SHOMI Design Guide - Podcasts


Podcasts have become a very popular trend in web technology. They are inexpensive and easy to distribute and you don’t need to be a sound expert to create your own. You can develop your own custom podcasts and upload them to your website for your audience to download and listen. Follow the simple steps below to create and upload your own podcast.

What You Will Need

Recording equipment: a microphone, headphones, digital recorder or digital camera, a computer with an internet connection and audio editing software. Audacity is a popular free software program for creating podcasts and can be downloaded at:

Steps to Follow

  1. Prepare and research. It is a good idea to plan your podcast content in advance. For example, if you are interviewing someone, prepare the questions in advance. Being prepared will reduce your editing time later on and create a more professional podcast.
  2. Make sure that your questions are thoughtful and designed to put the interviewee at ease while getting interesting information from them. Remember to ask questions that engage your listeners. Don’t get too personal or be inappropriate. Finally, it is very important that you allow the interviewee to answer each question at their own pace. An interviewer who keeps interrupting or who keeps trying to be the focus of attention will make a poor interview and is likely to be edited out.
  3. Create a timeline. Podcasts tend to be a continuous work in progress, with new ones being added to your library regularly. It is helpful to work out a schedule for yourself so that you can allow enough time to complete your podcasts.
  4. Record your audio content. Keep a record by labelling everything carefully. Don’t forget to save and back up your recorded data.
  5. Transfer your audio file to a computer. There is free sound editing software available for use. They don’t have the same capabilities as professional software but should be perfectly adequate for basic needs. An example of good free audio software is Audacity. It is available for use on Mac and PC and can be downloaded by clicking on this link:
  6. Sound editing software is used to clean up your audio file and remove any extra or unwanted noises as well as long silent segments. How long is too long? This is the designer’s job to be sensitive to the flow of the audio content. Listen to your audio often while you’re editing it and use your best judgement. Typically, more than 2 seconds silence is excessive. It is also used to add in extra segments of sound. For example, many podcasts have a short introductory sound byte at the beginning, which helps listeners to identify the podcast from the offset.”
  7. Save file as MP3. MP3s are the standard format for podcasts. They are a compressed file so are reasonably small which makes them suitable for downloading. There are however, different qualities of MP3s. Use the lowest possible bitrate that provides good results for your project. When creating a talk podcast, save at 48k – 56k mono. If you are recording music and talk, save at 64k stereo. Finally, if you are creating a music podcast, save at 128k stereo. This is available as one of a selection of settings in your sound editing software. You normally have the choice of sound setting when you are exporting it for a specific purpose.
  8. Upload your podcast. Create a ‘podcast’ folder on your web server space and upload your podcast to it. You will put all future podcasts in this same folder.
  9. Create a button or icon. Using an image editing software, create a small icon or button to indicate to users that they should click there to download the podcast.
  10. Make a link. Create a link from your interface icon to your podcast. In order to do this, you will need to have a basic understanding of web development. You can find many tutorials online but it is beyond the scope of this guide. You can either type the code to create the link straight into your HTML or you can use a web design software such as Adobe® Dreamweaver® which is very user friendly and comes with clear explanations. There are numerous ways of advertising your podcast. Some suggestions are:
  • Make an interesting podcast that people are going to want to listen to and tell their friends about.
  • Network by advertising other people’s podcasts on your website and ask that they do the same for you.
  • Create a relationship with your listeners by inviting comments, feedback and suggestions.
  • Get your podcast listed in online directories.
  • Put your podcast on Google search engine.
  • Create an email to notify potential subcribers of your podcast and to guide them through the subscription process.
  • Apply an RSS feed. Next we make the viewer aware of our new podcast by creating a news feed (RSS) which will appear on their desktop or web browser. This feed acts like a viewer subscription which will enable automatic delivery of updates about your podcast service as soon as they become available. This removes the need for the viewer to go searching for this information. To create the RSS feed, you can use one of many free code generators such as TD Scripts which is downloadable at:
  • Fill in the form with your own podcast details and then upload this file to the same ‘podcast’ folder on your server.