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What is a Podcast?

The word “podcasting” is a blend, combining the words broadcasting and iPod. An iPod is a portable music player produced by Apple Computers.  The reason it became linked with the iPod in name was because people download podcasts (audio shows) to listen to on their iPods. However you don’t have to listen to podcasts only on iPods; you can use almost any MP3 player or your computer's software. As long as you have some way to play music on your computer you will be able to listen to podcasts.

Podcasting is a form of audio broadcasting on the Internet. The most popular format of a podcast is an MP3 audio format.

You can listen to podcasts like you read blogs. In fact,  podcasts are often distributed through a blog and you can visit the website or use an RSS feed to collect the updates. These files can then be listened to on your computer or you can transfer them to your mp3 player to listen to later.

Podcasts usually have spoken content rather than music.  This is mainly because of copyright law. If you broadcast music you don’t have the rights to use then you are taking a risk.  Some are just a long rambling interviews while others are sectioned into different segments.  Well produced podcasts are regularly created and have a uniformed format from episode to episode.

Video casting, the newest type of podcasting, is allowing people to create their own video content for the world to watch. Over time television, radio and the Internet will merge into one channel of content distribution that will provide an unheard of level of personalization delivered on demand.

Creating and Editing Audio Files

Before you can create your first podcast, you need to learn how to create and edit audio files.  In this section, you will be given the software and instructions to help you do that.

You can begin by downloading Audacity at Audacity.com, a free audio recording and editing software.  Install the software and make sure that your microphone and speakers are working correctly.

This is what your software should look like when installed.  The area circled is the main toolbar, which controls play and record functions.

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Permission for the use of these screenshots has been obtained from [Audacity Free Software]


To get started with your new software, you can watch the following videos or read the Audacity Online Manual.  After experimentation, you should be able to import files, move the timelines , adjust the volumes, fade in/out and record your own voice .

The Audacity Toolbar
Importing Files
Using The Effects

Permission for the use of these screenshots has been obtained from [Audacity Free Software]