Saturday, March 5, 2016

Podcasting vaults one's voice to the masses

    Podcasting is a great way to get your voice “out there” for the masses. People can listen to podcasts at any time of the day or night, during the morning commute to work, while cooking dinner or while on a road trip.
    But it takes plenty of work to put together a podcast. This block of instruction call for a simple recording, about two minutes or less, with no editing. Sounds easy, right?
    The final product for this assignment, which you can listen to below, was the 15th take. One must first write a script before commencing to record audio. I did this with relative ease, but what wasn’t so easy was following that script. Distractions persisted throughout the process. I kept hearing “puffs” in the recordings from words that contained certain letters of the alphabet, such as “f,” “p” and “t.”

    I used an old iPhone 3 for my recordings, much as I do work other work-related interviews and projects. On that iPhone is an app called “iTalk,” a full-featured recording app with a streamlined and intuitive user interface. It allows the user to adjust recording quality, append recordings, and contains an easy management system so you don’t lose track of where they’re located.
    The iPhone I use has wonderful recording capabilities – almost too good since it captures those “puffs.” However, I used a washcloth and placed it over the microphone to serve as a pop screen. As an added measure, I positioned the microphone to the side so that I was not speaking directly into the mic.
My iPhone 3 I used for recording podcasts.
    Using Audacity for this portion of the assignment was relatively easy. I used the free shareware program to clean up a few leftover “puffs” that my pop screen didn’t catch, using the “silence” feature to erase occasional breathing noises as I attempted to catch my breath between sentences.
    In all fairness, I’ve produced several podcasts, beginning in 2007 and as recently as Feb. 9. They are extremely fun to record and produce. The aim of a podcast, if it’s used to complement a newspaper feature or hard news story, is to provide content that differs from what is already presented in writing. No one wants to read the story and listen to the same regurgitated content. The idea is to tell the reader/listener something they don’t already know.
    The key to producing a successful podcast, aside from possessing the necessary computer hardware and software, is knowledge of the planned topic. For those who are unaccustomed to podcasting, it is best to write a script and follow it as closely as possible. I am a writer by nature, and a script helps me immensely.
    It’s best to perform a dry run, so to speak, before one starts the recording process, or you will be like me and use 15 takes to get it correct. Dry runs will also get the time (length of a podcast) down to a manageable level.
    While I have previously recorded podcasts, there is always something new to learn. A professional-quality podcast is my ultimate goal.

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