Podcast Academy Notes – part 2

Continuing with some random impressions and highlights from the Podcast Academy at Boston University

There’s something about listening to Tony Kahn that’s just easy. He has a way of making you feel comfortable and at home and that’s really something to take away from his talk: podcast listeners are a community, more supportive and forgiving, much like listening to your buddies at home. So getting your podcasts to feel personal is really key. If you’re publishing someone else’s story, he suggests that you listen to your own reaction to that person’s story. That way you can judge how (or even whether) you’re likely to impact your listeners.

Along the same lines, here’s one from Doug Kaye to hold one to: “there is no supposed to sound like”. It’s just you, so just be you.

Have you ever skipped filling out those pesky ID3 tags for your podcast? Ethan Fasset of podcast.yahoo.com says that you have to describe your content if you want it to be found. And describe it well! Get a description in there for both the channel and the individual items.

Into educational podcasting? Here’s a tip handed to me personally from Chris Broughan: check out LearnOutLoud.com. Thanks Chris. 🙂

Did you know you can take a Harvard University Extension course via podcast? David Malan described a bit how shocked they were to see that they got 6,000+ subscribers for Computer Science E-1.

For those who want to publish using RSS but need to control exactly who is allowed to subscribe, keep an eye out for PrivaCast. It’s in beta still, but might be something for profs or others who are particular about intellectual property rights or simply need to keep business secrets, well, secret.

Ever wonder if there’s a way to search within an audio file? Podzinger uses speech to text technology to make it possible to search both audio and video. You can add your podcast to the 170,000+ that are already registered with them and let people search deeper for your words.

Want to use music on your podcast? Better make sure you either pay for it or that it’s “podsafe“. When in doubt, ASK! Or just ask anyway. CC Chapman could not have emphasized it more. Check out the podsafe music network.

Doug Kaye explained a couple things that I’ve wondered about for a while. What’s it mean that a microphone picks up sound in a cardioid pattern? In short, it means that the mic picks up less (but still some) sound from the back, or from where it is not pointing.
And a noise canceling mic, how does that work? If sounds come at the mic from both sides of the membrane (like ambient noise tends to do), then the membrane works in such a way that the two cancel each other out. Your voice comes from just one side, so it gets through. Caveat: you have to keep the mic very close to your lips, close enough to reach out and kiss the mic. Really.

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