In July the LUG took over presenting the Main Podcast for the Full Circle Magazine, the four hosts: Les, Jon, Olly & Tony all had their own ideas about how a podcast should sound but had little idea of what was involved in producing a good quality podcast.
So it was decided that a bit of background research was required, this book by O’Reilly came up quite a few times as recommended reading for people intending to start out podcasting. It did not disappoint, it starts from the very beginning by outlining what exactly is a podcast, the different audio formats how podcasts are published to the web and what’s the best way to listen to and get them.
Once you’ve made your way through the first few chapters you begin to delve more deeply into what makes a good podcast and how to produce one. The author gets you thinking about the content of your intended podcast and talks about what is good and what is not. You then move on through simple vocal techniques to the equipment that is a must and some nice to haves and discusses is some detail about what is available and the author makes some recommendations based on their experiences. The book then moves on into more advanced vocal coaching, setting up a home studio, improving audio quality and publicising your podcast including Blogging. The book closes discussing what was then the new medium of video blogging as Youtube had begun to dominate the broadcasting-yourself scene.
Some indication of costs are given for the various pieces of equipment but a note of caution here this book was written in 2005 and alot of it is now freely available through Ebay and alike, but it does give you an idea of what things to look for and which manufacturers to look out for. It is also worth mentioning at this point that although Jack Herrington is the main author he has drawn on his contacts to help him write the book from every angle. Quite a few chapters have been written by guest authors who have a specialism in a particular area for instance there are a couple of chapters written by a well known American voice coach who has worked with alot of voice and radio artists. This helps to make this a very well rounded book on the subject.
To summarise this is an excellent book which will help guide you into the world of podcasting and I would say this is essential reading for anyone contemplating starting a podcast. Although the book was written 7 years ago and the equipment featured is fairly dated, the book still gives you all the knowledge you need to choose the right one for what you need and to purchase with confidence.