CUPPA Podcasts

Podcasting
Podcasting is a term used to describe a collection of technologies for automatically distributing audio programs over the Internet using a publisher/subscriber model. It differs from earlier online delivery of audio because it automatically transfers the digital media files to the user’s computer for later use. A podcast is really just an mp3 audio file that is distributed via an RSS feed. Current “podcatching” software, such as iTunes, allows the user to subscribe to an RSS feed; the software will automatically download new podcasts when they become available. Podcasts are appropriate for Presentations, Interviews, Guest lectures, Debates, Seminars, and Student Presentations. Ideally, podcasts should be no longer than an hour.

Recording Audio
Recording audio is the first step in creating a podcast. Conventionally, audio is recorded using a laptop equipped with audio production software and an external microphone. CUPPA Tech Director Marcin Holinski has installed Audicity, a user-friendly audio production shareware program, on the CUPPA IBM laptop. This laptop can be used in coordination with CUPPA's 2-channel USB mixer and external microphones to capture live audio from any podcast-friendly event. Microphones, cables, mixer, microphone stand, and headphones are stored in Room 181.

Step 1: Position microphone(s)
Step 2: Connect microphone(s) to USB mixer
Step 3: Connect mixer to laptop
Step 4: Turn on laptop
Step 5: Press "phantom power" button on mixer
Step 6: Launch Audacity software
Step 7: Set audio levels on the mixer and audio capture quality in Audacity (11025 Hz is sufficient)
Step 8: Record audio
Step 9: After recording, save Audacity project

Producing Audio
Editing audio is not mandatory for the purpose of podcasting, but three simple procedures can greatly improve the presentation of audio recorded in an uncontrolled environment.

Step 1: Trim both ends of your audio clip to ensure a smooth introduction and conclusion
Step 2: Remove long silences
Step 3: "Compress" the audio using Audacity's built-in compressor

Converting Audio
Before audio is published on the web, it should be converted to an mp3 file. Before converting the audio, adjust the mp3 quality in Audacity's preferences (48 bit is sufficient).

Step 1: Select the audio track you want to convert
Step 2: Select "export as mp3" from the File Menu in Audacity

Publishing Audio
Currently, all CUPPA Podcasts are stored in the same place on the tigger server. After converting your audio file, you can deliver it on a CDR (or other portable media storage) to CUPPA Graduate Assistant David Morley (dmorle2@uic.edu) in Room B11. If you are an authorized webmaster, follow the steps below to publish your audio.

Step 1: Upload your mp3
Step 2: Create a link from your webpage to the audio file
Step 3: Generate an RSS feed (XML file) for your audio file
Step 4: Upload your RSS feed
Step 5: Email your XML file and a description of your podcast to dmorle2@uic.edu

Assistance
If you would like podcasting asistance, contact CUPPA Graduate Assistant David Morley at 6-2569 or dmorle2@uic.edu.