So, you want to start a podcast from scratch? It’s a lot easier and cheaper than you’d expect.

At it’s most basic, a podcast requires a computer, a microphone, and a place to host the files. You can do that (and do it well, with good sound and using good software with support) with the following:

An Apple Mac mini with keyboard, mouse, and monitor for $797.
– This comes with GarageBand, iMovie, and plenty of other stuff you might want to use for your podcast.

A Blue Snowball USB Microphone for $160.
– Get the one that includes a stand and cable for a high-quality studio condenser mic that’s ready to use right away.
– You’ll also want a pop filter.

A year of hosting at Libsyn.com ($5/month) for $60.
– This gives you a blog, rss feed, and unlimited bandwidth — in case you get popular.

WANT TO RECORD IN THE FIELD?

You can get an iRiver iFP-790 for as little as $25 on eBay. Pair that with a Giant Squid Audio Lab Mini Gold-Plated Omni Mic ($15) and a set of RadioShack Tie-clip Microphone Windscreens ($3 for four — Item #33-4006), and you’re set for recording on-the-go.

That’s it. A whole home studio/mobile podcasting setup — including the computer — for about $1,000. You may already have an adequate computer, and could drop the price to about $275! If you want to have two hosts, buy another snowball and use them together (easy on the Mac, may be possible a PC — depending upon your software).

Of course, even the best equipment in the world won’t help if you don’t have a compelling show, but the skills needed for that come with practice, so get out there and start podcasting!

 

Quick Recording Primer

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RECORDING TECHNIQUE
• Avoid noisy spaces for interviews — unless you really want the ambient sound.
• Plug headphones into the recorder to monitor while recording.
• Hold the microphone 4-12 inches from the subject’s mouth.
• Position microphone to the side of the subject’s mouth to avoid popping.

NEED QUESTIONS?
If you don’t have anything prepared to ask, talk to you subject a little beforehand. Find out what they would like to talk about. If all else fails, you can always ask:

“What did you think this was going to be like before you started, and then what was it really like?”

You’re guaranteed to get a story!

 

My Mobile Podcasting Setup

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Recorder: iRiver iFP-799 — these have been discontinued, but you can find them on eBay.
– Any 700- or 800-series iRiver will do, though I prefer the placement of 700-series microphone jack.

Giant Squid Audio Lab Mini Gold-Plated Omni Mic

RadioShack Tie-clip Microphone Windscreen (Item #33-4006)

 
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© 2010 Adam Weiss: Podcast Consultant