Columbia College Chicago

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tutorial on creating a Podcast

Using Apple's Garage Band application, you can create audio and video podcast that can be uploaded to iTunes. These Podcasts can then be subscribed to and downloaded to an iTunes or iPod playlist. 

Before you begin your podcast you will probably want to create a script. After you become a podcasting expert your real first step is going to involve determining what you want to say, researching your topic, and then creating at least a rough script of your podcast.

The next step is launching the GarageBand application. GarageBand is in your Applications folder, so just find it and launch it from there. (Alternatively, if it's already on your Dock just launch it from there.)
In a few moments you'll see GarageBand open, with an initial screen that looks something like this:

On this dialog just click the purple "Podcast" icon. Next, GarageBand shows you the dialog shown below:
GarageBand is essentially prompting you for the name and location of the GarageBand project file you need to create. This dialog opens up in the GarageBandProjects directory, so you can create a file with the name "Test", then click Create. This brings up the GarageBand application, as shown in the next image:

For our first recording there are a few controls and concepts we need to get familiar with:

  1. Tracks
  2. Record button
  3. Play button
  4. Timeline
  5. The red vertical line (or playhead)
The Tracks are the rows shown in the application. The initial tracks are the Podcast Track, the Male Voice, Female Voice, Jingles, and Radio Sounds.

The Record button is the red round button just below the tracks.

The Play button is the usual right-arrow button in the set of VCR controls, just to the right of the record button.

The Beat Ruler is the ruler shown at the top of the tracks (starting at "00:00"), and helps you determine the length of your recording.

The red vertical line extending down from the beat ruler is called the Playhead. It moves across the screen from left to right when you record or play back your podcast. As mentioned, it shows where the current position in the recording.

Now that we know the terrain let's go ahead and create our first podcast.
Select the track named Male Voice, or Female Voice if you're a female. It doesn't really matter which one you choose, so for the rest of this tutorial I'll assume we're using the Male Voice track.

  1. Click the red record button.
  2. Begin speaking. Just say something as simple as "hello I am ___. This is my podcast". (We'll create a longer recording in just a few minutes.)
  3. Press the red record button again to stop recording.
  4. At this point even though you've pressed the stop recording button you'll see that the playhead continues moving to the right. To get the playhead to stop moving press the Play button.
If everything worked correctly you'll notice that GarageBand created a purple rectangle on the Male Voice row in the recording area, and that purple rectangle is labeled "Male Voice". You'll also see wavy lines on that purple rectangle that indicate where you spoke and where you did not. 
Of course the next thing you want to do is play that back right away to see if it worked. To play your recording back click the slider control at the top of the playhead and move it back to its original position (labeled "00:00"). Once you've moved it back to that position press the Play button. Assuming everything has gone well you'll hear your playback right away. Notice once again that the playhead continues to move to the right. Just click the Play button one more time to stop it.

If everything went well you're ready to create your second recording, something a little longer. The first thing to do is to get the old recording out of our way. If you haven't done anything else, the recording should be currently selected and all you'll need to do is press the [Delete] button on your keyboard to delete this first recording. However, if you click on another area of the screen you may want to click that purple rectangle first, and then press the [Delete] button. When you do this you'll see that purple rectangle go away immediately.
The next thing to do is move the playhead back to the initial starting position. Again you can do this by dragging the widget at the top of the playhead back to the starting position, or you can just click once at the starting point ("00:00") of the timeline. Either of these approaches will move the playhead back to the starting position.

For your second exercise I recommend just talking for little while seeking see how the screen starts to move when you're talking, because you'll need to get comfortable with that. So go ahead and follow the steps shown previously, but instead of just saying "hello I am ___. This is my podcast",  go ahead and keep talking for little while, at least until you start to see the main screen scroll to the right.

For your convenience, I'll repeat the recording steps here:
  1. Select the track named Male Voice.
  2. Click the red record button.
  3. Begin speaking.
  4. Press the red record button again to stop recording.
  5. Press the Play button to stop the playhead from scrolling.

After creating a longer recording my window looks like this:

Once the playhead is back at the starting position just click the Play button to hear your recording. You can stop the recording at any time by pressing the Play button again.

You've now created a podcast that you can share. You can do this very easily with GarageBand. Just select the "share" menu item and select the "Send Podcast to iTunes" option. This brings up a window like the image below. To save your podcast here, type in your desired filename and then press the Save button.
After you've selected this it will render the audio into iTunes and open up the iTunes window. You can then hear your podcast in iTunes as everyone else will when they download it. Here is a link from Apple that wil help you once you are ready to upload your podcast to a site to host it. There is also a short quicktime from Apple describing the process of creating a podcast as well.

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