week 3 – producing your first “podcast”

AKA getting tired of hearing your own voice!

  • Housekeeping
  • Group project
  • CODECs
  • Audacity


  • Blogs : all posts must be categorized!
  • Due date for draft personal podcast
    * next week for draft idea for personal podcast – blog post
    * two weeks later for proof of concept recording
  • Change in meeting dates, times
    * if you will miss class on 9 June, must talk about personal podcast on 2 June

Group project

  • MCDM: Annie, Renee, Rubi, Sarah, Ziwen
  • Seattle Cultural Tour: Alvin, Helen, Vera [explore Seattle]

CODECs, compression

  • ‘coder-decoder’
  • Definition (wikipedia)
  • Two Main File Types for Podcasts:
    • MP3 (MPEG-1, audio layer 3 – MPEG = Moving Picture Experts Group)
    • AAC (advanced audio coding – MPEG-2, part 7 and MPEG-4, part 3)
  • The difference between lossless & lossy?
    Lossy codecs [such as MP3] generate smaller files by discarding selected bits in the original recording.
    Lossless codecs [such as M4A] keep all the audio information [bits] contained in the original recording(s). Lossless codecs reduce file size by compressing it.

    • AAC. For Apple products like iPod and iPhone. Lossy.
    • MP3. For most popular digital audio players. Most compatible format; does not belong to any brand. Lossy.
    • M4A. For Apple products like iPod and iPhone. Lossless.
    • WAV. Can be played by most players, including Apple, Creative, Samsung, Archos, Cowon and Sony. Lossless.
    • WMA. For Microsoft compatible players like Creative, Samsung, Archos, Cowon and Sony. Can be converted to play on Apple players but only if not copyrighted. Lossy.
  • Trade off between file size and quality
    • Average bit rate (data/sec)
    • MP3 – 128 kbit/s transfers or 128,000 bits/second (lower bit rate, lower quality)


  • Why Audacity?
    • Open-Source, X-Platform, Free, Multi-Language Support
    • Record audio to single tracks
    • Multi-track editing/mixing
    • Output to .wav (native) or .mp3 (with add-on)
  • Not going over audio input tonight, just editing!
  • Overview Interface (PPT)

Practicing With Audacity
Download and install Audacity on your laptop
or use a lab machine

(reminder about Lynda.com resource)

  1. Part 1 – Overview
  2. Part 2 – Format, Outlining/Scripting
  3. Part 4 – Editing With Audacity, Adding Music

Find files to play with:

Covert to MP3 using Zamzar

*** Complete NewsU Tutorial on Telling Stories With Sound ***

Recording Audio
There are many tools for creating and recording samples for your podcast. Hardware, such as computers, digital audio recorders, turntables, CD, DVD and Mp3 players, and microphones can be borrowed from the Communication Department, but your mobile phones, PDAs or laptops may have all the recording capacity you need.

With Windows/Mac, you can use Sound Recorder to capture any audio playing out of your computer. Ditto Garage Band for the Mac. You can use SoundTap to capture any audio playing through your Windows or Macintosh computer. For Macs, try Audio Hijack Pro ($32 – up to 10 minute segments with trial version).

To create screencast movies (with audio narration), try Jing, a web 2.0 application.

Audio Samples
There are many web sites that offer audio with creative commons licenses (restricted use) as well as royalty-free compilation CDs and free royalty-free music. Some of these web sites require a small fee for use:

Sound Effects

More Tutorials

Other Resources

For next week: NakedScientists


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