Have you ever thought about starting your own podcast? Creative Experienceopens a new window has all the tools you need, including a Recording Room and four "Pods" with hardware and software for recording and editing. Creative Experience periodically offers free workshops, as well as free online classes and tutorials to get you started with these facilities. In December, Creative Experience hosted an Intro to Podcasting workshop. If you missed it, here's some resources to get you going. Join us on February 26, 2019 for another free workshop, Editing and Mixing Your Podcast.opens a new window
St. Louis Public Library:
The St. Louis Public Library offers many resources for podcasters:
- Make Noise, a Creater’s guide to Podcasting and Great Audio Storytellingopens a new window by Eric Nazum (ebook; paper book on order) 2019
- Podcast: The Ultimate Guide to Podcastingopens a new window by George J. Lewen (streaming audiobook) 2019
- So you Want to Start A Podcast--Finding your Voice, Telling your Story, and Building A Community That Will Listen by Kristen Meinzeropens a new window (Paper book and ebook), 2019
Free Online Learning:
- Gale Learning: Podcasting and Blogging for Beginners opens a new window(6-week online course)
- Learning Express: Introduction to Blogs, Podasts, and Newsgroups opens a new window(video tutorial)
- Lynda.com free access through slpl.org opens a new window(video tutorials; search subjects like “podcasting” or specific software applications.)
Online How-to Guides about Podcasting and Recording:
- Transom.orgopens a new window Excellent resource for articles on podcasting and radio production
- How to Start Your Own Podcastopens a new window- Lifehacker article, 2019
- How to Start a Podcast--Every Single Stepopens a new window- The Podcast Host Article, 2019
Podcast Hosting Sites:
Once you record a podcast, you need an online host to store the files and syndicate them to various distribution sites. Dozens of options are available, and you can find current articles online comparing various companies. Most require a small fee and include an easy-to-use RSS feed, so that new content is automatically syndicated to the directories with which you have registered. Some factors to consider when comparing plans are quotas for monthly uploads, whether you can keep your archives (I think this is important), and whether monthly downloads are limited. Certain companies offer other features such as basic websites, analytics, and built-in options for monetization as well. Here are a few examples:
- Libsynopens a new window: One of the first podcast hosting sites; analytics, RSS feed, and directory; plans start at $5/mo for limited monthly quota and unlimited archives
- Podbean: Free accounts with limited storage and uploads; $9/ month for unlimited uploads and storage; free RSS feed and basic website.
- Internet Archive: Free unlimited storage, but you have to code your own RSS feed. This is a helpful article about the pros and cons of using this free hosting site.
Podcast Directories and Apps:
Podcast Directories are websites or apps where listeners access your content. Generally, these are separate from hosting sites, although some hosts like Souncloud and Spotify also have their own directories. Directories are usually free to use, but you have to sign up for most of them separately. Again, there are many options. Once you register with each directory, your feed is automatically updated every time you upload new content to your hosting site. Here are a few of the most popular places where people listen to podcasts:
- Apple Podcastsopens a new window: This is the most popular site for iOS devices; it is important to use, but it can be hard to get noticed, so it’s a good idea to list in other apps too. It has the most specific requirements and takes the longest to get listed, so register here first. Smaller listening apps also get feeds through Apple Podcasts, so registering with Apple also automatically gets you into other podcast listening apps.
- Spotifyopens a new window: Recently, this music platform has become the second-most popular podcast directory. An important note is that Spotify does not take RSS feeds from Soundcloud
- Google Playopens a new window: This is a popular platform for Android users; it is also important because it will make your podcast playable in Google search results.
Sources for royalty-free music and audio:
Podcasts have different licensing requirements for copyrighted music than traditional radio. Because listeners can download podcasts and save them, royalties are quite expensive. Fair-use exceptions may be made for commentary that references specific songs, but you will need to research this, because legal issues are complicated. For background or transitional music, consider asking an emerging artist to create an original composition or find royalty-free music online. There are many free options. Be aware that some may require attribution. Here are a few sources:
- Archive.orgopens a new window: You can search Community Audio on this site to find a lot of great options. They all have different attribution requirements, so check each one.
- CC Mixteropens a new window: This is another good collection of free music with Creative Commons licences; again, each track has different attribution and use requirements, so check.
- Bensoundopens a new window: This site has a great variety of genres and lots of music that is free to use as long as you credit Bensound in your podcast.
It can be helpful to log your recordings for editing, and offering transcriptions of your finished show makes it more accessible to hearing-impaired audiences. Although transcribing is a laborious process, it is easier than ever with new, free technology. Here are a few examples of logging and voice-recognition software that can help.
- Otter.aiopens a new window: This is a free, online service that automatically transcribes voice to text. You have to go back and check it, but it is surprisingly accurate for most voices.
- InqScribeopens a new window: This software works on Windows and Mac computers and allows you to import audio or video files and slow them down while you type. The free version does not save files, but you can copy and paste your transcribed text elsewhere.
- oTranscribeopens a new window: This free web-based software allows you to transcribe in your browser.