Our first podcast

I mounted our first library podcasts this week at work. We sponsor five author talks during the academic year. The first one was a week ago. We asked the two people speaking if it was okay to record their talks and post them to the web and they agreed.

I used my IBM T30 laptop with the microphone that came with my Creative web cam to record our two speakers. I used Audacity to capture the talk. I configured Audacity using Jake Luddington’s Recording A Podcast web page.

We normally break up the speakers with an intermission with refreshments. So, I took that time to save the first file and created a new file to record the second speaker. After the event, I did very minor editing of the original Audacity file. I deleted some at the beginning and the end before the speaker had started and after finishing. I then exported the file as an MP3. I tested it and then uploaded it to OurMedia.

I decided to go with OurMedia because it’s free and this is an experiment. I didn’t want the hassle of trying to get local server space and OurMedia allows for the files to be streamed or downloaded/podcasted. If we decide to stick with this and expand, I will probably move the files to a different server.

I posted the links to the two files on our update blog and also gave a link to Using iTunes for Podcasting. This web page shows how to subscribe to a podcast using iTunes to listen to it on your desktop or your iPod.

The only thing I will change the next time around is potentially the microphone. For the first author, we had the microphone attached to the laptop display. It recorded the author fine, but it also picked up the noise of the laptop (the fan is noisy sometimes). For the second author we taped the microphone to the podium. This seemed to get better results. I think the quality is fine. The only drawback is that during the question and answer portions, it is hard to hear the questions asked from the audience.

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