Podcasting is audio Internet. Everything the web is for text, podcasting is for audio. This new book from O'Reilly explains that it can be wonderful entertainment as a hobby, or can be used as a form of commercial broadcasting. No iPod or MP3 player required.
How do you do it? Read this book. O'Reilly and Jack Herrington have put together a wonderful book on the subject. Not just them, they also pulled from 20 contributors to make this book what it is. Their skills range from accomplished podcasters to speech and broadcasting coaches.
Like all the "Hacks" books from O'Reilly, there is plenty of technical information such as what type of microphone to buy--complete with very detailed information to get the right mic for the right type of podcast. But there is also information that won't clog your thinking with too many numbers. For example there is a whole section of hacks dealing with content for your podcast. Depending on which type of audience you are seeking, you will find information as to how you should structure your show.
Being a new podcast listener, I was very curious as to what might be between the covers of this book. After reading it, I feel compelled to recommend this book to some of the podcast shows I have heard. This should be required reading.
Hacks range from beginner to expert in their difficulty. This book only includes 2 "expert" level hacks. This should have been rethought on O'Reilly's part. Command line encoding of your files using LAME is considered an intermediate level hack as is constructing your own sound studio in the back yard--even includes a nice diagram of how theirs was constructed. The only 2 expert level hacks were "Record Telephone Interviews" and "Build a Teleprompter." It is unclear to me as to how constructing a back yard recording studio for multiple thousands of dollars is easier than recording a phone conversation or building a teleprompter costing less than $20.
When discussing different software solutions, very little is said about the Linux platform. At one point the book talks about how to do something in Mozilla Firefox (the browser) and explains how it is done in Windows and Mac, but does not mention that the same feature is handled the same way in Linux.
As with all other O'Reilly books that I have read recently, it includes a free 45 day online edition of the book. This is tremendously helpful when searching the text, or if you want to cut and paste some of the code snippets to avoid typing.
A very well done book. As with any of the books in the Hacks series, this was not necesarily designed to be read cover to cover. Browse around and find the answers to what you need. As long as your needs revolve around podcasting and how to make yours better, you will likely find the answer in Podcasting Hacks from O'Reilly.