that the ICELE eDemocracy guides were no longer available. Effectively, the link to the page where they were distributed via the Lulu website no longer works.

Luckily for Alastair, and perhaps others, I saved the downloadable PDFs of the guides a while ago, and so now am happy to make them available here on DavePress for folk that want them:

I think I have them all, although four doesn’t seem that many. If you have any others I have missed, do let me know.