How to Podcast

Creating Podcasts:
Here’s the setup I’m currently using to record the First Crack Podcast:
Behringer XM8500 microphone >> M-Audio MobilePre USB Mobile Preamp >> Apple Powerbook >> GarageBand >> iTunes.

When I’m done recording in GarageBand, I select ‘Export to iTunes’ from GarageBand’s ‘File’ menu. That sends the file to iTunes as an aiff. In iTunes, I set the meta-data for the file:

  • Title: [Your Podcast Show Name] [Episode Number] [Episode Name]
    (I recommend putting your show name in the song name for aggregators like that only show the episode name)
  • Artist: [Your Name Here]
  • Album: [Your Podcast Show Name]
  • Track: [Episode Number]
  • Comments: [Episode Description]
  • Genre: Podcast

Updated: 24 May 2005. Added “Track” to be consistent with Tod Maffin’s proposed standard for podcast ID3 tag use

Then, I cmd-click the file and select ‘convert selection to MP3’. After the conversion is complete, I pull the file out of my iTunes library, and rename to something internet-friendly like: YourPodcastShowName_EpisodeNumber-ShortEpisodeName.mp3

I FTP the resulting file to the site, write a post on the weblog and include the mp3 file within an “a href” tag. WordPress handles the RSS file creation automatically. Automatic enclosure support can be found in WordPress 1.5. I’ve created WP-iPodCatter, a WordPress plugin and replacement RSS file to generate an iTunes-friendly feed out of WordPress.

If you’re wondering what type of show to have, I’d recommend reading Principles of Podcasting. It contains my thoughts on what makes a good podcast after publishing 16 episodes of the First Crack Podcast.

If you’re having issues with Garage Band or want to pull audio from iChat, Skype, or iTunes into your podcast, check out:recording a Podcast with Rogue Amoeba’s Audio Hijack Pro. Audio Hijack Pro wraps everything up into a single mp3 file – ID3 tags and all. If you don’t need Garage Band’s or Audacity’s multiple tracks, Audio Hijack Pro might make your podcasting much easier.

Updated 10 July 2005.

I’ve set up Audio Hijack Pro, Transmit, and BetDirCaster to simplify and accellerate the production and distribution process.

I specify the ID3 tags in Audio Hijack Pro and set up an Automator script to automatically upload the resulting MP3 to the BetDirCaster audio directory via Transmit.

Receiving Podcasts:
First off, an Apple iPod is not required. Podcasts are simply mp3 files. If you have something that will play mp3s, you can listen.

“So if an iPod isn’t required, why is it called podcasting?”

I’m glad you asked, the answer is: Podcasting rhymes with broadcasting.
Broadcasting, like a grey blanket, covers everyone in the same stuff. iPods are very personal, intimate devices. So, even though the NBC affiliate in your area has the same prime time schedule, no one has the same stuff on their iPod (or other digital music library).

Software (like NetNewsWire and iPodderX for the Mac, Doppler and iPodder for Windows, iTunes for both) automatically downloads the latest mp3 files to your computer.

If you’re looking for some shows to get you started head over to, this is a list of podcasts produced in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, and “Garrick’s PodRoll”, these are the shows I currently subscribe to.

UPDATE: December 10, 2005
I just wrote up my current 12-Step Podcast Production Process. Hopefully the process will get simplier from here.

One thought on “How to Podcast

  1. Hi,
    Interesting, useful pages.. but I have a query about your production process and the use of the M-Audio MobilePre USB.

    Can you/do you mix a microphone input and a line input (from an analogue tape recorder for example or a digital mp3 file), (monitoring inputs or the final mix on headphones) – or do you just record only the microphone output and always do the final mix with other sounds in Garage Band? in other words, is it better to get a final mp3 file in two steps, taking time to balance things perfectly – or can one do a quick and perhaps less perfect mix live in one go? (Note: I also need to edit file material (such as interviews ftp’ed to me) with my voice presentation, so I will be mixing after initial voice recording.)
    Thanks for the advice and your time!

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