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Thursday, May 12, 2005

BGTG - May 12, 2005 (Listening to podcasts--and recording them!)

June 11 update: I've switched over to 32kbps MP3 exporting out of Audacity, rather than the 48 I was originally using. For speech the difference in audio quality ought to be barely detectable, while the filesize savings are nothing to sneeze at (around 25%).

This particular podcast has nothing to do with boardgames! It's a special show about podcasting itself. The first third of the program are instructions for how to automatically download the podcasts via podcatching software like iPodder, or at least a recommendation that you use an RSS reader to keep up with my site.

In the remainder of the show I describe how I go about recording, hosting, and linking Boardgames To Go. I hope it comes across how simple it is--how anyone with something to say could be doing the same thing. Particularly if you've been thinking about podcasting, but been intimidated by the expense and complexity of fancy microphones, mixing boards, and so NEED to listen to this show. Don't let the fact that I'm an engineer fool you--I'm a mechanical engineer, not a computer geek. I work in a world of gears and bearings (or else budgets and staffing plans!). If I can make this work, I bet just about anyone can.

Something I forgot to point out in the podcast itself was how much of what I describe is multi-platform, or platform-independent. The software is available for Mac and Linux, as well as Windows, and much of the rest of what you do happens on the web itself.

Email Mark Johnson

Links for listeners
Bloglines (web-based RSS reader)
iPodder (podcatching software, for Windows/Mac/Linux)
Michael Geohegan's Intro for Podcast Listeners

Links for podcasters
Audacity (recording software)
Liberated Syndication (hosting service)
Blogger (blogging service)
How to use Blogger and Feedburner to make a podcast feed
AudioShell (id3 tagging software)
Michael Geoghegan's excellent Podcast about the Podcast
Looperman (royalty-free music samples)


Blogger Jeff Wauer said...

Let me begin by complimenting you on your podcasts. You seem to have quickly found your feet and have developed a comfortable approach to the show, both in content and its delivery. I now anxiously look forward to your upcoming shows and am one that appreciates your approach of more frequent smaller shows.
On past shows you've mentioned listening to the GeekSpeak during your commute after burning to a CD. I've always listened at my computer and haven't tried to burn a show yet, but others on BGG have made requests for the shows to be split into CD sized chunks. How have you handled the burning of large shows onto disc for listening in the car. Do you use Audacity? Reviewing the link you posted, it seems that it provides the ability to split shows and burn them separately.
Thanks and keep it up!

Jeff Wauer

p.s. missed you at SCGD21.

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Out of interest Mark, what microphone do you use to record your shows? You mentioned that you picked up a headset one I think. Is it a Logitech one?

3:45 AM  
Blogger Mark Johnson said...

The headset mic I use is just a basic Logitech model I found at my local Walmart. I see on Logitech's website that it's called their Internet Chat Headset (part number 980158-0403).

9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Mark!

4:55 AM  
Blogger Mark Johnson said...

Very late in replying...

For splitting large podcasts into CD-sized chunks, I've just used Mega Soft's freeware MP3 splitter. I'm sure there are other options, too.

7:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a great show.
I really liked it. BTW, did you really record BGTG in the closet? =)


8:15 AM  
Blogger Mark Johnson said...

I used to. After too many weird looks from my wife I gave up on that, and now just record wherever. Usually in our bedroom with the door closed, but sometimes downstairs, once in the garage, and once "on location" at a park. It gets more background noise, but not so much, and it's nicer for me. :)

Glad to see people are still going back and checking out these older shows. Were you digging through the archives or followed my special "New to podcasting?" link on the front page?

8:19 AM  
Blogger Kiki said...

I only just discovered your podcast, and I love it. This one came completely out of the blue, but it's very valuable. Thanks for making a how-to guide that wasn't hugely convoluted and annoying to listen to!

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Thanks to Mark for posting this podcast!!! I have been loving this podcast for a while, and have been meaning to start my own gaming podcast. Thanks to Mark's advice here, My friend and I have just launched Gameopolis (

I hope some of you check it out. Thanks again, Mark!

8:40 PM  

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