By Kati Neville
It's easy to get lost among the software options to record and edit your podcast. Packages can cost hundreds of dollars. Yet, many podcasters avoid the search and expense altogether by sticking with what's free.
Audacity is the software solution of choice for novice podcasters. This program operates on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Audacity's avid open-source community also provides extensive wiki and forum support. Be sure, however, to download the LAME library so your finished audio projects can be exported in .mp3 format.
GarageBand Apple's audio recording and editing program, comes pre-loaded on Macs. If you own a Mac, check the applications folder. I use GarageBand to record and edit my podcast. It offers solid help files and is easy to use. The program is bundled with royalty-free jingles and interfaces with other iLife applications, such as iTunes, iPhoto, and iMovie. Handy.
Experiment with one of these no-cost recording and editing software programs first. For writers with basic needs and casual audiences, they are more than adequate.
Royalty-Free Jingles and Music
Music adds professionalism and character to podcasts. Most shows use royalty-free jingles for intros, outros and transitions between segments. The track for each element may come from the same song, or all different songs. It may be the same for all shows in the series, or new each time.
Both Audacity and GarageBand allow users to import .mp3 music files. Online royalty-free music libraries catalog their .mp3 audio files and allow you to listen to tracks for free. This can be a lot of fun but it's easy to get carried away. So be sure to read the licensing agreement before purchasing your selections.
I found the music for my podcast online at Music2Hues. For their $20.00 fee, I now have the right to use their song as much as I want, without paying future royalties. I'm sure twangy banjo music turns some listeners off. But the instrument reinforces my goal to present practical tips that the everyday cook can use, without being pretentious.
Let your stylistic preferences, goals, and budget guide your music selections. Just like your logo, music helps cement and reinforce your podcast's character. Choose wisely for the best results.
Kati Neville is coauthor of the best selling cookbook, Fix, Freeze, Feast. She is a contributing editor for The Saver's Kitchen podcast and regularly blogs on The Forklift. Kati teaches cooking classes in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area. When not online or teaching, Kati enjoys writing and tasting new recipes in her kitchen.