The following steps explain how to make a basic podcast of your voice.
- Plan what you will say
Although you may not need a verbatim script, it is helpful to have an outline of what you'll be saying.
- Record audio
A good audio recording has both a low background noise and a clearly audible, easily distinguishable recording of the subject.
- Choose a quiet location where you won't be interrupted.
- Although the sound cards on many desktop computers allow you to make acceptable voice recordings, this is generally not true of laptops.
- The built–in microphones of many computers, desktop and laptop, generally do not give good results.
- Select hardware and software that meet your needs and are easy to use. For podcasts with spoken voice only, the quality does not need to be that high for effective podcasts
The equipment you select depends on how much sound quality matters and whether you need to record in a location away from your computer. Below are some suggested combinations of recording equipment. We offer some recommendations which depend on your recording scenario.
This free, open source, cross-platform audio recording and
editing software is easy to use and is versatile enough for
most situations. Be sure to also download the LAME
mp3 encoder that is listed as an optional download on this
site so you can save your audio files in .mp3 format.
Resources for using Audacity:
- Onlne Audacity user manual and tutorials
- DoIT Academic Technology tutorial on recording and editing audio with Audacity
- Brown University’s Computing Information Services online tutorial on Audacity
Other software for recording and editing (available from the DoIT Tech Store) include Adobe Audition, Sony SoundForge, and Apple GarageBand.
Publish your podcast
iTunes U is available for UW-Madison instructors who want to
deliver podcasts as part of their courses. iTunesU is a service
offered through Apple that provides hosting of educational
content through podcasts at no cost. Instructors can
iTunes U account by clicking on the link below and completing the request
Get an iTunes U account
Campus Resources for Podcasting
These groups on campus may be able to loan equipment, offer facilities, or provide help you may need for recording, editing, and publishing your podcast:
Music and Other Audio for Podcasts
A short musical signature at the beginning and end of your podcast adds interest and helps your students recognize your podcast. However, using excerpts of copyrighted music in this way might not be considered fair use since it might not be deemed essential to the instructional purpose of the podcast. If you want to include music for this purpose in your podcast, consider the sources below.
The resources listed may also have audio files of historical speeches and proceedings that may be relevant to the instructional purpose of your podcast.
Some of the music and other sound files displayed online in the Library of Congress’ American Memories collection are copyright-free. Please see the general guidelines the US Copyright Office has provided about use of materials at the Library of Congress.
The Creative Commons group hosts collections of audio materials. Some of these, which include music, sounds, and Supreme Court proceedings, are licensed under the Attribution-Share Alike license, which allows many types of reuse, as long as the original artist is attributed.
Create your own music (or have a student create it) using music recording software like Sony Acid Music Studio for Windows or Apple’s GarageBand for Macintosh, both available from the DoIT Tech Store.