Tips for recording, editing and listening to podcasts

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It's important to note that the label 'podcast' is often used to mean a single digital audio file, while in actual fact a podcast is a set of digital audio files, usually collectively forming a program, available online and through RSS. The tips below apply to recording and editing a single digital audio file.

(contributions made by Graham Todd, Allison Hewlitt, Sarah Kerr, Adriana Gouvêa, Marc Cantin of IDRC)

Still a work in progress :)

Tips for Recording

Equipment

Microphones

to be completed

iRiver

iRivers are widely used at Bellanet and IDRC. They are small, compact portable digital audio recorders.

  • iRivers are reasonably priced and records directly into mp3 format.
  • The built-in microphone it comes with is very good.

Audacity (Recording directly with your PC with Audacity)

Alternatively, you can record directly with a PC and Audacity. Audacity has been typically used by Bellanet and IDRC for editing audio, but it has occasionally been used for recording as well.

Editing Audio

Audacity

Audacity is a great tool for editing your audio - it has all the features you need and is free (of cost and free as in freedom - code is available).

Bit Rates and File Sizes

  • With a longer length (and larger size), a bit rate of 16 - 24 is good. 16 can sometimes be too low.
  • With a shorter length (and smaller size), a bit rate of 32 is good.
  • A clock rate of 22050 Hz (22 KHz) is good.
  • A file size between 1-1.2 MB is a good one, greater than 2 MB is too large.
  • Setting the file to be in mono vs. stereo also has a big impact on the size. As a rule, go with mono.

Export Into Which File Format?

Using Audacity, you can export your file to a variety of formats. MP3 is the most popular format, but Ogg Vorbis should be noted as well as an open source audio codec intended as an alternative to MP3.

MP3

Audacity Documentation on how to export to mp3

Ogg Vorbis

OGG Vorbis

Listening to Audio

  • Different players lead to different results. Recommended ones include:
  • Encourage listeners to download the file first rather than clicking on it so that it can be streamed ie progressively downloaded. Streaming allows network artifacts to creep in ... download first - then play is best.

References

Beginners Guide to Podcasts