Free Podcasting Guide for Educators

14 02 2008

It’s called “PoducateMe: Practical Solutions for Podcasting in Education”, and it’s a free online guide (downloadable PDF costs less than $20) for schools interested in podcasting their classes for their students.  Here’s what you can learn in the 190-page illustrated guide:

  • What is a podcast?
  • Selecting appropriate podcasting equipment and software
  • Recording, editing and polishing a podcast
  • Creating an “enhanced” podcast containing links and graphics
  • Uploading a podcast to the Internet
  • Creating a podcast blog
  • Sharing podcasts with students

Find it at the PoducateMe website.

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Podcasting Tools: WavePad (Free)

20 11 2007

For editing single audio files, Audacity has been the only free download worth noting in the past few years (no, that doesn’t include Garageband that comes pre-installed on Macs). It’s full of features, easy to use, and extremely light on the pocketbook. So it’s good to see there’s finally an alternative: WavePad by NCH Swift Sound. It’s also free and full of features including text-to-speech, voice activated recording, and batch processing to apply effects to multiple files at once (you have to pay for that last one, sorry). I’m using it now and it seems to do most of the things I want it to do, and most everything I use Audacity for. It doesn’t have access to the VST effects that I use Adobe Audition for, and seems about as useful (not very) as Audacity for mixing together multiple audio files, but what can you expect for free these days? (Like an old professor used to tell me, there’s no such thing as a ‘free lunch’, but then again he must not have known about free software.)





Podcasting Tools: Podcast Capture & Podcast Producer (Leopard – Mac)

26 10 2007

captureApple is releasing their new operating system, Leopard, with two podcasting applications built right in: Podcast Capture and Podcast Producer.  Podcast Capture helps you to get audio and video and screen captures from internal and external devices (creating your content), and Podcast Producer helps you mix, encode, and publish that content so that fans can get it on a variety of devices (distributing your content).   You can read more about it here.





Podcasting Tools: Ubercaster (Mac)

2 10 2007

ubercasterYes, it’s another do-everything program for creating and uploading your podcasts, and yes, at first glance it looks like Garageband, the de-facto music creation program for the Mac that also supports podcast creation. But Ubercaster is making strides to separate itself from that pack (check the marketing speak here: “Leave your garage and feel at home”) as a program specifically built for podcasters. It’s got some neat tricks baked in such as live recording of interviews over Skype and iChat (which both have emerged as the de facto choices for recording interviews over the Web) and a “stealth mode” that allows you to mute certain programs while Ubercaster records the rest of the sounds coming through your computer. The obvious limitations/drawbacks are the price ($80) and the lack of a Windows version, but otherwise it looks like a good solution for a Mac podcaster who conducts interviews over the ‘Net.





Podcasting Tools: WaveLab Essential 6

14 09 2007

WaveLab, a set of audio editing and mastering programs for both the PC and the Mac, now allows you to post podcasts to the Web using WaveLab Essentials 6. WaveLab E6 can be used on its own to edit, master, and post podcasts or can be used with music production programs such as Cubase or music creation programs such as Sequel.

E6 has podcasting features that will appeal to newcomers, according to the Steinberg website, but provides many of the bells and whistles that any podcast producer will enjoy, including resizing a photo for your podcast feed, creating templates so you can make new podcast episodes easily, and allowing video and PDFs as well as audio in your podcast feed.





Podcasting Tools: RecordForAll on the PC

15 08 2007

Last week we pointed to the recent updates to Apple’s Garageband and how it helps podcasters who are Mac users.  For the PC users out there we can now present RecordForAll, which was given the Best Sound Program award at the 2007 Shareware Industry Awards ceremony.  Unlike Garageband the software is not free ($39.95, or $69.95 when bundled with companion software FeedForAll), but you can download the software for free and give it a try.  Our experience with software is it’s worth a few dollars if it saves us time and/or headaches, so we’ll be anxious to try it ourselves to see if it’s worth the price.  If anyone has any experience with it, leave us a comment here to let us and everyone else know.





Podcasting Tools: Updates to Garageband

9 08 2007

Apple recently introduced new features for Garageband as part of iLife ’08. While not all podcasters use Macs to put together their podcasts, Apple realized fairly quickly that Garageband is a familiar, turnkey way for Mac users to record podcasts. And now new features including multi-take recording, intelligent arrangement of your audio tracks, and a visual equalizer give podcasters more firepower to crank out podcasts faster at a higher quality.