In the realm of podcasting there is one thing you will discover and might even become addicted to. No it is not the fame nor the fortune you will make from podcasting. Yet is it a particular service you will need and want. People will inquire about this item that is so addicting that it has closed shows down. Is it a drug? Is it the latest and greatest social network? No. Is it a set of numbers that tell you how you are doing in the scheme of things. Stats. What are your stats? Should you be worried about your stats? Why are stats important, and why you should at the same time not worry about them.
What are stats
Statistics or stats are the collection, organization, and study of data that is analyzed and interpreted to help give insight as to what your listeners and readers are interested in. Stats will help tell you if your show is doing good or bad, growing or shrinking. Stats are normally a third-party service that means you install a piece of code on your webpage and then the service will collect assorted data associated with what the user does on your site. Yet there are normally some type of stat service on your web hosting.
What’s services should you use?
By far the most popular is Google Analytics
Open Web Analytics – open source web analytic service that you run on your own site there is a WordPress plug-in that will allow you to be able to view in your dashboard but this service can be recourse intensive. So if you are wanting to run it you might look at running it if you are on a private server.
Clicky – Web Analytics that the price depends on the number of page view you get.
Count.ly – Web analytics for a mobile platform
Buzz Numbers – Social Media Monitoring
Data Torrent – Real time stream processing platform Enterprise solution
ViralHeat – Social Media stats service
Site 5 uses Awestats
Podcasting centered Stat services
Podtrac – Uses a redirect to gather numbers and information good but is difficult to change your feed if you need to.
Blubrry – Will integrate with your WordPress through the PowerPress plug-in or you can use a redirect Very good service. They have certified stats that you are able to give to an advertiser.
Libsyn – Many claim it is the best most comprehensive stats available.
Should you be worried about your stats?
Stats are great for telling you lots of great information about your site and your show, but they can be a point of useless obsession. When you first start and you release your first show you will want to check your site daily and at times hourly. You may want to see if a particular tweet is having any effect on your traffic or you start looking at your bounce rate. Yet these are only indicators to what people are looking for on your site. It that type of information s good to know but you will not see that type of information by looking at your site everyday. This has an old saying of Cant see the forest for the trees. Checking in on your stats from time to time is good because you will be able to see the different trends a lot better than if you check hourly.
Terms you should know
Hit – A hit is actually not important at all. At first people used to mention the hits their site would get and it was this huge number and that is because a hit is anytime a file on your webpage is called. So for example you home page has 25 pictures a CSS file, and a JS file. That would end up being 28 hits just for going to the home page. that is one hit for each image, plus the hit for the CSS file, a hit for the JS file, and the hit for the HTML document that is your homepage.
Page Views – This is what you will look at stat wise. how many page views or how many pages have been looked at? The difference is this is the whole page beginning counted instead of each individual element.
Bounce rates – Many people, including myself, can get a little nervous about bounce rates. A bounce is when a person goes to one page and then leaves. This could be caused by an assortment of reasons. Either your site is not easy to navigate, or it could be that the person who came to your site found what they are looking for and then left. So, it really depends on the context you are looking at your site to be able to tell whether it is a good thing or not.
Visits – This is how many times your site was looked at
Unique Visits – This is how many different people looked at your site.
Why are stats important?
Stats are very important. They tell you interesting tidbits of information about your sites that your listeners aren’t telling you. Many times you can glean some very rich nuggets of data out of your stats. They give you heads up of different trends that are happening on your site. You can find out how people are finding your site through what key words and what pages they are being attracted to. For instance This site is getting the majority of its page views for the Podcatchers/Manger list I created. Since this is the case I have started working a little harder on my reviews of these different apps so that I will provide a little more value to those who come by and maybe they will stay and listen to the show. Without the use of Google analytics for this I would not of figured that out and would be doing my visitors a disservice by not helping them out with their searches. If you have on site searching that helps you find new information you can provide in addition to what you already have..
Yet I shouldn’t worry about them?
No, I wouldn’t you can many times obsess about your stats and not see the whole picture. many a podcast has shuttered because they were not getting the numbers they wanted. Of course that shows that those particular shows were in podcasting for the wrong reason. So, maybe stats are good for weeding out, but then there are some great shows that closed because of numbers also. You numbers will grow. Your audience for your podcast will expand as you release shows and you engage your audience. Your marketing is more important, for growing your podcast audience while looking at your stats will help judge if it is working, staring at your stats will not.
Now How do you tell how many listeners you have?
Lets use Podcast Dojo numbers. I have had 658 Total Downloads. Most people would think sweet! I have 658 listeners. The Answer to that is no, not quite that number is for the past 3 months so you do not want to give that number to an advertiser. You will be messing up your chances Yeah the Total downloads sounds impressive, Well not this one at this time but it is growing but if you look at October I have 355 Total Downloads and 253 Unique downloads You can then look at all the downloads and find the average number of listeners off of the unique listeners and you can then have a starting point. Yea math I know not a big fan either but it has to be done from time to time. But how many subscribers so you have? that is a tough marker to put down unless there was a standard put into place that any RSS feed, Podcatcher or Podcast Manager would sent back a ping of some sort, but that wouldn’t go over well because people do not like to give out identifying information. In reality it is a guessing game as to how many podcast subscribers you have.
Tip of the Week
Be honest. When it comes to your stats be honest. Yeah your numbers might be low but they will grow. They will get bigger and if you engage your audience they will listen even more and tell other people about your show and so you will grow even more. But don’t lie about your stats.Not only are you cheating yourself you are putting a black mark on other podcasters who are looking for advertisers and sponsors.
Skype closing desktop API. This is putting a lot of podcasters in to a tizzy their way of recording podcasts is being pulled. Now this will mean one of two things either 1) People will start doing Mix Minus on their mixers or someone will come up with a program that will work around the problem of there not being a means to record Skype. maybe more people will go to Hangout on Air but that will not fix the problem of those who do not use a microphone. There has to be a solution of that will allow people to call phones not just other computers.
If you would like to have a WordPress site set up for podcasting you can go to Site5 and sign up and is doing so you will help the podcast out and I will give you a shot out and link to your site
Juice use to be known as iPodder and the creators, apparently took the open source and continued it when it died off a while back. But a Media Aggregator by any other name is just as juicy. The Software is easy to use and easy to find current up to date podcasts. The software plugs into the old iPodder directory so that you can see a large selection of podcasts ready for your consumption, but it doesn’t have the same selection as iTunes. If you want to add a subscription you have found online that is easy too. Just copy the feed url and paste it into the subscriptions tab. Very easy.
It has support for 15 different languages
It does support several different media players. but that is because it downloads the mp3 file to your hard drive and you then are able to use
The software engineers also thought of your hard drive space, and have auto clean up for those used podcasts you don’t want to listen to anymore. It this is good and will allow you to listen to your shows on your computer it will not allow for you to sync your shows across play forms and in fact it is for only desktop Windows , Linux, and Mac. Great piece if software to have if you are just starting out. but you will quickly start looking for more.
The big drawback though is that it looks like the software isn’t being maintained so you could possibly have some issues with updated versions of Windows or macs.
Miro - The open source podcast player and directory. Good directory if you are a podcaster looking for a place to list your show. The program itself is easy to navigate and has good support. You do want to read each install screen because it will install AVG if you just click Next. This is not bad program but can at times cause problems if you have other antivirus’ installed on your system.
Adding Podcasts are easy but the search bar for podcasts can be little hard to find. There is a different bar for the podcasts you have subscribed to and one that you search the directory for new shows. Adding podcast feeds is easy so that is a plus.
Great program no mobile support as of yet hope they do so soon.
Have you ever hear that saying nothing in life is free? I am sure you have. If not then I know you have hear the saying there is no such thing as a free lunch. In other words Something may not cost you money but that item is costing you something. Whether it is time or information. Everything has a price. So what do you want to look out for when you are dealing with free.
So what are you trading for when you use something free?
For hosting you are normally giving up some of your ability to control of your data after your uploads. Some places change your encoding to what they want. Others, Blog Talk radio, will hold your audience hostage if you want to move to a better service. You either pay or you lose them. Some change your ID3 tags so you are advertising their service.
Other directories – You give up potential hits to your site. Then again you get links back to your site.
Software big example as to getting what you pay for. Free may mean little tech support so you have to hunt and dig to find a solution to a problem. Then again it may have a a high learning curve, So again you are “spending” your time figuring out how to run this free piece of software. Then there are those that are commonly known as scumware, or malware that inject ads and pop ups on your screen.
Free sites? If you look at it these are not normally free. in fact even this site I am asking for your email address so you can get the newest episode before anybody else, and then there are more paid services coming on line in the future. Free costs something what the value of something is, depends on you.
Free isn’t a good business model so many times free means temporary and one day be gone with your audience and files.
Some minor bugs
WP SEO by Yoast also has an update to fix the small
wp-content/plugins/wordpress-seo/inc/wpseo-non-ajax-functions.php people were getting
State of the Podcast Union
Some of the key points about 4400 shows that were nominated
7% have a non-branded webpage. This is not bad means that 93% of the podcasters have their own space
37% of shows had their RSS feed buried. BAD display your RSS feed proudly! Prove you are a podcast.
44% didn’t have any way for people to consume their show on their site. No download or play button/link and the point of putting your show out is what then? you should have a link it is built into Powerpress! you are driving your audiance way.
22% of Video Podcasters had no embed link on their site and 80% of those didn’t have RSS feeds nor iTunes Listings they were Youtube only. That means you are a YouTuber. Not a podcaster. a podcast has an RSS feed for people to be able to download your show and view at a later date.
23% Of the shows submitted had invalid RSS feeds. and the majority of those feeds were linking to Soundcloud or some other 3rd party hosting site. Validate your feed Regularly. Many times you fans will notify you, if there is a way to contact you. Yet sometimes you don’t get a notice.
21% had an RSS icon on their homepage/landing page but another 23% did have the RSS icon but it was buried and was not easy to find. Again Be proud of yhour show make it as easy as you cann for your listeners to consume your show in as many different ways as they want.
56% didn’t have a feed or it just simply couldn’t be found. by Google or other means. Again see the previous point.
83% did have an iTunes link YEAH!!!!
23% did have a Stitcher link Even more YEAH!!!
31% still using Feedburner that is down from 71% that is good
12% have Newsletter collection that is down by 31% Depends on how you look at it but that can be good.
15% Have a call in number
92% used WordPress
82% didn’t do quality show notes. If you want to get ahead of your competition do show notes more people will find you through Google searches.
71% audio only
Shows that had less than 1 show a week grew 69% slower than weekly shows. Shows with audio, video, and blog posts grew 42% faster than shows with only one form of media.
Todd then talks about how people are currently miss representing their stats. and the problems with doing that. it not only hurts you it also hurts everyone else. so swallow the pride and don’t feel bad if you only have 50 listeners everyone has been there at one time or another.
iTunes is till the 800lbs gorilla in the pod space. but there are over 126 different countries with 10 or more listeners. using over 100 different podcast clients
You can now get your Google Plus Custom Vannity URL! Go to your profile and you will see a blue banner at the top! Follow the directions and you will fianlly get it!.
You are hearing about podcasting more and more each day. Hearing about this person starting a podcast and that person is becoming very well known for his podcast. Should you learn to podcast? What should your podcast be about? Where to start? What questions should be asked? Is there money in Podcasting, if you are a business? I will aim at answering these. So that you may be able to make a good decision on whether you should invest in time and money to learn to podcast.
Why even start a podcast?
The reasons for podcasting is as numerous as podcasts. That’s because each person, and business have a very unique objective. Podcasts do create a few effects that people desire to achieve. First, learning to podcast will help you become an expert in your field. If you want to be a thought leader in a particular field doing a podcast is a great strategy. Podcasting is different from just blogging, though you will be blogging also. Your audience is able to hear the different inflections in your voice and know you are passionate about your topic. From that aspect, your audience will see you as the expert.
The other effect is that you want to work with your “Competition”. You will have a head start on the others who are late to the game. Many times your “competitors” will give up just because they see that you have already started and are 5 shows in the can. More “competitors” will give up when they see that there are 50 shows available, and you will then find out that you don’t have any competitors. Even if there are other shows talking about your very same topic. You will find advantages in working with them. Invite them on your show. You will find yourself looking to talk to the people who are in your field sharing their expertise. In other words you ware helping your competition to help you. Many podcasters have started using the word Co-opetition. Because they are cooperating with the people who they are in direct competition with. From these conversations most podcasters develop lasting friendships and bonds. So, Eventually you will see that there is no competition in podcasting.
With an engaged audience you will be able to find out who is listening. Learn about what your audience likes, the challenges they face, or in other words the most valuable data almost any advertising pays dearly for, and your audience is giving it to you for free. Because you are giving them so much value in the information you are providing. The listeners to your podcast will find a way to pay you back, if anything to say thank you.
Learn to Podcast
Where should you start when deciding to podcast? First there are two basic branches of podcasting those who will PodFade, or podcasts that no longer are producing shows, and those that are still producing podcast shows on schedule. From these two there is a discernible reason for 90% of the shows stopping. Lack of passion and direction. This goes for shows that are created by the hobbyist and the business based programs.
So, you want to make the decision as to what you want your show to be about. What type of value are you wanting to give to your customers/listeners? How are you going to convey that passion, that drive you have, for whatever it is you are wanting to podcast about? Once you have narrowed that down and you know what your show is going to be about then you can learn to podcast. If you find your fire, the path will be lit.
Learning to podcast is not hard. Most people over think the topic or the show and cause paralysis through analyses. In other words, They never get out of the planning stages. With podcasting being as mighty of a media wave, that it is growing into. You want find out how to podcast to the best of your budget and ability. Don’t worry so much about the quality of your equipment. Yes, it is good to have good equipment but not as important as your message. Your message is your product in the podcasting arena. The most valuable item is your thoughts and views of your show. Don’t fall in to the trap of broadcast media. Trying to appease as many people as you can, it is better to podcast in as fine of a niche as you can. Doing this will create an audience that is more engaged than any television or radio show. With a very detailed niche your audience will find high value in each podcast episode you produce. By providing your podcast audience with the value of your show, they will reciprocate that value back to you.
So, you have decided you want to podcast. You found your passion. you have gone as fine of a niche as you think you can. How do you start? How do you podcast? There are many ways you can get your show up and running. You can take a combination of two paths and both are highly recommended.
As many people, you can learn to podcast through the avenue of self taught trial and error. You can also gather information on proper podcasting techniques and practices by listening to other podcasters who talk about the craft, as in Podcasts about podcasting. These podcasters have great knowledge and insight about the world of podcasting. Their finger is always on the pulse of podcasting events, and have ways around common problems in podcasting.
Having people help you learn to podcast is another way you can have consulting sessions with known Podcasting coaches or take online classes. Though online courses can, at times, be rather expensive, many people believe they have invested good money for the service and would gladly do it again. Online podcasting courses do help in getting the information you need and helping you learn to podcast quicker than listening to podcasts about podcasts.
There is a 3rd way of learning to podcast and that is in a mix of the first two. You can join some forums about podcasting. Look for Meet up’s that center around podcasting and find people who can help you as you learn to podcast. These people will be able to give you fairly real time feed back as to what to improve.
Show Me the Money!
If you learn to podcast how rich are you going to get? If there money in podcasting? What is your ROI?
Answer in short…
You podcast, itself is not going to make any money. You may get a few dollars here and there but growing filthy stinking rich? Nope, that is a very rare bird to get. Adam Corolla, Leo Laport, these guys are able to make money from their shows because they brought an audience with them. Marc Maron again he had a comedy act before grabbing a microphone and recording.
For business’ this is a tough item to get around your head. And understood the old model of not interested unless it becomes an revenue stream means most businesses will not even try to podcast. This is good for you because podcasting is more of a value generator than a revenue generator. When you learn to podcast you are able to engage your audience, and do so in ways that you would never thought were possible. having your customers become fans. How many advertisers do you now can say you will develop a fan base? Not many if any I am sure. Yet, that is actually what happens when your business is podcasting about a valuable topic. Your listeners become fans. Fan want to buy your products and services. So No you cant make money off of podcasts but you can make money because of your podcast
For the individual person who is podcasting about what they like the benefits can not only be having people who are fans but but also your show can lead to dream jobs and opportunities never thought of before. Which can lead to an increase in money. This again is because you will be seen as the expert. You are able to share your knowledge with everyone else.
Now many people ask about sponsors. these are rare things at the moment also. This is because of the challenge of measuring the audience size. Analytic companies are finding better ways to measure how popular shows are becoming but even then the ad agencies are still running on the old models of broadcasting hitting millions of non-engaged audience members, instead of looking at hundreds of highly engaged listeners. So more and more are coming onboard that is still a little ways away. Most podcasters these days make a little money off of the affiliate programs. Which is another option you can go to help pay for your podcast.
When you learn to podcast for yourself or for your business. It is good to have a clear plan of what your show is going to be about. Clearly define your niche. Learn from those before you, so you wont make any costly mistakes. Use the resources online while getting current up to date information from the thought leaders because even though they are your competition they will also be happy to help you. Learn to podcast, find that “Fire in the Belly” and tell the world about it.
Wheew! After hours of frustration and listening to your own voice. You have your show finished. You have converted the raw audio to a MP3 format, have your intro music and outro music set just where you want it. So, how to you get it you your listeners?
That is the objective for this week. How to make your show accessible to the world. the key is with a little three letter word that now one really knows what it means, Mystery key is called RSS. Most people think it means Really Simple Syndication and others say it is Rich Site Summary or RDF Site Summary. The name is not important other than knowing that it is called RSS. because most Podcast directories will ask for your RSS “feed”.
What is an RSS feed?
According to Wikipedia,
RSS uses a family of standard web feed formats to publish frequently updated information: Blog Entries, News Headlines, Audio, Video. An RSS document (called a “feed””web feed”, or “channel”) includes full or summarized text, and metadata, like publishing date and authors name
In other words it is a file that acts as the town crier for your website. When your site is updated the people who are subscribed to your feed are notified of the update and they can get your information without having to go to the web site repeatedly. The different directories that your podcast is going to be listed on they want to be told when there is a update to your podcast.
There is a lot of information that is in the RSS feed you will not find useful, most of it helps to categorize and sort the information out so that it becomes easier for you to read in your news reader, or your Podcatcher. Yet if you look and are able to understand what you are looking for, you can see some particular information. Like the name of your show, some tags used for iTunes, Location of the MP3 files and much more. For all of this work correctly you will need to validate
Validating your feed
Validating your feed is the easiest way to determine that your RSS feed to going to be read by all the different directories. There are times that the feed will get messed up and cant be read by iTunes or some other directory.Often the cause of problems is using Microsoft word as your editor. This works great for finding misspelled words but not so good for Feeds. this is because of the hidden characters that Word and some other word processors. These are normally associated with the grammatical characters that are used. Word is not the only culprit, the glorious plugin will at times cause problems with other plugins or incompatibilities that affect the WordPress feed. So if you are using Microsoft Word to edit your show notes then after you release the show you will want to check your Feed. Also, Check it if you have recently installed a new plug in. Best way to verify that your feed is good. Use the Feed Validator
Feed Burner – Should you use it?
Now a few years ago the majority of podcasters used a service from Google called Feed burner. This service is an RSS redirector that helped bloggers and podcasters find out how many people were subscribed to their site in very broad and inaccurate terms. The subscriber amount was never very accurate but Feed burner does offer a good bit of help especially if you are going the free route.
A camp divided
There are two sets of podcasters those who are using feed burner and those who did but are now leery of Google and worried about the search engine closing a very valuable service that bloggers and podcasters both use.
Lets first look at the against camp. These people have seen Google recently close some very popular and valuable services. For instance there is Google Reader which was very popular with the bloggers and podcasters because The reader was the source of the news and topics. Yet Google closed this service earlier this year. The reasons are up for debate but either way the shuttering made many people who use feed burner very nervous and have stopped using Feed Burner.
Then there are people who see the closing as something that was needed and was expected., though they do not believe that Feed Burner is in any danger of being closed this year or next, due to the fact that there are so many bloggers that use Feed Burner it would not be wise for Google to close. Yet in the same breath I will refer back to Google Reader. So, it is really at your discretion as to use Feed Burner. You can use it if you like but just know you might one day find your feed gone.
The most important Directories you should submit to.
Apple iTunes – This is the 800 pound gorilla in the podcasting community. They are the first to have a widely accepted podcast directory that followed on the popularity of the iPod and iPhone. Besides being just the directory for iTunes it’s API’s are allow it to be the directory of several podcatchers, iOS and Android.
Zune – This may seem a little odd to have a somewhat dead MP3 player’s directory as an essential. This is because The Zune market place is not just for the old Zune but it is also being converted to the Xbox market place. At the moment the only place that still is using the podcasts is the Zune software but it is still very active in curating thanks to Rob Greenly.
Blackberry – This the podcast directory for blackberry phones and is still used by the remaining phone users
Stitcher – Streaming audio app that is growing in popularity and is now being implemented into cars.
Two Thumbs up – made by the same guy who did Podcast pickle so he has been in podcasting for quite a long time.
Common feed problems
Feed will not validate
This is probably the biggest problem podcasters run into. They run their podcast feed through the feed Validator and it comes up saying that it is invalid. Why?
plug in – This is normally the problem when trouble shooting the issue it is best to deactivate all your plug ins except the Power Press and run the validator. if it work, Great! Keep turning on the other plug-ins and revalidating the feed each time till you find the problem plug-in. if not then it could be one of the other issues
Edited with Microsoft word – If you wrote your podcast show notes with Microsoft word then take your show notes and copy and paste them into WordPad then recopy the notes from Word pad and paste them into Word press. More than likely you have some of Microsoft’s special hidden characters in your notes and they are confusing the validator.
Themes – I have only had this happen once and it was an experimental theme I cam across so very very rare that this could be the cause but it has happened before.
Other ways tell our audience of your show
Mailing list – If you have a mailing list this is great! you have an audience and they will help you be noticed in the new and noteworthy section. If you are starting your show with out a web presence like yours truly! then it will take a little more work and determination. Yet, still create a mailing list. This will become invaluable when you start to expand.
How else to find your audience
Use other directories
Go to your audience. If you are doing a podcast about weight loss or health then think where you can find those people like a gym and go talk to these people but don’t sell to them. For this show I go to a lot of forums that talk about podcasting. I go to other social media sites, like Google Plus, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the like and talk to people who are having different problems. So, now it is time to go find your audience and inform them about your show with out selling to them.
Forums are great in a number of ways one you can meet your audience. You get to know what they like and don’t like. But you also get great topics for your show by listening to what your audience is talking about. This gives you a great opportunity to show your expertise. Word of caution, you have to be careful with how and when you mention your show. Have a link in your signature if the forum allows for it but don’t just start throwing your links around you will be marked as a spammer and kicked even banned. Remember this is a community and you need to prove that you have value in this community before you try to sell them on your goods, and you shouldn’t have to try to sell to them they will come to you if you provide enough of a good service.
News of the Week
As thought there was plenty of evidence put forward that podcasting cant be patented. Unlike what Personal Audio LLC was trying to do while extorting money from popular podcasters. on October 16 the Electronic Frontier Foundation issued a formal challenge to the patent held by Personal Audio LLC. with bits of proof that Personal Audio not only doesn’t create a podcast but also podcasts were being created before the U.S. Patent No. 8,112,504 was filed. EFF uses examples like Geek of the Week, CNN and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. A good deal of the thanks go to the fans of Podcasting. With our them pulling together and working together a fine art might have been lost to a non-producing entity. The Podcasting Community also raised over $76,000 through donations.
Editing the audio
You have the first show wrapped. It is time to run that podcast through your audio editing software. In this case we are going to use audacity. mainly it is free and also it is because it is the podcast editing software I know.
Set up Audacity
Download Audacity and install the program. Just choose the default location when installing if there are any personal choices you make they may, but not likely, change the lay out to your version of Audacity.
Download and install Chris Dynamic compressor. you can download it from The Audacity to Podcast and follow the directions on this page.
after installing go to the top of the screen and choose Edit -> Preferences
There are a few places in the preferences you want to make sure you have set
What is sample rate and why do I need to set it to 44.1KHz?
The Sample rate is often looked at as the Frame Rate in videos. The higher the sample rate the smother and better the
Create a project file
The Project file is a file that has all the “Normal” Intro’s outro’s and sound effects already added to Audcity so when you open it up you will be able to save some time with hunting these files down and loading them into Audacity. Just import your show’s episodic information. Do some processing of your audio and export it. So what is the my work flow?
Podcast Dojo’s workflow
First line up the tracks where you want them to be.
- I will first line the bumper
- Then Line up the Intro song to at the very end of the Bumper.
- Position the closer so that it starts about two minutes before the end of the show.
- Add the Hayrolling Podcast Network closer.
Run noise remover
Run Chris dynamic compressor with the settings of
- Compress Ration of 0.85
- Compression hardness 0.5
- Floor -0.32
- Noise Gate fall off 2.0
- Max amplitude 0.95
Zoom out and see if there are any large noticeable areas of dead space or no sound. This is places that are larger than your typical pregnant pause. If there are a lot of spaces in the recording I will use truncate silence
I then Normalize reduce the tracks to mono listen through everything once to make sure things are flowing good at the opening and the closing. I then export in to a 16-bit wav file.
What do you call your file?
Good naming convention to use is initials for your show then episode so Podcast Dojo file for this episode is PDJ009.wav dont put a space or any symbols other than the underscore or hyphen. This can cause an assortment of problems with downloads and rss streams.
Now if you haven’t used iTunes to convert a podcast before there are a few small changes you want to do before you convert you wav file.
Go to the Preferences and under the General Tab you will see the Import CD section click the button for “Import settings”
I then open iTunes drag and drop the show into the playlist and right click and choose convert to MP3
Edit preferences and choose For Import using: MP3 Encoder
Setting Choose Custom from the drop down.
This will bring up “stereo bit rate” Choose 128 kbps
Make sure the Veriable Bit Rate (VBR) is unchecked
Sample Rate is 44,100 kHz
Close those windows and you are set
Drag and drop the Wav file to a play list you have created. right click on the file in the Playlist and choose convert to MP3. with in a few short moments yor file will be converted and ready to be uploaded.
Upload the file to your media server and then when finished enter the url into your Podcast Episode box click verify and you are able to publick or set the schedule for the episode to air and you are set.
That is as long as you have done your show notes.
Tip of the week
If your file size is too big check to make sure you are not encoding in stereo if you are you can cut your file size in half
Every summer back in the 80′s, the swimming pool in Sunray, TX had kids, ranging from 7 to 10 years old,trying show their worthiness to jump off of the legendary high dive. The young hopefuls would have to swim across the pool and back. Width of the pool may of been 50 feet across, but to the kids we might of just as well be doing the Iron Man. Kids would try and fail, try again, fail again, they would keep it up till the desire to jump off that mythical board became so great that nothing would keep them from stopping.
Finally, they would achieve that great rite of passage and make it across the pool and back. These sorry drowned rats would struggle out of the water and proceed to their ultimate goal, the High dive. Now, some would take a baby step and do the low dive a few times. Eventually the high dive would beckon to that young adventuress heart and sense of glory, and the kids would find themselves in line for the high dive. After the long agonizing wait it would be their turn.
Now to the youth of Sunray the high dive may of been 15 feet above the waters surface. Looking at the steps it somehow doubled in height. After getting all the way up to the peak, one was sure that they were getting light headed due to the altitude shift. Once the head cleared the Potential Flying Squirrel would shuffle himself out to the edge. Only to see that the height had somewhere along the way grown to be at least 100 feet in the air. Then stories of the first jumps that ended in brutal humiliation of the deadly, at least we heard it was, Belly Flop would be recalled to memory. Looking down every epic flop would flash in front of their eyes. Seized with terror They would climb back down with the hastily designed excuses that were made to make it look like they weren’t chicken.
After a few moments the jumper would be back in line, looking pale enough to have Caspar think he had some color. Realizing that if he didn’t “do it”, He would have this horrible albatross around his neck till it was done. The jumper has to think of something since he chickened out once. He has to impress his friends, his enemies, that girl who is in town visiting grandma. What to do?
“I have to do a trick”, our young jumper thinks.
Frantically he begins going the his whole list of ”Cool Moves” even considering the infamous Nut Cracker, but that is for “emergencies” cause if the Lifeguards see you, you are kicked out of the pool. So, a flip? No, the flop factor is too high. How about the spin? Might spin too much and lose your orientation and again, flop. How about a dive? Really? Oh Heck no that is just a little ways away from the FLOP! How about feet first?
“WHAT? My turn?” the Young Jumper hears.
Sure enough he is already back at the base of the steps but they seem to of already doubled. Yet our Young Hero climbs the insurmountable steps again and hits the very same precipice still going through his catalog of tricks. what to do? What to DO? WHAT TO DO!
Jump! The Jumper hears, but “I don’t know what trick to do!” Jump! more people in line yell. but our Jumper is frozen he knows he can only leave this platform by one direction. So it is time to man up.
The Jumper bends his knees ready to jump and leaps! Well he thought he was going to, but his feet have such amazing grip in the diving board. This hesitation sets the board into motion. It bounces up and down. Our Young jumper is caught in the terror of the board coming to life and shaking him off. The Jumper is heaved forward just a bit and is loosing his balance. He is leaning forward. OH NO! I’m gonna FLOP!!! He hears in his head. So, in a desperate last ditch effort our jumper brings his feet up under him to get his feet positioned. So, hopefully he will save his life.
And he starts to fall
“What ever possessed me to do this?” OH MY GOD! I am going too fast! I am going to die!!!!!”
Underwater, swimming frantically. Our Hero vaguely thinks “how deep is 12 feet again?” His lungs start hurting. Is he going to make it?
Then our young friend feels his arm poke out of the water. Then his head, and he takes the sweetest tasting gulp of air. Our Hero Survived. His friends and confidants, Jake, John, JJ, Super Dave. His Crowd, they are all at the pools edge to congratulate him. His crowd doesn’t care if our hero did a trick, that will come later, They only care about the fact that he did it.
The same about your crowd. Your listeners They aren’t looking for excellence. People aren’t looking for the guy who will give them everything. Your listeners are wanting to hear from you. So, don’t worry about that Flop, you will not die from it. The worst is your “friends” may rib you a little. Yet they will look at you in admiration, because you actual did it. You Jumped and made that killer show.
So you did your first recording
Now you are listening through the recording and you are probably hearing a few things you never thought you would hear.
- Varying volumes
- handling the mic – Mic Stand
- Keep your hands off of the table if possible.
- Um’s and Ah’s and other verbal crutches
- and it sounding like you just ran a back to back marathon
How do you fix these common problems? The majority of theses problems can be fixed with a simple item. Well actually two simple items, Item number 1 is a mic stand
That is right. Do not hold your microphone. This is the biggest recording blunder you can do. Holding a mic can be heard no matter how still you try. You microphone will pick up any slight vibration. That is the microphone’s job, to pick up vibration and pass it to the recording device. So, when you grab the mic your listeners will hear it. If you change your grip your listeners will hear it. The mic will change distance it will affect your volume levels. Holding a microphone is not good unless you are out on location.
Use a Mic stand. You can go cheap and use a desktop version that is OK you will just not want to be putting anything on that table while recording because if you hit, tap, drum, thump, beat, or have your phone vibrate, Guess who will hear it. That is right! good job your listeners, because again those things and anything else that makes a vibration on that table will travel up the stand and to the mic and into your recording.
- How do you fix this problem Well that would be a two step solution, one is a scissor boom arm. The other is a shock mount for your microphone. This basically suspends your mic in a rubber web so that it absorbs any vibration that climbs up the boom arm. This two step process is the ideal form for if you are going to be working on your desk while recording. your keyboard taps and even your cell phone buzzer will have a hard time getting to you.
Now what is good mic technique? In a nut shell this is you talking in to a mic and having the best sound possible shine through. This technique is something you have to play around with a little bit and listen to your recording. but lets address some of the other problems that are created with poor mic techniques.
Plosives- The explosive force of air the is ejected with the ‘P’ and ‘B’ sounds. These can be felt by placing your hand in front of your mouth and saying the words out loud. Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers. You feel that little puff of air? That is the plosive. and it is very noticeable in the finished recording.
Along with the Plosives there is also Semblances. These are the S sounds that make a rush of air that happens you you say Sister and similar sounds. These are common problems that a podcast will come across because there is a technique that when first start recording don’t realize they need.
Now to fix this you want to use your mic technique. This is the positioning of the microphone so that the air from semblances and plosives are sent by the microphone not into it. If yo send the sound past the microphone you will have a better sound with out the abrasive shock that happen with poor mic technique.
Inconstant volume is usually from two items. First is not talking at the mic and not using proper mic technique. If a person is moving his head or moving around a lot then the sound will vary as your head turns you may be overly loud at one moment and then very quite the next. So keep your mouth in front and you will not have a problem. The other cause if variable sounds volumes is when you have a co-host or someone who you are interviewing. there are times that the guest or co-host will be softer or even louder than you this can be fixed with normalizing.
Battling the Um’s and Ah’s and other verbal crutches is something that takes practice, and is a continual commitment to listening to the way to talk. Yes the use of the verbal crutch can be annoying when you are listening to it, but do not try to edit all of these noises out this will only succeed in making you sound unnatural.
Finally in your podcast the use of mic techniques will also help with mouth noises and that heavy breather that is stalking your listeners. Don’t eat your mic. have the mic about 2 to 6 inches from your mouth. The Close you mouth is to the mic remember that the mic will pick up more of the noises emanating from you easier so that heavy mouth breathing will become louder. Along with the smacking sounds that are cause from just opening your mouth.
Audacity update 2.0.6
- New Reverb, called GVerb.
- New Views: You can now Go to Selection Start and Go to Selection End.
- Align End to End command to append selected tracks.
- WAV files import/export now supports “Album Title”, “Track Number” and “Genre” LIST INFO tags and ID3 tags.
- New support for Windows WDM/KS host which can provide very low latencies if you reduce “Audio to Buffer” in Recording Preferences.
- You can now record computer playback by choosing the new Windows WASAPI host in Device Toolbar , then a “loopback” input.
- Bugs have been fixed, involving Keyboard Preferences, Equalization curves, and Effect > Change Pitch, and several more.
Google updates its search abilities
HummingBird is an almost complete rewrite of the Google search algorithm. The change is suppose to help with the contextual results. How does this affect you the podcaster? Well if you have been doing good any black hat SEO then you might be in a little trouble but according to most articles read if you are going good SEO then o worries are to be had.
Tip and tool For the Week
Great new scheduling tool that would work great for podcasters to schedule interviews. Links to Google Calendars, iCloud (Premium), Outlook.com, iCal, or an ICS feed(ie, MSN Live Yahoo calendar) If you have a group of people you are trying to get together then you can Poll them to find the best time for everyone. Great for Those live events on Google hangouts
Besides minding your distance from the mic to keep the heavy breathing and mouth noises toned down you might also employ mild Mic gain adjustment. this is great for keeping your sounds rich but damping some of the noises.
Time to push the button.
- We have our show notes set and ready to go.
- We know our topic.
- Your site is set up and waiting for its first episode to be released.
- You sit in front of your equipment and…
You hit record.
Now what do you say? This is a point for much contention and much argument to many podcaster’s. Many people think you should just do a brief intro and get on with the show don’t waste anytime with the how-do-you-do’s. Get the show on the road and jump in to the main topic and start rolling. While other podcaster’s believe that there should be a little warm up period. A peak behind the curtain into their lives and inside baseball points of interest. And people will spend a little too much time talking and not providing any value.
So what path do you take? Should you be closed off to your audience or should you over indulge? This is a touchy point as I said may hosts think you should do one side or the other. And how much of one is that key point in your podcast introduction.
The Big Intro
Note the music, you can have Podcast Intro music but you want to be careful with what music you are using. If you want to have intro music and a voice over, good it ups the audio branding of your show and will help with the official feel of your show. Many ways you can make an intro. You can make your own (Free), or you can have someone who knows more about this make one. A good low cost idea is Fiverr you can get the voice over and all for just 5 bucks. Now this can be good but at times it can be a problem because you do not have control over the music and you might get a copyrighted song mixed into the intro. and we will go into those problems a little later on.
If you are really wanting to crank up the professional sound and add some OOH’s and AAH’s to the mix you can also use Music Radio Creative. Mike Russel and his darling wife/business partner have teamed up to put together the perfect audio branding intro outro service on the net. Well, I am a fan of their podcast. This team will create your very own personal sound for your podcast. They will dig down to the reason behind your show so that they will be able to get your spirit to shine through on intro outro and assorted bumpers that might be used throughout the show. And all with out worry of there being any IRAA lawyer beating on your door. This service in not cheap but rightfully so you get what you pay for in this instance.
But let say you are flat broke, or you are just up for the challenge of making your own intro. How to you get music that is not going to in the end costing you millions in court fees. You can look for Royalty free music. Typically this doesn’t mean it is free music. You by the music for a price but the artist doesn’t get any royalties from the song it can be played and played and played and you don’t get charged like you would if you were to use a top 40 song. The IRAA would charge you for every instance that song is played. Then there is a different route you can take. There is a critter called podsafe music. This is music that is free to use and often free to get also. A great resource is Music Alley. The Music is free they just ask that you mention the song and artist somewhere in the show.
Some other Resources for music
So once you have your music picked out how long should the intro music be. Typically 30 seconds to a minute is good. Though you can go longer and you can go shorter. I wouldn’t go much longer than a minute and what ever you do, Do NOT play a whole song for your intro. People will get bored and just leave you will get a new subscriber from time to time but they will leave again if their first listen to your show is a 4 minute song. You can play a full song but just fade it way, way down, and start your show. That is why people came by to listen. Your listeners want to hear you not your awesome choice in tunes. So, choose wisely on your music and remember that the show must go on.
What should you say on your intro?
If you have an intro, the obvious would be the name of your show. and also have the your name in the introduction too. You can put your elevator pitch in the intro also if you choose or you might want to save it for the episode intro.
Now after the intro music fades out it is time for your episode intro. This is one place I recomend a thourgh outline of what you are gonig to say
For instance we will use my outline
Each week this show aims to…Inspire those who want to start a podcast, to grab a mic. Coach this who are podcasting, to aim for the best. And Cheer the podcasting community on, as podcasting becomes more and more popular each day.
Episode URL podcastdojo.com/ep#
Mailing List: podcastdojo.com/list
Share The Love: podcastdojo.com/love
Now if you go and listen to a podcast episode you will hear this format each week now it will change slightly for instance this week I added the Share the love address to the intro. I have changed the wording for the description each week, but you can see how it follows a particular flow of the show. Now some people may actually think that this is some form of cheating. Dont worry about those types of people, Have an Intro Script and follow it.
Tip of the Week!
Have an intro script. This will help you become more and more uniform on your will keep the rabbit trails at the very beginning down to a minimum, and allow your new listeners know what your show is about. It also lets your tried and true listeners know they have the right show. So, write out your intro in outline form and after a few shows it will become automatic.
Blurry PowerPress 5 is out.
New Player - MediaElement.js Audio Player This is the Media player Podcast dojo is now using due to its flexability
now has a Simplified version besides the default version
The Artwork is now all in one place no more hunting around for the diffrent cover art locations.
The improvements are great and much needed