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To Podcast or not to Podcast…

“I love listening to comedy of Professor Frink but I don’t always have time to catch it. But, I can subscribe to the podcast and when I wake up in the morning, there will be a new mp3 of the latest banter on my desktop!  I can either download it to my I-pod or listen to it while I surf the internet.”  Podcast user, Karen

Podcasting 101

Originally designed to be part of the new “social networking” on the internet, Podcasting is fast becoming a valuable  marketing and delivery tool.  It allows you to communicate with the most wanted demographic, the 16-35 year old, in a non-aggressive way. Statistics show that this generation desires to “choose” to become involved rather than being “sold.”

Consider a podcast a subscription, just like any other subscription, to one or many files on the internet. By formal definition “Podcasting entails audio content that is delivered via an RSS feed presenting a downloadable or streaming file, most often a mp3 file."   It’s actually possible to have a PDF, video, excel or just about any file format delivered in a subscription based podcast.

The world of sales is changing.  The new generation of internet savvy people do not want to be sold directly. Today, with freedom of access to music and other content on the internet, you must entertain and engage the audience because they have the power to decide to listen to a message or not. One popular format is UTUBE.com.  This is an entertainment video format that causes people to share the link to the video with friends.

Publish the Podcast

After you have created your podcast you must publish it on the Internet.  Unless it’s published it can’t be found and heard. Find a robust host with the necessary speed and bandwidth. Keep in mind that the more simultaneous subscribers to a podcast, the more bandwidth will be required.

When you create the MP3 file, be sure to create the ID3 or meta tags also.  These tags contain the title, artist, artwork, description, copyright and other information about the message. The ID3 tag will allow the podcast to display properly on the computer, MP3 player or Ipod. 

I also recommend that the data rate of the published MP3 file be considered.  The lower the data rate, the smaller the file and the faster the listener will be able to hear it.  Choosing the right data rate is a compromise between quality and speed. You must choose wisely, my padawan.

I hope this article at least sparks your interest and helps you think in global terms for your business.  We tried to create an article without so much geek-speak .  I hope we succeeded without losing the content.  If you have any other questions or want more technical info, please feel free to write.

A future article will address the publicity for a podcast and how to get your listing to the top of the search engines.

Authors: Dwight Cook and Mark Meyer - Sound Works
www.soundworks.com
Sound Works creates and hosts podcasts

 

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