What is Podcasting?
According to Wikipedia, “a podcast is an episodic series of spoken word digital audio files that a user can download to a personal device for easy listening. Streaming applications and podcasting services provide a convenient, integrated way to manage a personal consumption queue across many podcast sources and playback devices.”
In simple words, podcasting is somebody recording his or her own voice and sharing with others. There are unlimited ways of doing this – some podcasts are also recorded as video files (sometimes called vlogs).
Because it democratizes the discussion. It gives everyone a voice. It contributes into diversity. It bypasses the monopoly of big media corporations.
It is versatile. You can integrate it with an online radio. You can broadcast it live on social media. You can record is as a video blog on Youtube. You can transcribe it and post it as a blog. You can host multiple people from different corners of the world using online softwares such as Zencastr, Skype or Zoom.
Also it is fun. It is a great hobby that allows self-development and community building.
What do I need to record a podcast?
A voice… and a recorder. 🙂 You can simply record it on your phone as an audio file and upload it somewhere that others can have access to. But if you are interested in doing it more professionally, you can purchase a microphone and connect it to your computer (with or without an audio interface). GarageBand (comes free with Apple devices and works only on them) or Audacity are two professional and free applications you can download to use when recording your podcast directly on your computer. Alternatively, you can use an audio recording device, such as a field recorder, to connect your mic(s) and record your podcast.
Should I edit my podcast?
Editing is always a good idea. Not only it allows you to improve the audio quality of your recording but it also allows you to mix, cut, modify and add music to it. GarageBand and Audacity are great softwares you can use for free – with bit of a self-learning on Youtube.
Where can I upload my podcast?
Podcasts can be hosted anywhere but podcast hosting platforms are the most reliable and user-friendly options since they provide easy-to-use options and services to anyone ranging from the first-timer enthusiasts to vintage professionals. Some of those podcast hosts include but are not limited to Castos, Transistor, Captivate, Buzzsprout, Podbean, Simplecast, Spreaker, Libsyn, Blubrry and others. While some have free plans, these are generally limited. It is also possible to use popular music platforms, such as Spotify, to upload your podcast directly but they do not provide podcast-focused all-in-one hosting, promoting and distributing services the way specialized podcast hosting platforms do.
After you create your own podcast and upload it, it is advisable to use directories, such as Apple/ITunes Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, TuneIn, etc., to reach out to a bigger audience.
Technical Information on Island Talks
Podcast Hosting: Castos
We use Castos as a podcast hosting platform and we are very happy with their service so far. Their help desk is prompt and solution-oriented. With its Starter Pack (USD19/month) we get unlimited podcast space for multiple shows. If you are an amateur podcaster and interested in doing your own show, Castos provides you a free basic site for your podcast as well. Through its analytics, you can have an in-depth insight regarding your follower base.
Website and plugin: Seriously Simple Podcasting on WordPress
Since we are hosting multiple podcasts/shows under the Island Talks initiative, we wanted to collect them under a website and integrate it with the podcast hosting platform. Uploading your audio files (podcasts) directly to your website is neither practical nor sustainable in the long-run. This is why Seriously Simple Podcasting WordPress plugin of Castos is the best choice for us. This way you can allow the podcast hosting platform to host your big audio files and let your website works fast and responsive. It can be little intimidating to use WordPress if you are not experienced with WordPress before, but Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin is very easy to use, especially if you are considering to do your own show.
Online Recording: Squadcast
We do not record all our podcasts in the same room. Especially during the pandemic we have used online podcast recording services in order to provide our listeners a quality audio alternative to Skype or Zoom recording. We currently use Squadcast which allows our podcasters to host our guests and record episodes in a quality setting. With USD 20/month, we get up to 5 hours of monthly recording time.