Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Listen Up

As I mentioned in a previous post, I got together with a few friends and we started our own podcast and blog back in high school. In this post I'll focus on the podcast. We began talking about the idea of a podcast about 5 and a half years ago, and possible topics. After discussing some options, we decided to focus on games and technology. Today if you want to record a podcast it is incredibly easy since nearly every computer has a built in microphone and even camera. At that time, while it wasn't exactly difficult, it wasn't as easy as today. None of us had out own laptops, and we had to rely on external microphones which we plugged into a desktop computer (remember those?).

We had our equipment, a place to record, and plenty of Hi-C to give us energy, but the biggest issue we faced was hosting. Once we recorded the podcast, how did we get it out there? We had the title, logo, blog, and an originally arranged intro theme, but getting it onto iTunes was another matter. We asked other podcast hosts for information about how to get started, and where to upload each episode to. Our most helpful acquaintance was the then-fledgling creator of a blog/podcast called GoNintendo. At that time, GoNintendo was only a few months old, but had a very strong following. Fast forward to 2011 and it is now approaching its 300th podcast episode, and the blog receives a strong influx of traffic each day.

Once every 2 weeks we compiled an outline and recorded an episode either in Garage Band or with Audacity. After recording we edited in some background music, edited mistakes or pauses, and compressed it to a manageable size. Based on the tips from those we spoke with, the most tech-savvy member of our group (not me) would spend time uploading the podcast to MediaFire, and then made it available on iTunes. After writing a brief description of the episode, it was available for the world (or at least a few hundred) people to download, listen to, and enjoy.

We often spoke about news, upcoming events, and gave reviews of games and products. It was more about the process, and having fun than anything else, and as I said in my last post about the corresponding blog, it never really got too serious. It was a way for us to tinker around with fun editing software, learn about iTunes and hosting, and talk about something we had a lot of interest in. Along the way we interacted with listeners, as well as other podcasts, and we even made "guest appearances" in a podcast hosted by some teens living in Britain.

The best thing about podcasts is that they are free, easily accessible, and can offer a range of opinions from people who share your same interests. As someone who loves talk radio, I enjoy listening to podcasts, and think that they are a great source of entertainment. The news isn't the important thing when listening to a podcast, but instead the discussion, the personalities, and just being something fun to listen to. I get my news from plenty of other sources, but I love hearing certain personalities that I've grown close to talk about it.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a wonderful experience--wish all this stuff had been around when I was a teenager!