November 14, 2012 11:11 PM

How To Podcast - 2012 Edition

There's a renewed interest in podcasting. Maybe a growing interest (depending on who you ask).

Personally, I can't think of  better time for a business to create valuable audio and video content in a podcasting format. In the past week alone, I've had a handful of requests to better understand how I create the Six Pixels of Separation podcast. I answered this question in detail back in 2008 (you can read about it here: How To Podcast), but things have changed. In 2008, I was about to publish my 100th episode (I've now posted over 330 episodes) and I've also switched from a PC platform to Apple.

I'm no professional.

Before digging into the details, let me make one point clear (and it's the exact same point I made back in 2008): I don't think that I have the right formula. My show is very "indie" and it's created and published with a minimal amount of production. I'm not an audiophile and I have no special propensity towards audio engineering. I see it as a fun (and different) way to communicate and connect with people. I'm ok with the fact that it's often raw, flawed and basic.

Here's how I Podcast (but please keep in mind that I am a huge proponent of doing a lot more pre and post production for maximum efficacy):

I don't do much to prep for a show. Over the course of the week (in-between episodes), I simply look at my Twitter and Facebook feed for people saying and doing interesting things and I reach out to those who I think might have something unique to say about a specific topic related to marketing, communications, business books, leadership or personal development.

I record all of my conversations over Skype using Audio Hijack Pro. If I have the luxury of having a conversation with someone in-person, I record it on my iPhone using the iRig MIC Cast. Once the audio is recorded, I use Audacity to record the show. I export that file into WAV format and then put it into a program called The Levelator to equalize the volume. From there, I import it back into Audacity and then export the file as a MP3. Once this is done, I bring the file into iTunes to add the cover album artwork and some additional show notes. I then FTP the final audio file over to our servers. My team at Twist Image created the custom audio player on the blog and I use the blog platform to post the show.   

Because I don't do any audio editing, the whole show is done live... one take (this makes most podcasters cringe - most do multiple takes, edit, etc...). I record the show using a Logitech headset that plugs right into my MacBook Air via USB. Once the show is done, I write up the blog posting in Windows Live Writer and hit the publish button on my blogging software.

It works for me.

I'm sure many audiophiles weep a little when they hear how I record Six Pixels of Separation - no EQ adjustment, no removal of the "umms" and "ahhs", and no editing to "tighten it up." Who knows, maybe somewhere in the next one hundred episodes I'll catch the podcasting bug and break out the mixer, microphone, and audio editing software. But, for right now, I'm just having fun with it.

Mea culpa.

As I said earlier, my way is, probably, not the most professional way to record a Podcast... but it is my way. I'm hoping that my passion, knowledge and insights make up for what's lacking in professional editing skills and audio quality. I'm also quite sure that as podcasting continues to evolve, the demands to produce a higher quality show (in terms of pure production and audio) will force me to figure out a newer way to take it to the next level.

Until then, Happy Podcasting.