Just noticed I haven’t blogged since November! I’ve been contributing alot to the UoP TEL Newsletter though – check it out if you haven’t seen it…

A recurring topic is podcasting – and, while I’ve researched and written articles around this, I had never created one myself with a voiceover …until now.

Now I work in a small, but open plan office with 5 others and a drop-in area. This is probably obvious but, even with everyone making an effort to be quiet, there is no way you can create a podcast in this sort of an environment! Not just because phones go off or people walk in, but because you actually need to really concentrate on what you are saying  …and get over the horrible sound of your own voice!

So I had to do this one in the evening at home (it being a last-minute request). I downloaded a trial of Camtasia Studio –  it’s really designed for PC so Mac-users, such as myself, only get a ‘slim-line’ version. This means that you don’t have the option of recording narration separately, which means that you HAVE to write yourself a script! I tried without one several times but, because my podcast was instructing users how to complete a profile in PebblePad which involves lots of windows, I kept losing track of where I was. I ended up having to do it in 3 chunks and sticking them together afterwards. Camtasia had a strange moment when it claimed it didn’t recognise its own format (?!), so I had to record 2 chunks again – grrr! So the whole process took about 4.5 hours and 4ish beers for a 5 minute video…

I then discovered that I couldn’t upload the video to PebblePad to attach to the profile because of the 10MB upload limit (video was about 35MB) – doh!

Said video is now on the University’s UPmedia site and attached to the profile – hurrah! I can’t listen to it myself – too horrible – but was told (in between much hysterical laughter) that I sound very clipped, like a 50’s BBC broadcaster …but that was a good thing!

My recommendations from this experience are…

  • Find somewhere really quiet to do your podcast. On campus I believe there are special ‘booths’ in the Library – but do they have podcasting software installed? Is there anywhere else? Can we get a software license that enables people to do this at home? (Q’s for those with the power..)
  • Write a script
  • Allow plenty of time
  • Make sure you have a ready supply of beer and fags!