What is a Podcast?
Really, a podcast can be any audio recording. Google defines podcast as “a multimedia digital file made available on the Internet for downloading to a portable media player, computer, etc.” Pretty vague, right? What really makes a podcast a podcast is how you export and share it with the web. Of course, podcasts are most commonly little episodic radio shows. The only limit to a podcast is your own imagination.
While you could be really DIY - recording a full podcast on your iPhone memos app, uploading it to soundcloud and putting it online - I’m going to show you a little more structured way by taking advantage of Garageband’s built in podcast template. This guide will assume you have a beginner level knowledge of Garageband’s interface and basic features.
First, open Garageband and choose podcast from the Quickstart dialogue box that displays when you start up Garageband.
Choosing this option will create and Garageband session that is optimized for recording a traditional podcast cast. You’ll have to name your project before you continue. Before we do anything, please make sure that Multitrack Recording is enabled via the Track menu. This will allow us to record 2 microphones at once so we can make adjustments to each voice track individually.
Recording your Podcast
As you can see, our session is created with a “Podcast Track” for adding photos, etc to your podcast, two voice tracks, and a jingle track. The voice tracks default to “Male Voice” and “Female Voice” Garageband presets, but you may change them by selecting the track and changing the setting in the box on the right in the above screenshot. I won’t go into detail on what all that can be done with three tracks, but I do encourage you to play around and see what the possibilities are. Fine tuning can be what sets your podcast apart from all the others on the web.
Make sure your input source in the bottom right is set to the correct mics (Mono 1 & 2, usually, as opposed to stereo 1 / 2).
Now, we’re ready to record our podcast. Hit the Record button at the bottom and get to it!
Once you’re finished, your pod should look vaguely something like this. Note that I’ve dragged in some opening and closing music to the jingle track from Garageband’s built in stock loops. Ideally you would use your own music and photos, but I’ve just dragged in a few random things things for the mock up.
Once you’re pleased with the way your podcast sounds, we need to get it into mp3 form so we can publish it to the web. Before we do any exporting, let’s add some metadata to our file. Highlight the Podcast track and make some edits.
The last step is to navigate to Share → Export Podcast to Disk…
From MP3 to Podcast
Though you have finished recording and editing your Podcast audio file, the track is essentially only an mp3 and hasn’t quite become a podcast. In order consider your track a podcast, the file must live on the internet, and subscribers must have the option to link to your podcast from iTunes or other podcast players and directories. In order to get your podcast ready for distribution, we will make use of three wonderful and free internet services (SoundCloud, Google Blogger, and Google Feedburner) that make podcasting a snap.
Uploading to SoundCloud
The first step after you export (or “bounce”) your Podcast as an mp3 from GarageBand or Logic is to upload the audio track to the internet via SoundCloud. Creating a SoundCloud account is quick, easy, and free. Once you have created your account you simply upload the track.
After you have chosen the file you wish to upload, it is important to make sure that downloads are enabled. This option can be found by clicking on the More options button found on the initial upload page. Keep in mind that if downloads are not enabled you will be unable to load your podcast onto a feed and your listeners will be unable to subscribe to your Podcast through iTunes.
Preparing SoundCloud URL for Blogger
Once your file is uploaded to SoundCloud, the next step is to prep the URL for proper use on Blogger. The first link is how the URL appears naturally on SoundCloud.
Before you copy the link to use on Blogger you need to add “/download.mp3” to the end of the link (see below).
Posting your Podcast to Blogger
Now that the your SoundCloud URL is formatted correctly for download, select and copy the URL. After you have properly formatted your SoundCloud URL, go to Google Blogger and create a new blog or open up the Overview page of an existing blog. First, navigate to the left of the page at the bottom of the list of options and open up Settings. Set the Enable Title Links and Enclosure Links to “Yes.” This will allow you to appropriately add the SoundCloud URL to the blog.
Next, click the New Post button and locate the Links tab under Post settings at the right of the page. Open the tab and check to make sure the Permalink is set to “Automatic.” Now you are ready to paste the SoundCloud URL into the Enclosure Links. After you enter the URL, Blogger will recognize the link as “audio/mpeg”. If Blogger does not automatically populate the “mime type” in that way, go back and check to make sure all the proper steps have been taken to ready the URL. (See images below)
Once your link is attached to the blog post, add a title and description for the Podcast, as this will appear when listeners subscribe to and download your show. Though the title, description, and other metadata can be edited later using Google Feedburner or iTunes, it is nice to have some information entered to identify your podcast. Before moving to the next step, copy your blog’s URL for use in Google Feedburner.
Creating RSS Feed via Google Feedburner
Now that your blog post is live, you are ready to create your RSS feed via Google Feedburner. After you open Feedburner, past the URL of your blog in to the box titled “Burn a feed right this instant” at the middle of the page. Do not forget to check the “I am a podcaster!” box. Then click next.
After clicking Next, Feedburner will take you to a new page to select the type of feed you wish to generate. Choose RSS and then click Next. You will then be able to title your feed and name the link address. When your feed is titled and the address is to your liking click next and Feedburner will automatically generate the RSS feed link. If you choose Next on this page you will be able to update the metadata suitable for use on iTunes.
Subscribing to your Podcast via iTunes
The final step in creating the podcast would be to use the RSS feed link you have created to distribute your show to listeners via iTunes or other podcast directories. If you choose to give out the RSS feed link to potential listeners without uploading the podcast to a specific directory. Listeners can copy the RSS feed URL and follow these steps to subscribe using iTunes. Listeners will be to access your show through iTunes by navigating to File → Subscribe to Podcast, and then typing in or pasting the URL of your RSS feed. iTunes will automatically begin to download the podcast and will automatically update as you add new episodes.
Uploading your Podcast to the iTunes Podcast Directory
To upload your podcast to the iTunes Podcast directory, navigate first to the iTunes Store. Click the Podcast tab at top of the window, then on the right of the page click Submit a Podcast.
You will then be brought the “Submit Podcasts to the iTunes Directory” page (shown below). Paste the URL of your RSS feed into the box and follow the instructions.
You have now successfully transformed your mp3 into a Podcast ready for the entire world to enjoy!