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Podcasting Hacks
By Jack Herrington
August 2005
More Info

How do these hacks stand up? Comment on a hack from the book by choosing the associated "Discuss" link below. You can also view the code from any of the hacks by clicking on the "Listing" or "Code" links. A number of hacks have been selected to be featured online in their entirety; you may view those hacks by clicking on the hack titles that are linked.

You can also download all the scripts and other files for this book here.

Jump to: Tuning into Podcasts  | Starting Out  | Quality Sound  | Formats  | Interviewing  | Blogging  | Publicity  | Basic Editing  | Advanced Audio  | On the Go  | Videoblogging

Tuning into Podcasts

HACK
#1

Listen to Podcasts on the Web
Use your browser to find podcasts. Click a link, and in seconds, you'll be listening to the podcast in your favorite MP3 application
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#2

Rebroadcast Your Favorite Feeds
Combine a bunch of feeds to make your own broadcast network
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#3

Build Your Own Podcatcher
Using Perl, you can quickly build a command-line podcatcher for yourself
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#4

Import Podcasts into iTunes
Use Perl scripts and iTunes' COM interface to automate MP3 importing on Windows; on the Mac, it's even easier
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#5

Tune into Videoblogs
Subscribe to free amateur movies with ANT
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#6

Convert Text-Based Blogs into Podcasts
Use the speech synthesizer on the Macintosh to turn text RSS feeds into podcasts and import them into iTunes
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#7

Install Perl Modules
A number of hacks in this book use Perl scripts. This hack covers installing Perl, Perl modules, and Perl support in your web server
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#8

Listen to Podcasts on Your PDA
Use a PDA to listen to podcasts on the go
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#9

Podcatching with Your PlayStation Portable
Use your PlayStation Portable (PSP) to listen to podcasts
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

Starting Out

HACK
#10

Make Your First Podcast
Use the hardware you have right now, and some free software on the Web, to make your first podcast
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#11

Professional-Quality Podcasting
Podcasting is new, but broadcasting isn't. Learn the established secrets of the broadcasting trade that will help you create professional podcasts with basic hardware
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

Quality Sound

HACK
#12

Set Up a Basic Home Studio
Getting quality sound on the cheap is easy with today's digital tools, if you know what to look for
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#13

Pick the Right Microphone
Learn everything you need to know to pick the right microphone, or set of microphones, for your podcast
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#14

Mix Your Podcast in Hardware
Mixers can look intimidating at first, but they are actually easy to use and very powerful
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#15

Reduce Noise
Hum and hiss are annoying and distracting. Find out where the noise comes from and how you can reduce or remove it completely
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#16

Podcast in Surround Sound
Use binaural microphones to give your podcast a three-dimensional sound field
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#17

Control Your Recorder with Your Mobile Phone
Use the awesome Salling Clicker system to control your whole computer, including your recording setup, right from your cell phone
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#18

Construct Your MP3s
Use command-line tools to encode your MP3 files as well as to build customized MP3 files on the fly
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#19

Train Your Voice
Use professional techniques and training to improve your podcasting voice
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

Formats

HACK
#20

Adopt a Format for Your Podcast
Apply the elements of a format to your podcast to give listeners a reason to subscribe to your show
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#21

Build a Great News Podcast
Create your own podcast news show to shed light on stories that never would have been covered otherwise
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#22

Build a Great Story Show
Find out how to interview to get a great audible story for your podcast
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#23

Build a Great Personal Show
Create a show that opens a personal window on your life, without exposing yourself to privacy risk
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#24

Build a Great Political Show
Blogging changed the way American politics work. Podcasting will extend that reach. Find out how to make a political show that is compelling and entertaining
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#25

Make a Mystery Science Theater Podcast
Create podcasts that act as an alternate soundtrack to some of today's worst movies
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#26

Build a Great Music Podcast
Create a music show that exposes your listeners' minds to new music
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#27

Build a Great Review Podcast
Create a review show that tells your listeners about the best movies, music, and books, with insight they can find nowhere else
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#28

Build a Great Sports Podcast
Create a show that brings a unique view on the passion of the sports world to your podcast listeners
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#29

Build a Great Technology Podcast
Bring technology advice and trends to your listeners, with a cutting-edge technology podcast
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#30

Build a Beercast
Use cheap hardware, lots of beer, and good friends to create entertaining podcasts
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#31

Build an MP3zine
Create a magazine-style podcast that your listeners can thumb through with their iPods
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#32

Produce Great Audio Theatre
Write stories, build scripts, and produce audio theatre for segments of your podcast
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

Interviewing

HACK
#33

Record Great Interviews
Finding the right people to talk to, and having the right form, can mean the difference between a compelling story and a stifled mess. Learn the techniques the pros use
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#34

Record Telephone Interviews HACK
Use hardware and software solutions that will give your phone interview a quality that is similar to what you would get in person
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#35

Record Interviews on Skypet
A cheap way to get a phone interview is to use Skype and to record the session digitally
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#36

Edit Your Interviews
Learn how to edit interviews to build an interesting story for your listeners
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

Blogging

HACK
#37

Podcast Without a Blog
Use Podcastamatic or DirCaster to build a podcast from just your MP3 podcast files
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#38

Blog Your Podcast
Blog your podcast with a hosted blogging service, or with software on your ISP
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#39

Manage Bandwidth
Obviously it's great to get a lot of listeners, but it's not great if you get a big
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#40

Tag Your MP3 Files
Make sure your filename and ID3 tags are formatted properly for your listeners
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#41

Feed Your MP3s to Movable Type
Use Movable Type's XML-RPC support to podcast your MP3s automatically
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#42

Podcast by Email
Use an email parser on your ISP server to automate podcasting to Movable Type
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#43

Syndicate Your Podcasts to the Radio
Using the PRX service, you can play your podcasts on National Public Radio (NPR)
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

Publicity

HACK
#44

Get Listed
Listing your podcast in public directories is the cheapest and easiest way to connect with and build your audience. Find out what directories are available and how to get signed up
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#45

Launch a New Category
The world of podcasting is expanding rapidly, and new categories are continuously being added to the public directories. These categories are maintained by individuals just like you, and you can propose and maintain categories for topics that interest you
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#46

Market Your Podcast
Visibility is critical to building a listener base. Find out how to plug and get plugged effectively
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#47

Make Money with Podcasts
Google ads are an easy way to generate revenue that will offset your bandwidth costs. Learn to use this effective advertising mechanism
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#48

Connect with the Community
Keep in touch with the podcast community through newsgroups and message boards
[Discuss (1) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#49

Join or Build a Podcast Network
There's strength in numbers when it comes to podcasting, and by joining or building a podcast network, you can benefit from increased numbers in a variety of ways
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

Basic Editing

HACK
#50

Choose the Right Audio Tools
Download free audio software, and spend your money wisely on the right commercial audio software
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#51

Juice Your Sound
Pick from a world of free and commercial audio plug-ins to get the right sound for your show
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#52

Automate Audio Hijack Pro
Automate your Audio Hijack Pro recording sessions with its support for AppleScript
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#53

Timestamp Your Show Notes
Use Audio Hijack Pro's AppleScript interface to mark important interview moments in your show notes
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#54

Build a Simple Sound Cart for Macintosh
Use Xcode on Macintosh to build a sound cart application with AppleScript Studio
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#55

Build a Simple Sound Cart for Windows
Using ActiveState Perl on Windows, you can build a quick cart program to play WAV files on demand
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#56

Maintain the Gain
Use gain controlling filters to maintain a consistent level throughout your podcast
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#57

Build a Sweet Sound
Use frequency filters to adjust your recording to get the tone you want
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#58

Add Special Effects
Use plug-ins to create unique sonic effects in your podcast
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#59

Fix Common Audio Problems
Advice from the experts on how to fix common problems in recorded sounds
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#60

Mix Multiple Tracks
Use multiple tracks in your audio editor to combine multiple elements into complex shows easily
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

Advanced Audio

HACK
#61

Set Up a Home Studio
Use a combination of quality hardware and software to produce high-quality shows suitable for both podcast and broadcast
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#62

Integrate Audio and Email Feedback
Engage your audience in a conversation by integrating their audio feedback and email into your podcasts
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#63

Add Top, Bottom, and Bumper Music
Cut and use tops, bottoms, and bumpers to give your podcasts a professional feel
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#64

Record and Add Background Ambience
Using background ambience can add a sense of place and time to your podcasts. Learn to record these sounds and mix them effectively into your sonic landscape
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#65

Speech Synthesize Your Podcast Introduction
Placing a small introductory segment with the name of your podcast and the episode number or date at the beginning of the show is becoming standard. Learn how to use free or cheap speech synthesis tools to do this
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#66

Make a Mash-Up
Mash-ups of music and voice are an exciting way to liven up your podcast
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#67

Grab Audio Legally
Can you legally grab audio from another source and use it in your podcast? Find out the dos and don'ts of copy and paste podcasting journalism
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#68

Use Copyrighted Music Legally
Keep lawsuits away by making sure that any music you use in your podcasts is properly licensed or is license free
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

On the Go

HACK
#69

Assemble a Small Recording Rig
Podcasting on the road opens up a whole new realm of interesting and engaging content. Learn how to build a small audio rig that will give you sound that sounds as good on the road as it does at home
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#70

Podcast from Your Car
Podcasting from a car can be fun and interesting for your listeners, but it can be unsafe and potentially illegal. Learn how to do it safely, cheaply, and legally
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#71

Podcast at an Event
Find out what's legal and ethical when recording at a live event, and how to record effectively so that your listeners get a sense of place and intensity
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#72

Create a Soundseeing Tour
Bring listeners with you on a tour through your world with vivid verbal imagery
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

Videoblogging

HACK
#73

Start a Videocast
Use your camcorder and some inexpensive editing and compression tools to build movies to add to your blog
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#74

Make a Quick-and-Dirty Prompter
Use Perl CGI scripts to create a prompter that makes it easy to read from a script
The Code
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#75

Build a Teleprompter
Reading a script while talking into the camera is difficult without a teleprompter. Build your own prompter with MDF and window glass
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]


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