How Podcasting Works

Creating Podcasts

Radio Shark 2
Radio Shark 2
Photo courtesy ConsumerGuide Products

Recording a podcast is almost as easy as listening to one. Here's how the process works:

  1. Plug a microphone into your computer
  2. Install an audio recorder for Windows, Mac or Linux (free software for audio recorders includes Audacity, Record for All and Easy Recorder V5).
  3. Create an audio file by making a recording (you can talk, sing or record music) and saving it to your computer.
  4. Finally, upload the audio file to one of the podcasting sites (FeedForAll has a tutorial on how to upload a file).

After recording your podcast, you will want to promote it. FeedforAll and Self Seo offer advice to guide you through this endeavor. Their recommendations include informing the public on how to access and listen to your podcast, advertising your podcast's availability with an eye-catching graphic, writing a press release to notify the public of your podcast and creating a niche group of devoted listeners and assessing their responses to your podcast through installation of a feedburner link. A feedburner link keeps tabs on the number of times your podcast has been linked to and any new comments that your listeners have made. This link can be set up through Feed Burner. Tailoring your podcast to your listeners' feedback makes for happy listeners who will, in turn, do the heavy lifting of your promotional work for you.

Several companies are creating new gadgets to improve users' podcasting experiences. San Francisco-based Odeo offers a service that creates custom playlists of podcast files, which can then be downloaded onto portable audio players. Griffin Technology makes a device called Radio Shark 2, which sells for about $50 and can be programmed to record music and radio programs.

Some experts say podcasting still has a long way to go before it catches on with the masses, but its growing popularity is undeniable. It's possible that podcasting will eventually become as popular as text blogging, which grew from a few thousand blogs in the late '90s to more than 7 million today. Some podcasts are already providing thousand of downloads a day, and they're not just entertaining their listeners -- they're also doing business. We'll see how companies are creating and using video podcasts in the next section.