DIY Podcasting: From Conception to Post-Production

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Taught by Ryan Doto

Ryan Doto is a host of things, including an obsessive learner, an omnivorous reader, a technophile, and an overall closet nerd. His professions include philosophy PhD student, professional Starcraft II player, and creator of two daily podcasts. If he could merge a book and a computer (and not the way the Nook or Kindle have), he would never, ever go outside.

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With podcasting being one of the many waves of the future (or present as it seems), and technology being ever more accessible, podcasts are showing up in droves from all walks of life about anything you can possibly imagine.  Unlike the age of the first groundbreaking podcasts, you can now record a podcast on your phone while on your subway ride home and have it uploaded and published within an hour.  But the question is, is this the kind of podcast you want to make?  Or better yet, is this the kind of podcast you (or anyone) wants to listen to? 


This class will take the most complex form of podcasting, that is, live, streaming audio-visual casts, that are recorded and then published, and break them down into a simple science that anyone can manage.  Along the way it will address at each step how to manage much more simple versions of podcasts, whether they be audio only, or off-air, so whatever kind of podcast you are interested in creating, this class will show you how to do so.  With all the technical jargon regarding computer specs, bandwidth, audio quality, bit rate, etc., it can seem impossible to even get started.  But I promise, this is not the case!  


The class will be split into 3 sections that should turn a good idea into a great podcast, a poor podcast into a huge hit, or perhaps just help you understand what goes on behind the scenes of your favorite podcasts.


First we will deal with ideas and technical specs.  This is basically a "what you need to podcast" lesson, that often seems quite difficult if you go googling for information.  It will cover in depth what kinds of ideas work well, and what kinds of ideas don't.  It will also cover computer hardware and software required for different kinds of podcasts.  But don't be nervous, I have simplified it so that no technical or previous computer skills are required to understand what is needed (trust me, I taught my mom to podcast to test it out!).  


Next comes the really fun stuff - how to use the hardware and software!  This includes everything from professional looking and sounding recordings, to live transitions, overlays, and more.  We will even create our own little impromptu podcast in class and post it online to prove how simple the process truly is.  


Finally, we will deal with the most important stuff - how to make your podcast heard.  We will go over how to stream, find hosts, publish, and get viewers for your podcast, and even how to publish it on iTunes. So, if you have a podcast but aren't sure if it's up to snuff, want to start a podcast but don't know how to begin, or have a simple podcast and are curious if you can turn it into something more complex or successful, this is the class for you!


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