Arrrrrggghh. I’m posting this late. My life just keeps getting in the way of the life I want to be living. So I sit here in a hotel room in Durham, NC trying to catch up. Feeling sorry for me yet?

The readings this week, as always, shed light for me on podcasting and I am beginning to see this whole endeavor in less intimidating ways. The Business Podcasting Book’s (BPB) chapter by Ryan Irelan on producing podcasts was very helpful. At a minimum, I know what potential situations I might face and what gear will solve the problems.

Three specific things I learned:

First, what a double-ender is. Basically when an interview takes place where the participants are in different locations. In this world of technological beauty Skype allows for clean sound and Audacity and a mixing board allow for seamless stitching together of that clean sound and wa-la! you have a great interview piece that sounds like the participants were a mere few inches from each other when they were probably thousands of miles away.

Second, how to adjust the varying volumes of my podcasts using The Levelator. When I recorded my first sad attempt at my first sad podcast, which will eventually show up here in the next few weeks, my voice was LOUD then s o f t and then POPPED and then whissssssspered. This happened because my mouth would move around the microphone as I spoke, varying by inches, but making a big difference in the recording. The Levelator software takes audio files and evens them out so that the volume is consistent throughout and isn’t scaring off listeners.

Third, metadata is important. Have you ever wondered how those scrolling messages you see in your favorite podcasting listings show up in your iPod? Or even how song titles get put into the CDs you burn to your iPod? Ryan Irelan has done me a solid by showing me how metadata is put into a podcast and he gives the business case for doing so with any podcast. Because you need a graphic identity of some kind for YOUR podcast, Irelan shows you how to add them so they show up in somebody’s iTunes or iPod. As icing on the cake, I learned how to go in and fix my album artwork in my iTunes listings and find and add missing album artwork. Those blank albums are something that has always bugged me. That’s just one of the things you can do with metadata but you can also crate your own show descriptions and other cool scrolling text.

The reading from Tricks of the Podcasting Masters (TPM) was all about interviewing techniques. This dovetailed nicely with the guest speaker we had this week, Peg Achterman. There was some crossover between the two books when discussing Skype, which just lent even more credibility that this is the tool for conducting high quality long distance interviews, and double-ending an interview. I also really enjoyed some of th insider advice on how to line up celebrity interviews. The best part of the chapter was on how to not be an a*hole when conducting interviews—be prepared, know your guests, don’t ask questions that will demonstrate you don’t have a clue as to who you are interviewing, an most of all respect your guests. This chapter makes me excited to get out there and interview some people!

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