Create your own Streaming Audio studio for under $50.00

Microphone
Creating your own Streaming Audio audio studio has never been easier. There are so many great products around today that will allow you to produce high quality streaming audio for a fraction of the price it used to cost.

HARDWARE

The first thing you will need is a compatible computer. Today every new computer is already set up with everything you will need. A basic sound card with a mic and line in jack. If you do not have a sound card they are very cheap and you can get a good one from any standard computer shop.

Next you will need a good mic. These come in all sizes and shapes with different configurations however a general all round mic like the Logitech Noise-canceling microphone is fine for beginners. I suggest you get a desk top one to start with, as you may want to move into video later and so you wont want a headset in your videos.

Of course you could go up a stage and get a preamp with a professional mic but this will start running into dollars and the whole aim of this article is to help you get started.

Next you will want to get some cables to connect up your tape recorder and other audio equipment. Again the computer stores now have packs that will connect up pretty well any device into your computer to digitize your sound. You want to record directly onto your computer however you can get those old tapes and Vinyl records into a digital format also.

SOFTWARE – RECORDING

Recording your audio is probably one of the most critical parts of this process and again you can get software that ranges from free to many thousands of dollars. For this exercise I suggest you download the free copy of Audacity. This is an excellent free software package that will allow you to record from your microphone or any equipment you have.

It provides excellent editing capabilities and also will allow you to edit multiple tracks and then combine them into one single track. For a quick overview of how to do this you can watch this video and also download the software

http://mp3soundstream.com/Audacity_Tutorial_-_Free_Audio_Editing_Software.html

SOFTWARE – CONVERTING

The next piece of software you will need for your studio is a converting program that will allow you to convert different formats. For example you may have a real audio file and you want to convert it to mp3. dBpoweramp is like the Swiss army knife for the audio industry and will convert just about any file to any other file format.

Convert from one format to another, just about every audio type is supported: mp3, mp4, Windows Media Audio (wma), Ogg Vorbis, AAC, Monkeys Audio, FLAC and many others whilst preserving ID Tags. It will also rip CDs for you.

http://www.dbpoweramp.com/dmc.htm

SOFTWARE – REDUCTION

If you are going to stream an mp3 direct then you may want to recompile the file to a smaller format. RazorLame is a so-called “front-end” for use with LAME. LAME is a great MP3-Encoder, it’s very fast, it produces high-quality files, has many advanced features (like Variable Bitrates and Joint-Stereo), and it’s open source. Unfortunately, it is a command line utility, and that is where RazorLame comes in: It provides an easy-to-use graphical user-interface which makes MP3-encoding even easier!

The best way to use this software is to get one file and compile in a number of different formats to test the size against quality.

http://www.dors.de/razorlame/download.php

SOFTWARE STREAMING

There are a few different ways of streaming your new audio files. If you have Macromedia products you can simple organize this your self however there are some great third party programs around that will do it all for you at a fraction of the cost.

MP3 SOUND STREAM

This is a simple piece of software that takes any mp3 or wav audio and converts the whole file into a swf file and then attaches a button so that viewers can listen on a web page without needing to download any extra software. This is because the flash plugin is on 98% of computes and if not it will automatically detect and load the small plugin. This is great for anyone not wanting to get into all the technical aspects of streaming audio.

You will not need to reduce your files at all with this program as it does it all for you. This is perfect for anyone wanting to stream one file at a time and wants to do it quickly and efficiently. It will stream even over most modem connections.

Home

MSIJUKEBOX

For people wanting to stream a number of files then MSIJukebox is a great alternative. This software lets you choose any number of mp3 files and then organises them using an XML file. By using the above free programs you can significantly reduce the size of these files to save on bandwidth.

Because MSIJukebox streams the actual mp3 you can also have a lot higher quality playback including stereo files. This is much better for those wanting to stream a number of very high quality mp3 files.

http://www.msijukebox.com

SUMMARY

So there you have it. A complete studio set up for under $100. Just download all the free software and purchase any of the streaming audio products that you want. You can then create, edit and manipulate any audio files you like. You will also be able to add these audios to your website.

With the web surfer becoming much more “web savvy” than they were a year ago, they are expecting not only information but also an entertaining web experience.

A Brief History of Podcasting

podcasting

Ever wonder about the evolution of the podcast? While podcasting is a comparatively young technology it still has a rather fascinating albeit brief history. The background of the word, “podcast” is quite fascinating and is reflective of the dynamic nature of the Internet community.

Podcasting is a term that was only coined in 2004, combining two words: iPod and broadcasting. Ironically, this definition is somewhat of a misnomer since neither component is completely accurate. Neither podcasting nor listening to podcasts requires an iPod or other portable player. In fact, podcasts can be listened to on any mp3 enabled device including a desktop computer. The name association came about simply because Apple Computer’s iPod was the best-selling portable digital audio player when podcasting began. What’s more, no over-the-air broadcasting is required either.

Even the editors of the New Oxford American Dictionary jumped on the podcasting bandwagon by declaring “podcasting” word of the year for 2005. The term was defined as “a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the Internet for downloading to a personal audio player.” The word will be added to the online version of the dictionary during their next update.

The term, podcasting was coined by journalist, Ben Hammersley, and then popularized by former MTV VJ and media entrepreneur, Adam Curry. Mr. Curry created an Applescript application that automated the process of downloading and syncing audio files to iPods.

Other names or alternative interpretations of the letters, “P-O-D” were proposed, the most popular of which was “Personal On Demand”. Technology writer, Doc Searls came up with this phrase back in September, 2004. Terms such as “audio-blogging”, audio magazines” and “web-casting” have also been offered to describe this unique form of media distribution.

Other “pod”-derived phrases include “podcasters” (those who create podcasts) and “podcatchers” the special RSS aggregators which periodically check for and download new content automatically. Podcatching software enables the user to copy podcasts to portable music & video players.

The popularity of podcasting is spreading like wildfire because of the rapid adoption of MP3 players and the desire of consumers to have fresh content. Podcasting has flourished because it gives people more control over what they listen to, and the freedom to take their programs with them with them.

Not since blogging has a technology seemed so unexpected and been so quickly and widely adopted as podcasting. Growth in this nascent industry is expected to accelerate quickly due to the rapid acceptance of the technology by the radio broadcast industry in 2005 and Apple’s iTunes distribution. The rising popularity of podcasts is challenging conventional radio’s broadcasting model.

While iTunes is less than two years old, roughly 4.8 million people downloaded a podcast in 2005, as compared with just over 800,000 in 2004. And 11.4 million listeners are expected this year, according to research from The Diffusion Group. Already the Apple iTunes service offers 15,000 podcasts and listeners have signed up for more than 7 million subscriptions.

A study by Bridge Ratings in November 2005 with radio listeners in ten national markets showed that approximately 20% of users who have ever downloaded and listened to a podcast do soon a weekly basis. This group downloads an average of six podcasts per week and spends approximately four hours a month listening to the podcasts they download.

This study projected even more dramatic growth in the industry in the future. According to Bridge Ratings, by 2010, podcast audience growth is expected to reach a conservative 45 million users who will have ever listened to a podcast. Aggressive estimates place this number closer to 75 million by this date.

How does this affect you?

With podcast listening rising exponentially, podcasts offer you a very powerful tool for promoting your products or services. The great thing about podcasts is that they are relatively easy and inexpensive to create. Podcasting can help ensure a closer relationship with your target audiences by providing them with engaging, informative and frequent updates about the goings on in your industry. If you have a website then there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a podcast available as it’s not difficult to set up and can bring a significant increase in traffic to your site. So in short podcasting should be a vital component of any online marketing campaign.

See Podcast Listings

Funny bones: Comedy podcasts on the net

podcaster

Podcasts are enjoying a growing popularity all over the world. Its unique delivery system (podcast files in MP3 format being downloaded into computers automatically upon subscription) and the fact that you can bring it and listen to it anywhere through portable music players is contributing to its continually increasing subscriber base. Of course, the fact that it is all free is a big attraction for anyone, and add to that the relatively easy way of availing this great new application. All one needs is an internet connection and a computer the portable player itself is an optional accessory and not needed to really enjoy listening podcasts.

There are so many available podcasts on the internet catering to so many genres. In fact, the available genres offered by podcasts are so much diverse than what is offered in regular radio programming. One of the most popular podcast genres though are so-called comedy podcasts. These types of podcasts consistently rate at the very top of any podcast countdown on the internet. This attests to its massive popularity.

There could be many reasons why comedy podcasts seem to have captured the attention and following of so many computer users and podcast fans all over the world. The light hearted nature of the podcasts as well as the silly subjects that are discussed are just perfect for the medium. There are also comedy podcasts that take the usual interview format with celebrities and gives its a hilarious spin. Imagine having a very stressful day at work, or you are stuck in rush hour traffic and the wait is driving you crazy. Nothing could alleviate those negative feelings more than hearing hilarious banter or commentaries on your portable music player. The comedy could distract you from the stress or from the boredom. Comedy podcasts are also a good genre to mix with the music in your portable player. After listening to your favorite albums you can kick back and just let your hair down with those zany comedy podcasts.

There are so many different comedy podcasts to choose from that one would be hard pressed to just pick one. Below are some of the most popular comedy podcasts available on the internet:

The Ricky Gervais podcast The funny star of the British sitcom The Office has began making podcasts. Gervais is as funny as ever. This is British comedy at its best.

The Presidents Weekly Radio Address This is the official parody of the US presidents weekly radio address. Pres. Bushs weekly address is lampooned every week by these witty writers

Gay Fun Show called the Love Boat of podcasts, hear political comedy given an unmistakable gay twist by its two hosts. These guys also interview different celebrities with their gay aplomb.

Comedy 365 another outstanding British-based comedy podcast. This is one of the most popular Brit-comedy podcasts on the net and is worth checking out.

Infected by Martin Sargent TechTV host Martin Sargent brings his zany and hilarious wit in his tour of the most cutting edge, most humourous, and weirdest content on the internet.

See the Comedy Podcast Directory