Well my relaxation month of summer concludes with this Fourth of July weekend. During this month I slacked off considerable from the amount of blog posting I originally set for myself. I did get the opportunity to subscribe and to listen to several different audiocasts via iTunes. As I begin to organize my courses for this upcoming fall semester I will include examples of audiocast that I will be creating. With this on my mind, I realize that not everyone may be familiar with the easy of creating an audiocast.
The first thing that we must do is ensure that we have all the necessary software. I know that some people think that you must have a Mac to create an audiocast. I use my Dell laptop, Audacity (open source software), a free subscription to Gcast, and a $15 microphone. Using these four items I can successfully create an audiocast. By adding iTunes I can make this audiocast a subscribable channel.
The ease of use is one of the better functions of Audacity. First you need to download both the installer and the LAME MP3 encoder. Once you have downloaded the program and the encoder you are ready to create a podcast. By using the $15 microphone you can begin recording. Simply depress the (1) record button and the program will start recording your voice. When you are finished, simply depress (2) stop and your track is ready for editing.
Editing your recording is as simple as cutting and pasting. Begin by playing the audio from the start, I would first increase the (1) Gain, it will increase to output volume of you recording. Audacity allows you to stop the track, (2) highlight the portion you wish to delete and then (3) remove it from the recording. The simplicity of this action allows you to keep recording when you know you misspeak or misread during your recording. What I recommend to my students is to pause, allowing a break in the recording increasing the ease of deleting a segment, and then begin rereading from a point where you know you properly spoke.
Once you have concluded your editing, (1) save the project and then after you save the edited version (2) export as an MP3. If you did not download the LAME MP3 encoder previously, you will have to do so before you can export as an MP3. Now your audiocast is complete and ready to upload to Gcast.
Gcast is a free service provided by the Garage Band record label. I have found Gcast to be simply to use and provides several options to distribute audio recordings. With your one Gcast account you can create several podcast channels with unique XML codes (we will get to this later). Another cool option is that you can record audiocasts directly to Gcast from you phone. I have not done this yet, but I am looking forward to this feature.
First of course is that you will need to create account. Once you have created an account use the table of contents on the left sign to select “Upload new audio.” On the Upload new audio page type in (1) the title of your audiocast and then a (2) description of the recording. After you have done this depress the (3) browse button to locate the MP3 you made using Audacity. Locate the file and depress open. After you depress the agreement button at the button of the page your audiocast will be uploaded and appear on your master playlist. Now that you have uploaded your audiocast to the internet, it is time to create a subscribable channel on iTunes.
If you do not have a copy of iTunes you will need to download this program. iTunes is not the only program that will retrieve audiocasts, it is just the most commonly used. In the future we will explore the various programs available. After downloading the program choose the (1) Music Store in the source column on the left side and once on the Music Store page choose (2) podcasts as the genre.
After selecting Submit a Podcast from inside the music store you will need to return to Gcast to retrieve the URL feed you created. Once on your home page on the Gcast website right click the mouse when the cursor is on the XML button for the channel you wish to upload to iTunes. This should pop up a new window that contains the URL of your feed. Copy this URL and return to iTunes to past the requested URL information. Congratulations. Once you have submitted this information you now have an audiocast channel to which anyone with an internet connection can subscribe.
Now that you have created your own audiocast channel, subscribe to some of the available podcast and think about some of the ways in which educators can use audiocast for educational purposes. This will be the topic of our next entry.
Enjoy your day,