How Do I Make a Podcast?

January 10, 2009

in digital media

by Tina Gasperson

A podcast is a recording that you can download onto your computer hard drive. The name is based on the popular iPod mp3 players made by Apple, but podcasts play on many different devices, not just iPods. It is easy to make your own podcast and distribute it on the Internet for others who may be interested in what you have to say.

Once you’ve decided what subject you want to focus on for your podcast, the next thing you’ll need is a computer with empty hard drive space, or some other way to store your podcast files once you’re done recording them, such as a thumb drive. Make sure you have about one MB of storage space for every minute of recording you want to do. A 30-minute podcast takes up about 30MB of disk space.

Next, you’ll need a way to record directly onto your computer. Audacity is a free audio recording and editing application that is fairly easy to use. To export your sound files in the .mp3 format, make sure you download, install, and configure the LAME plugin for Audacity.

You’ll also need a microphone that has a 1/8″ connection to plug into your system. If all you have is a microphone with a 1/4″ connection, you can purchase an adapter from Radio Shack.

Plug the microphone in, start Audacity, and test to make sure the microphone is working properly by clicking the record button with the red dot. Speak into the microphone and click the stop button when you’re done. Make sure your speakers are on and turned up, and click the play button. You should hear what you just recorded. Now you’re ready to record your podcast, following the same procedure. When you’re done, click “File,” “Export As MP3,” select a name, and click “Save.”

Now you need to upload your podcast to your Web site and share the link so that others can listen as well. If you have iTunes software installed on your computer, you can even publish your podcast to the iTunes music store where millions of people will be able to download your recording. Launch iTunes, from the main store page click on Podcast, then scroll down and click on “Submit a Podcast” on the left side under “Learn More.”

Now that you know how to make a podcast, it’s an easy and low cost way to become the world’s next great talk show host.

Tina Gasperson (, affectionately known as Computer Lady by her family, has been writing about IT, home computing, and the Internet for more than a decade.