You  Can Create a Simple Podcast

After I did a short interview with a social studies expert for a professional organization for social studies teachers (SJVCSS), I wanted to create a simple podcast. Looking back, there were several options. Even though I ran into snags, you can create a simple podcast in a few hours.

Create An Easy podcast

Audio File

To create the file I simply recorded an interview with an expert in civic education on my iPhone. It would have been much easier to record a video, but that requires another degree of expertise in interviewing that I did not want to face yet.

To get the recording onto my computer I had to email the file and save it in iTunes. To modify an audio file easily, you can use a free program called Audacity which works well to cut out hesitations, ambient noise, and other annoying problems with the original recording. Again, I chose not to use Audacity for this podcast.

Most professional podcasts I’ve listened to have the file transcripted word for word. I tried to do that myself and found it burdensome. It costs about $1 per minute to do this, which is not overly expensive unless you are windy or doing lots of podcasts. Since I was creating the podcast with no budget, I needed something less time-intensive. So, I created a powerpoint file and took bullet point notes.

After that, I recorded the powerpoint and played the MP3 at the same time switching the slides to synchronize the voice to the notes. This added a little speaker to each slide and played beautifully on the powerpoint program.

Recording it was a pain, though, because the audio file played through my computer which picked up additional noises including the dog barking and my husband going to the bathroom. YIKES! (Don’t tell him I said that!)

After several false starts of trying to get the recording matched to the right place in the slide that was messed up, I finally went to the cabana, which is separate from our house, shut myself in, and redid the entire PowerPoint recording.

Next time I’m going to try the dictate and read app on my MacBook Pro. Hal, my mom’s 91-year-old cousin showed me how to use it last night. You’re never too old to teach, I guess! 🙂 If you have used it leave me a comment! 🙂

Video File

Next, I saved the recorded PowerPoint as a movie and uploaded the video file to YouTube. When I played it back, the sound file was gone. I tried to alter it in YouTube but that did not work.

I had to start over. After I resurrected iMovie from my hidden applications file, I saved the PowerPoint as pictures, then uploaded the pictures of each slide to iMovie.

See the video band on top , audio on the bottom?

See the video band on top , audio on the bottom?

Next, I uploaded the audio file by dragging the file from iTunes onto the lower green band on the photo. The first few times I tried it, the audio quit playing long before the interview ended. Finally, I realized that I had to click on the end of the green band and stretch the audio file like a rubber band to the time span of the interview, which was 12 minutes.

See the play and pause button on the bottom?

See the play and pause button on the bottom?

Once that was done it was easy to play the video, pause it where the break should be for the next slide and slide each powerpoint slide to the pause indicated by a faint white marker line, which does not show up on the photo.

Finally, there was one more obstacle to overcome. iMovie automatically adds what is called a Ken Burns effect to all the slides. This means that each picture automatically zooms in and back out again. That is fine with photos, but with text, as the camera zooms in, some of the text disappears.

VERY ANNOYING and unprofessional.   frown emoticon

Google came to the rescue because other videographers have struggled with this same situation. To solve the problem was easy. You click on each slide, hit the crop symbol, then you have a menu. Choose “fit.” Somehow that does the trick and Ken stops burning through your video making the words go off the screen. YEAH!

Once the podcast was finished, I uploaded it to YouTube. This took much more time than uploading the Powerpoint slides by themselves. However, the audio quality was 100% better because the audio went directly into the program and not through the microphone on my computer.

Summary

Some professional podcasts have music, which is easy to add and inexpensive to buy, but many do not. I chose not to spend any more time finding the right music and cutting the soundtrack and adding a music file.

It shocked me that professionals use this simple method to record their lessons which they bundle and sell for as much as $500. I know because I bought one. The material in the lesson was good, and I did not mind it. The simplicity of it encouraged me that I could do the same thing. If pros do it this way, does that make me a pro? hehehe

You may already be a podcast expert. I do not make that claim, but I learned so much yesterday I had to share it with you.

If this was helpful, please pass it on. If you have some tips or a link to a post you have done about the topic, feel free to share it.:)