Category Archives: iPod

Podcasting 100

 This is the first in a series of posts to explain how to start podcasting 101. This is the pre-post about the things you need to do before you start podcasting. I recently attended Podcamp Toronto. This was a fantastic event where 300 people got together to share their knowledge and experience about podcasting.

The key phrase is web presence. You could have the greatest podcast on earth, but if you don’t have a presence, then no one will be able to find it, or you for that matter. Julien Smith was one of the speakers at Podcamp Toronto. He gave a fantastic presentation on Giving Your Podcast A Google Presence. You can download the video (80 MB) here. Julien make some tremendous points about Google and podcasting. Basically, Google couldn’t care less if you have a podcast. Google knows text…not audio. In order to help Google out, you need to start with a blog, or a web site. You should put the podcast notes on your site and/or get a transcript done. This will help Google when it searches you site.

Your Own Domain:

First, decide on a domain name. I could spend a post or two about how to choose a name, but Bill Sweetman gave a great presentation (40MB) about this at Podcamp. Once you have a name picked out and you have registered the domain; find yourself a good web hosting service. I reccommend this over any of the free services from Blogger, or WordPress. I have seen too many people who have lost their blogs because of some technical issue. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a Blogger blog, or WordPress blog. Both offer their software for free to put on any web hosting service you use. This blog uses WordPress software and my hosting service is 1 & 1. Neither of the steps are expensive. To register a domain costs about $10 a year and a basic web or blog hosting service can be as low as $5 a month.

RSS Feed:

Next you need to create a feed. RSS is a standard format (XML) text file that allows many other readers see your posts. Now most blogging software will create an RSS feed. However, Feedburner.com will allow you to publicize your feed and add several extra features at the click of a button. For podcasters, the most important feature to turn on is the SmartCast feature in the Optimize tab. This will automatically add the tags required to put your podcast on iTunes and add media tags when you post an mp3 file to your site.

Ping’s The Thing:

Once you have created somthing new for your site. You need to tell the world that it is there. The easiest way to do this is tell all the search engines, blog directories and podcast directories that you have created something new. Pingoat is a great service to do this. Once you have filled out your sites information you should add the site to your links group in your browser. Then all you have to do is click on the button in your browser and Pingoat will start telling all the services that you have new content.

Of course to help Google to search your site, you should have a site map. There is a WordPress addin that will create the site map and ping Google to come and search your site. You can download here.

Tags:

Tags are keywords that will help others to find your posts or podcasts. Technorati is the largest and most popular site for tag searching. You will need to “claim” you blog on their site. Once that is done, you can add some tags in the profile page to help others find your blog and podcasts. You should also tag your posts. You can see my Technorati tags below next to the green icon. Most blogging platforms support Technorati tags. For WordPress there is a plugin called Ultimate Tag Warrior. This adds an entry bar right under the posting page to add your tags. It also allows you to list related posts from your blog. This helps people to find your other posts on the same topic. Lorelle gives a great tutorial on using Tag Warrior in this post.

Community Sites:

Now the next thing is to get yourself published on some community sites. Such as mySpace, Flickr, Linkedin, Facebook, Friendster and StumbledUpon. Chris Penn from The Financial Aid Podcast gave 2 presentation on these tips and tricks. Podcast Marketing: Five tools and strategies to grow your audience TODAY (60MB) and notes. Plus, Podcast 401 – 5 steps to a bigger audience and slides.

Now you’re ready to start recording! In the next few posts I will discuss the various hardware and software required to start your first podcast. Plus, how to post it on iTunes and other services so the World can subscibe to you. As always, if you have any questions, just send me an email or leave a comment.

Podcamp Toronto 2007

podcamplogo.jpgI just came back from Podcamp Toronto 2007. All I can say is WOW!. This was an excellent event. I would like to give a huge thanks to all of the organizers. This was no small feat to pull this off.

    Leesa Barnes of Podonomics – Organizer, Media Liaison.Â

Podcamp was a collection of sessions for the novice to advanced podcaster. Podcasters and Podcaster wannabees from both the US and Canada came out to learn more about marketing, branding, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), improving audio quality and building your community and traffic. Several of the sessions are available to view at the Podcamp Wiki.  Mitch Joel’s presentation on branding was excellent. Julien Smith’s discussion about Google couldn’t care less if you have a podcast was both entertaining and enlightening. Christopher Penn gave 2 sessions on the tools needed to expand your audience. There were many other sessions that you can review on line.

The one area that seemed to be missing was Podcasting for newbies. From a showing of hands in a few sessions it appeared to be 20-25% of the attendees had not produced a podcast. Contrast this against some of the attendees who had been podcasting for 5-10 years. (I wonder what podcasts were called before the iPod?). I offered my services to put together a presentation for the next camp to talk about all the steps I have learned over the past months about podcasting. I also offer my knowledge to anyone who has questions about Podcasting. I will be doing a series of posts over the next few weeks precisely about this topic. So if you have a question, leave me a comment.

Bookmarks Sync

I posted about this previously, but I can’t say enough good things about 2Go’s Syncit product. This is an application that resides in your system toolbar. Every time you make a change to your favorites in your browser, it syncs with their server. Then on every computer have have their syncit tool loaded, you will have your favorites synchronized.

Now, I know there are several other products out there that do the same thing. There is Foxmarks and Bookmarks Synchronizer, which are both extensions for Firefox. There is also Googles browser sync and their toolbar favorites sync. But, if you use Firefox and home and your company has standarized on IE, then you would have to use 2 different utilities to synchronize.

2Go’s product works with all of these:

2go

IE, Netscape, Mozilla, Firefox and Opera.

The greatest thing about this software is that it just works. I have used it for years. The other feature it has it that it backs up your favorites and will keep deletions for 30 days in a separate folder. So when you wake up one day and find out that you accidentally erased your Favorites folder. You can go to the website and take the deletions out of the recycle bin and you’re ready to go. So if you have multiple computers, you can’t go wrong with this product.

Maybe the perfect remote control for the ipod.

I recently had the opportunity to test out the Keyspan Tuneview remote control. The biggest feature with this remote control, that makes it different from all others, is the LCD display on the remote mimics the screen on your iPod. All of your Albums, Artists, Genres and Playlists are displayed on the remote, just as if you were using your iPod. If you have a newer iPod with video, you can also connect the dock to your TV to watch the videos.

The installation took 3 minutes. You plug the supplied cable into the back of the dock. You attach the 2 RCA type jacks to your stereo system. You insert the iPod into the dock, turn on the remote and within 5 seconds you have your menu on the remote.

The other benefit of this remote is that it is RF (radio frequency) as opposed to IR (infra-red). This means you do not have to have line of sight to the dock. You can be anywhere in your house and access your iPod. More importantly, you can see what you are playing and what you are accessing.

Watch the video below to see this unit in action.

Seagate puts focus on Consumer Electronics –Podcast Episode 2

In this Podcast I talk to

  • Marc Cisneros, CE Channel Sales Manager, Seagate Technologies
  • David Burks, CE Product Marketing Manager, Seagate Technologies

Seagate is pushing hard into the Consumer Electronics space. No longer are they considered a hard drive company, they now want to be known as a Storage Company. The Scoble Show interviewed Seagate’s CEO Bill Watkins, where he said “it’s about content distribution.”

Seagate has come out with a several market specific hard drives with benefits tuned the each area of specialty.

  • LD for mobile and low profile devices [2.5″]
  • DB for DVRs and Media PCs [very quiet]
  • SV for security DVRs [24×7 duty cycle]
  • EE for extreme environments [can handle temperature and vibration extremes]

Creating Podcasts

It is rather simple to create Podcasts. You simply record a conversation. That conversation could be in person, over the phone, or in many cases over Skype.

Where it becomes difficult is processing the recording. As anyone who has tried to post a podcast in its raw state, it can be very difficult to follow due to the varying volumes of voices. There are 2 tools out there that can help with this process.

One of of the most popular open source products is Audacity. This is a complete recording studio for Windows, Mac or Linux. It is available for download here.

A new product is out in Beta called the Levelator from Gigavox Media. It is simpler, yet more complex. Audacity will level the volumes, but does it in real time as it is playing the track. Levelator creates a map of the full track first, then applies some algorithms to level the volumes.

Tags: , netcast, , Levelator,

Playing music via WiFi

I recently had an opportunity to test a new WiFi music bridge that allows you to play DRM music from either Apple iTunes or Windows Media Player. The product is called the Sirocco from Sondigo.

Feature List

You don’t need any hardware on your computer. Other than your existing wireless router. The system allows you to play DRM protected music on your stereo system by making your stereo an extension of your computer. Just as if you were plugging speakers into your computer.

And best of all… it lists for $139.99 US.

Hands On, MotionLingo Adeo…GPS that talks to you.

This is and update to my previous post on GPS that talks to you. There has been a lot of hype recently about the launch of the Nike + iPod running module. Although the price is right at $29.95 US, it is still just a pedometer. A pedometer simply registers that you took a step. You have to calibrate the system to tell it how big your step is. But that assumes that you are running at the same pace, over the same terrain. If you are running uphill, then your distance will be off. If you are sprinting, or hill training, then your distance will be off.

The only way to get accuracy is to use a GPS device. One of the more popular units is the Forerunner from Garmin. However, these units are very expensive. They run in the $300 range.

In May I had the pleasure of testing a new unit. The Adeo from Motion Lingo. The company has been great about updating their firmware. The unit is a full GPS system, that talks to you as your run. You decide how often you want updates and what should be updated. Distance, Height (for skiers), Speed, and Pace are a few of the updates you can get. The unit comes with software that connects to the Web, so you can track and update your runs, or cycles.

The image below shows the screen where you add the updates you want to hear.

The software also allows you to set intervals. For example, if you train with the Running Room you are familiar with the 10 and 1 method. This is where you run for 10 minutes and walk for 1. You can set that up in the screen below.

Once you have completed a run, you can upload your run onto the Motion Lingo web site and see your run on a Google map.

The bottom line is that you will bet accurate readings of your run, your speed and your distance.