With the new version of Audacity out I thought it would be a good time to cover what is new in the new version 2.1. and refresh how I use Audacity.
Many of the improvements are you can now preview plugin settings for your audio on the fly. Now this isn’t all plugins but the Linux Audio Developer’s Simple Plugin API (LADSPA), Virtual Studio Technology (VST) and then for Mac user there is also Audio Unit but for the Windows units the first two work and it works great.
You will now no longer have Noise Removal which was a bit deceiving and improved its functions under the new name of Noise Reduction
Cross fading works a lot better now. Instead of way to many steps to get a good cross fad. You now select the two tracks at the point you want the cross fade to happen and choose Cross Fade. No longer do you choose the Cross fade out and the Cross Fade in.
You can Chain different Effects together.
There is an improvement to the Recording Meter bars. along with new spectral adjusting or editing.
You can now Truncate Detected Silence or Compress Excess Silence. Truncate Detected silence will remove sound down to 0.5 seconds while the compress will shrink silence that is crosses a specific threshold and shrink it be a certain percent.
You can read all of the release notes on the Audacity Wiki
In my research I found out Audacity has been around for 15 years!Learning That Audacity is 15 years old with @circlecast http://bit.ly/1CqDlfE Click To Tweet
So with the new improvements how does one use this audacity for their podcast?
For many people podcasting is done as inexpensively as they can and often the phrase you get what you pay for is also applied. Yet when it comes to Audacity it does still apply but more in the expense of time than quality. yet when it comes to the learning curve of Audacity it is step but not very high. So, you may spend a day learning the basics and then the extras are easy to figure out.
What is my Audacity workflow?
I have used Audacity two different ways Live to Drive in other words I have used my computer as the recording device, and recorded straight to Audacity and I have, and still do, import my wav files for editing and post production. For the Work flow I am going to cover what happens after the recording has stopped, and the editing is beginning.
Import extra audio and arrange
I bring in my intro outro and any other audio that I am going to use in that episode. I then name the Show tracks “Summary” and “Body” My intro track is Intro and outro is the same Each track will have a descriptive name so I can easily find it when I need to select it for editing.
I then arrange each track it the order it will appear so the Summary track is at the top and the Hayrolling trailer is at the bottom. This is to make it as easy to align each track with the next with out having to jump to the top then to the bottom and back and forth and start getting confused.
First effect I like to run is the Reduce Noise. It was Noise removal till this new update. To do this, when I am recording I give at least 20 seconds to record silence so I have any background and line hum showing up in the recording. In the Audacity editor select the the “silence” and open the Effects select Noise Reduction. In the window that opens up click the “Get Noise Profile” button at the top. Then close the Noise Reduction window select the track in this example case it would be the Body track, by double clicking. I would then reopen the Noise Reduction window and chose OK and the noise is then removed.
If the sound is not cleared to your likings then you can adjust your settings to your satisfaction. Most people are pretty satisfied by the default settings or adjusting the attack setting.
After silencing all of the noise in the background you will have lots of background space. Often times there maybe too much silence. There are two different ways you can take up that extra dead air by going to each spot and removing a portion of the silence, or you can use truncate silence.
Now silence is natural. There are normal starts and stops to your speech pattern and when removing all of the silence from your audio the sound hits a kind of Uncanny valley and become very unnatural. There for you want silence and even the pregnant pause is good from time to time. Dead air will get people attention. but if you …
Too much dead…
Air then you might want to remove some of that with Truncate silence. Now most of the time the default settings are fine for removing just enough silence, but with the new two types of settings the Compress Excessive silence would be the better choice. that way the silence is still in a natural rhythm but not too excessive. The duration is the threshold that any silence that is detected, and then it is compressed by however much percent is set. SO if there is Duration of silence that is 4 seconds long then it will be compressed to 20 seconds long. That way everything still has a natural rhythm and you don’t sound like a robot.
Now I use Chris’ Dynamic Compressor. This is when I use this effect after I have removed all background noise and taken out all excess silence. The reason is because at the end of the compression there are times I would get a strange amplification of sound and I was able to prevent that after removing all noise and taken care of the silence.
Change tracks from Stereo to Mono
Export to wav file.
If you want to keep your SEO ranking you might want to become mobile friendly. Google is changing their algorithm to place mobile friendly pages higher up on the ranking. With podcasting being a mobile medium, your site should be mobile too. Whether that is a responsive design or a mobile friendly
iTunes changes their specs AGAIN.
This is almost becoming a habit. the iTunes album art for podcasts has been changed to the max size of 3000 x 3000 pixels. The minimum is still 1400×1400 So you don’t have to change your artwork just yet but if you are tapped by iTunes to be featured then they are going to want a 3000×3000 image. So at least start working on getting it updated.
relatedLillian Yang over at Brand Bear the Cover Art Specialist would like to help you with your cover art.
A problem podcaster have is with their podcast feed being valid. You can use something like feedvalidator.org but it is a bit out of date and give a few false errors. A good alternative for Podcasters is Podbase it Checks to see if there is an RSS feed and how fast it responds to a request. Checks to see if it is a valid XML file and if it is an actual RSS XML file. It also checks your Sharing and SEO for the feed. Ten it also checks the enclosure tags to see if they are iTunes compliant. If there are any problems like the size being too big . Great service to put in your tool box.
Recently, there was a kerfuffle on a podcasters group over on Facebook. Basically it was a Podcast award announcement and a member of the group complained about having to have an RSS feed on their site to have a chance to win. That got the ball rolling and rolling it did. Lots of thoughts and opinions were tossed about, toes were stepped on, eyes gouged, at one time I think I saw Rick Flair body slamming someone. Got so bad that the original message was removed. Podcasters, yeah we are a little opinionated.
Yet, this is why looking to groups and online communities are great for finding topics for your particular show. Many times unexpected show ideas crop up much like this. The main topic of this discussion was why you should have a RSS feed on your front page of your site, or you even need a website for your podcast? Both of these tie into each other.
RSS feed in a nutshell is a special file created by your CMS that points news readers to the most current content on your site. This allows for your information to be syndicated to your readers of your blog and this same file format is what allows for podcatchers to see that you have put out a new show and retrieve the show and show notes. It looks like a mess if you try to look at an RSS feed in your browser, and that is because it wasn’t meant to be read by people.
Why Have The RSS Feed
If the file isn’t suppose to be seen by people then why do you want this on your site? Why not just give iTunes your feed and be done with it? This is the discussion. If you look at your statics. you see that the vast majority of your shows are downloaded by some type of Apple product. Be it an iPhone iPad or iPod there is some type of Apple Core Media or iTunes client grabbing your feed. That isn’t the largest mobile device out there. that belongs to Android operating system created and put out by Google. The Android devices out number iOS by a huge number, but only claim a quarter of the downloads of shows. I put a good portion of the blame for this on Google. Yes, they could make it easier for podcasts to be found, they are in the search business. Yet I also put some blame of the podcast producers who only think of iTunes.
There is more to the world than Apple products. I know. I am an Android user and I run into this very problems many times. I find a podcast I want to check out. I search Pocketcasts and pull up nothing. So I then do a search for the shows website. More often than not I find the site and then look for the RSS feed. If I am not able to find it then I go to the podcast page and look there for the RSS feed, and several times I still dont find it. This is where a critical decision is made, How badly do I want to hear this show? If I dont care that much , then my search ends there. If I want to listener to the show pretty badly then I will check to see if it is a WordPress site. When it is then I will try to get the feed by typing in domainname.com/feed/podcast or if that doesn’t work domainname.com/feed. If either of these paths dont work, then they do not want listeners that bad and I will just drop the search. I will go through a lot more work to get a show than your typical person. Most will stop if they can not find it on their Podcast manager search feature.
I have made it a mission that when I find a podcast I would like to listen too and there is no findable RSS feed to educate that person. I try to contact them. Let that show host know of us special cases. Many have responded some even didn’t realise there was a world outside of iTunes.
This isn’t the only reason either Window phone users their podcasts app actually uses BING and it will only pull up podcasts RSS feeds not the show. so you need to let Bing know how to find your RSS feeds too. RSS feeds are important, they may not look pleasing to you but there is a purpose to that file. In fact you don’t have a podcast unless you have an RSS Feed. So, have a link somewhere on your homepage the more prominent the better. IF for whatever reason you can’t have it there, then put it on your Podcast shows page.
I have heard why do you need to have a website for your show? Well in truth you don’t you can use what is automatically generated by your media host, and it works great especially if you are using a service like Libsyn They create an RSS feed for you automatically. But what do you tell your listeners? How do new people searching for your topic find you? They will find you, but you are not making it easy for them. You are relying on nothing more than word of mouth and happenstance. Where do you want your fans to go so that they are able to get your information? You going to use a Subdomain? that works it is a little more for your to remember. Is that tumblr with or without an ‘E’? Is it Blogger or Blogspot? So, make it easier at least get an address and own a little bit of your brand. You might be surprised as to how many people are actually looking for you.
There are Android users who consume podcasts be mindful of us we are trying to tell the world.
With a podcast, you want people to be able to find your show. One of the best and essential directories you want to have your show listed in, is iTunes. Now you can just put your information into the iTunes or you can enter the needed information the correct way and increase you chances of being found when a person searches for a show or your topic.
How to set up
Start off with a good foundation. This is the your setup on your blog. If you are using WordPress then more than likely you will be using the PowerPress plugin. If you are using Tumblr or another free blogging service then you are probably using FeedBurner to tag your feed. In both you want to make use that you have plenty of keywords in your show title, tagline, and description. There are these three place you can place your keywords and help your show appear before more potential audience members. Yet, Dont do “Keyword Stuffing” and it is evident when a person is keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is when a person tries to place as many keywords as they possibly can into each field. So, do not go overboard on the keyword use your key words and put them into proper sentences. That actually turns me off from a podcast when I see “Super Mega Social Media Podcast | podcast social media Facebook twitter Google plus weedeater lawn care hot russian chicks” I see something like that, I get the red flag that the podcast host may not know all that they are talking about and are just looking to garner hits and sell you something.
So, You might want to use something more along the lines of “Super Mega Social Media Podcast | We are the Experts on all Social Media platforms.” With a Tag line of “Keep up with Social Media Jones” And keep that up with the description. Tell a story in your description. Remember, you are selling here, you are giving your pitch to the listener as to why they should listen to your podcast. So, explain who, what and why. If need be, get inspiration from your about page.
Where do you put the Title, description, and all that jazz?
So, where do you put these magical settings? That will be in one of two places. Depending on which tagging service you are using, PowerPress or Feed Burner.
For PowerPress users you settings will be in the PowerPress menu in your Admin Settings. In PowerPress you will see a tab at the top that is labeled iTunes, and we will also be doing some edits in the Feeds tab. First the Feeds Tab. In this tab we are going to the “Feeds Settings” and the two fields that need to be edited are the Feed Title and the Feed Description. The Title is your show title for example my iTunes title is currently
“Podcast Dojo | Learn how to podcast like a master by understanding podcasting techniques, podcasting equipment and social media”
It has the keywords I want in there without it being spammy, that is because it is worked into an actual sentence. The Description here is a lot of the same
Podcasting is exploding! It seems that everyone is starting a podcast. Yet, many people end up doing it wrong. They follow sales pitchy blog posts about how to start a podcast in 4 easy steps only to find out that the “easy steps” have enormous gaps that are missing critical details. These details that can block you from your audience. I am glad you have the podcasting bug and there is a LOT of information that you need to know as you learn to podcast, but that information is not difficult to learn. This show will help you plan out your show, build your audience, and explain the power of podcasting. While talking about podcasting tips, and podcasting strategy. I desire nothing more than to help you realise that this is a new medium, that is different from any other medium out there because you will have an amazing relationship with someone who WANTS to listen to you.
The keywords I want people to find me with are found in this description like Starting a podcast, how to start a podcast, and learn to podcast. Now the reason that these are phrases instead of keywords like social media, or podcasting equipment. That is because, long form searches are becoming more and more popular. People want to search more by phrases and as iTunes improves their search algorithm I see it going to a more phrase based search. While at the same time iTunes still does most of it searches by actual keywords. There for you want to make sure that you do have those keywords into the description and title.
The next tab is the iTunes tab and this tab you want to make sure you get this filled out properly because it can cost you some listeners. Since this is the case Lets go over each field starting from the top down.
- iTunes Subscription URL – This is the URL that you are given when you are accepted into iTunes. It typically look like https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/name-of-your-show/id000000000 If you have lost that URL, don’t worry go into iTunes and search the store for your show. once you find it and you go to your in-store page right-click (For Windows users) and choose “Copy URL”. That is the URL you will need. Paste the URL into this field and remove the “?mt=2” at the very end you really don’t need it.
- iTunes Program Subtitle – This is your Tag line another good place to insert some good keyword rich description
- iTunes Program Summary – More space for Keywords but just don’t get spammy about it. Again make sure it fits our podcast and the keywords are actual parts of the sentence.
- iTunes Episode Summary – Leave “Optimize iTunes Summary from Blog Posts” unchecked
- iTunes Program Keywords – Here you are limited to 12 keywords separated by commas. So, choose the best 12 keyword you can think of. and if you think of a better on you can always trade out a lesser keyword for the better keyword
- iTunes Category – This is the genre of your show. what category does your show fit into, and choose the most specific. We know your show is a podcast so unless it deals with podcasting do not put it in the podcasting category.
- iTunes Category 2 – Another category your podcast would fit into
- iTunes Category 3 – Rinse and repeat with another category your show would fit into.
- iTunes Explicit – If you use lots of blue words in each podcast episode. You will need to choose the explicit tag. If you make an effort to not have any swearing, in your show, then I would use the Clean tag
- iTunes Talent Name – This is your name.
- iTunes Email – This is the email address you can be reached at and is required
- iTunes New Feed URL – You will only use this if you are changing your RSS feed
Next you will need to go to the tab Art Work.
- iTunes Image – This image should be your album art at 1400 X 1400 pixels place the URL that the image can be found at
- iTunes Episode Image – this is if you have episode specific images you are wanting to use.
- RSS2 Image – again use your album art but keep it at 300 x 300 even though the info on the settings says you can use your iTunes album art. Not the best because 1400 x 1400 is huge and when you view your feed in a rss rendering it will take up your whole screen and force your listeners to have to scroll down a ways before they see your episodes.
Be Yourself! This is actually a node to the previous episode On personal branding and how people can tell a fake. There is an article that is talking about how the rapper Eminem has just rocketed out of the gates with his new album while Lady Gaga’s newest release fizzled and is laying spent in the gutter. The reason is because people don’t really like fake people. There is a quote from the article that sums it up.
“…his instant commercial triumph demonstrates the readiness of a discerning world public to respond to power and passion of voice rather than to manipulative gimmicks or exhibitionistic stunts.” – The Sunday Times
Or in other words if you are authentic and your show displays your passion, people will can not help themselves but be attracted. People like passion, that is what draws them to your show.
Now many people who use iTunes they there is a small flaw with how iTunes is set up. trying to find all of the comments to your show is cumbersome. you have to scroll down to the bottom click the flag and change to another country to see if there are any comments listed. One guy saw this problem and took action and created Comment cast. it took all of the comments and ratings and put them all together in one place so that it was easy to find. Except it was Mac only so us windows users were still left to the hard way of gathering comments. That is till now. The makers of Comment cast are dropping commentcast and starting up a web app called Reviewcast.io and this is the solution for everybody. you will be able to get your last 25 comments emails to you for free for now, no mater what OS you use.