By far the most daunting aspect of creating PSR was what to do after the show was
created. Where should I post it? How much bandwidth would I need? How do I create
a blog page? What is a RSS feed? What FTP software should I use to upload my show?
How do I get listed on iTunes? ETC! Fortunately there are Internet hosts that specialize
in Podcasts. I use Liberated Syndication (www.libsyn.com). They handle all of the
above and much more. Even better, they are reliable, easy to use and very cost effective.
Check them out.
Do I need a real fancy computer to create a Podcast?
Good news! If you computer is reasonably new ( let’s say under 4 years old) and
it is able to run moderately complex programs like a photo editor or “The Print Shop”
it is likely that you have all the computer power that you need. As with any computer
task, more RAM and a faster processor is always better. At PSR we use a very basic
4-year-old Gateway computer with 512 RAM for our main studio computer. It is not
the fastest kid on the block, but it gets the job done. Although most computers
have the power to do the job, they do have one weak link.
What is the computer’s weak link?
I advise caution if you plan on using your on-board sound card with a computer microphone.
Before I recorded our first show I spent way too much time trying to get decent
sound out of such a set up. My results (trying a bunch of different computers) varied
from poor to unusable.
Upgrading to a high quality sound card is easy and relatively inexpensive. For Podcasting
I would advise going with an USB solution rather than an internal card.
What are the respective benefits of an USB interface vs. a sound card when it comes
USB devices are easy to use. In most cases you just plug them into your USB port
and the computer does the rest. If an USB sound interface is part of another device,
like a microphone, the additional cost is small. USB devices are also portable.
You can use the same device on your desktop at home and your laptop on the road.
When choosing an USB device, a quality 16 bit one is fine for Podcasting and less
expensive than a device that is capable of 24 bits of resolution. Some USB devices
(like a microphone or mixer) are dedicated devices that only do one task.
Internal cards can sound great if you buy a good one (Creative, m-audio). They also
can offer additional functionality like 7.1 sound for your games. However, you have
to install the card as well as software drivers, which may be a hassle for some.
If you are using a laptop, the internal card option is out. In addition, to realize
a sound card’s Podcasting benefits you will need additional equipment like a mixer
and a quality microphone.