MICRO CENTER: COMPUTERS AND ELECTRONICS
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Tech Take-Apart
Create Your Own Podcast Studio
by kp

The introduction of podcasting via iTunes has created an explosion of audio programs for everything from art to computers to travel. The wonderful part of this media is how easy it is to create your own podcast buying a few inexpensive accessories. By using the MPEG format, podcasts are compatible with most any computer – Mac or PC. In just a few minutes (and with an Internet connection), you can turn your home office into its own podcasting central and share you thoughts with millions.

There are two types of podcasts - video and audio. Since the launch of the video iPod, video podcasting has become increasingly in-demand. The first step in creating a successful podcast is deciding which type of media you are going to use, then making a script.

If you are doing an audio podcast, you'll need a few simple tools - a microphone and sound editing software. For sound input, the Cyber Acoustics Desktop Microphone works well and takes up little space. Or, for an external sound card, Griffin Technology's iMic (for Mac or PC) allows you to attach a microphone, headphones or stereo to your computer. Plus, the iMic comes with sound editing software like Audacity. This program uses an easy user interface, but for more sound editing features on the Mac, try GarageBand. (Refer back to "Build your own Mac Sound Studio" for more details.) On the PC side, there is SONAR Home Studio that offers similar features such as built-in instruments and effects as well as record, edit and mix functions.

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To make a video podcast, a camcorder or webcam and a video editing program is all that you need. On the Mac side, you can integrate your web cam or camcorder directly into iMovie to record your video. Note: if you are using the iSight camera, you'll need a separate audio input. (A tutorial is available on iMovie by going to a previous article:
"Be your own movie producer with iMovie"). For PC, Adobe Premiere Elements is a simplified version of the full Premiere program that gives you the essentials to create studio effects for your video podcast.

Finally, you need to get your podcast to the web. There are a variety of services to choose from to host your podcast such as iTunes. To use iTunes, you will be required to have your podcast in .mp3, .mov, .mp4 or .pdf format in addition to creating a RSS feed (XML file). For more information, check out apple.com/itunes/podcasts. With a little effort and a couple of tools, you'll have your own podcast following in no time.

References: apple.com

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