12-Step Podcast Production Process

Recently, I realized how convoluted and complex the production process is for the First Crack Podcast. Now, the process doesn’t need to be this complex. Nor did it start out this way for me. This process was an evolution, developed as I discovered the weaknesses of the applications I’m using and how I’m using them.

  1. Record in AudioHijack Pro ($32)
    AHP is more stable than GarageBand and Audacity – especially for recordings longer than 30 minutes. Before I switched to AHP for my raw AIFF recording – I’d easily lose 10% of my shows. AudioHijack Pro can handle all your mixing, ID3 tags, and uploading to the server (that’s what I do for the FastCast).
  2. Initial Edit in Audacity (Free)
    When you delete a section in GarageBand it leaves a hole, so you need to manually put the two pieces back together. Audacity automatically collapses the hole on delete – making the initial edit process go much faster. I export this initial edit as a WAV. I’ve also found Audacity easier than GarageBand to take a stereo track down to mono.
  3. Write up shownotes in MarsEdit ($25)
    The spellcheck and HTML shortcut keys make shownotes as easy as writing an email – and I don’t need to worry about accidently closing a browser window and losing what I’ve written.
  4. Conversion in QuickTime Pro ($30)
    GarageBand doesn’t like Audacity’s WAV file – misreads the kHz or something. So, I open the WAV in QuickTime Pro and export as an AIFF (QTP can reliably handle the initial record and easily copy/paste multiple files together).
    Update 25 Jun 2007 – GarageBand now reads Audacity’s files.
  5. Open First Crack ‘base’ track in GarageBand ($79)
    I’ve got a GarageBand track with the intro and outro music already set, I record my voice-overs and import the AIFF file.
  6. Final Edit and Mixdown in GarageBand
    After giving it one more listen, I mix down and export to iTunes.
  7. MP3 Conversion in iTunes (free)
    Here I set the ID3 tags, artwork, and paste the first sentence or 2 of the shownotes into the comments field. I then convert to mp3 (56 kbps 44 kHz).
  8. Manual File Rename
    After the mp3 conversion, I track down the new file in my iTunes library, and manually rename it to FirstCrack_##-ShowName.mp3 – eliminating all spaces.
  9. Upload to server with Transmit ($30)
    Finally, I FTP the file to the server.
  10. Tell MarsEdit to ‘Send to Weblog’
    After the file is uploaded, I send the shownotes to the website.
  11. Open up post within WordPress‘ Admin Tool
    MarsEdit has two minor faults;
    1. It always sets the post category to ‘uncategorized’.
    2. It doesn’t trigger WordPress to automatically detect the mp3 file and create the ‘enclosure’ tag.

    I uncheck the unwanted category and hit ‘Save and Continue’ to trigger the mp3 enclosure creation.

  12. Celebrate – another podcast is up.

6 thoughts on “12-Step Podcast Production Process

  1. Wow – that’s a long, convoluted process. I record in Audition on an XP machine, add tracks and voicovers, mix, and export the mp3. I use an mp3 tagger to add tags. Upload in loudblog. Done. No messing with lots of formats – very simple. Now if only I could get the ‘you know’s and ‘eh’s automagically removed…

  2. I have to admit this seems complicated. All I ever figured out I’d need for a podcast was some kind of microphone. Then I figured I’d record using Wiretap (Mac freeware) and then convert the resulting .aiff file into .mp3 format using iTunes before uploading to my server using Transmit (shareware).

    Oh yeah, and then figure out the RSS thing. Am I missing something?

  3. No, it doesn’t need to be this complex – it can be as easy as using WireTap or AudioHijackPro to record and then upload to something with an RSS feed behind it.

    The heavily band-aided, workaround process above primarily exists because GarageBand is slow to edit in and unstable when recording long durations.

  4. Garrick: Any thoughts on the new podcasting tools in the latest GarageBand release? Also, what kind of mic do you use? What would you recommend for an interviewing setup with two mics?

  5. If MarsEdit is the only application you’re using to publish to WordPress, you could switch your default category to something other than Uncategorized.

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