It’s impossible to listen to every podcast that has been created and posted on the Internet. There are literally millions of podcasts in thousands upon thousands of places. There are also a variety of sites to find podcasts – iTunes has a list of free podcasts; you can find podcasts on radio station sites, news station sites as well as the sites of authors, teachers, singers and preachers. While the places, topics, and voices may vary, podcasts all have one thing in common – they communicate.

The whole process of creating a podcast is similar to an algebraic equation. You take bits and pieces of technology such as a computer, MP3/iTunes, and recording software combined with your voice and your views to create a message.

What is it?
Podcasting is a way to communicate using digital audio files. Whatever the message, this twenty-first century technology makes it possible to give that message to any audience and interest.

Who can do it?
There is no myth or mystery when it comes to listening or creating a podcast. The simplest terms to remember are podcatcher and podcaster. A podcatcher is someone who listens to podcasts; a podcaster is someone who creates them. Yes, you can do both!

What do you need?
This is a quick laundry list of what you need in addition to a computer to create a podcast.

1. Microphone – You need to talk and people need to hear you. A good microphone with little distortion makes your message clear and strong.

2. Recording Software – There are many free packages available on the web as well as professional packages you can find at software stores or on Amazon.com. Don’t be too worried about bells and whistles at this point. Your goal is to get your voice in a digital file so that it can be shared.

3. Audio Card – Don’t go shopping just yet. Most computers today come with the ability for basic recording and playback. The audio card that your computer already has may be all that you need to get started.

4. Message – What do you want to say? Are you reviewing your favorite books, music, or movies? Do you want to blog via voice rather than type? Think about what you want to say and who you want to hear it.

MP3s and iTunes have opened up a new world of listening, recording and sharing music. This same technology has also opened up new avenues of communication. Podcasting is easy and fun, and another great way to explore and discover the world of digital media.

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