And don't even get me started on the video, which needed edits and almost never got them, and at times took hours to upload, only to fail and need to be restarted! Still, it was a nice feature to have.
When we moved here to Kentucky, the church had a much simpler setup, but the audio was all over in its quality. With some research, a minimal amount of time spent 'training', and about 30 minutes of setup, I now am able to produce a podcast that includes a special intro and exit, edit the audio for length (or occasionally clarity!), upload it, publish it with my sermon notes, and put it on iTunes all in a matter of 20 minutes a week!
The best part of it is, other than the Internet access, I don't pay a dime for anything! So, if you are looking to podcast for your ministry, for a business, to talk sports, parenting, or life in general then consider taking a look at the process I use:
First, go to this link (on a PC, I have poor results with this program on my Mac...but it is an older Mac!) and download this FREE audio recording/editing software: https://sourceforge.net/projects/audacity/
The program is very simple to use, and if you spend 30 minutes testing it after you download and open it, you will see that you can record directly into the program, or record externally, as we do at my church, and then upload the recording. Edits are quick and simple. You can adjust the volume level of the audio, and, if you're like me, you can drop in special intros and exits for the recording as well.
When you are done, go to the file and, before saving, export the audio. This allows you to save it as an MP3 file, which is how you'll upload it for podcasts. I always do this before I save the actual file. You will get a pop up box to put in some information about the recording, and then it will save it to your designated file.
Now that you have your audio file, you need a podcast hosting platform. There are may ways to go about this. As a ministry, I discovered a great company called Podpoint. They give me some great analytics, and have a FREE hosting option, which limits me to 3 live podcasts at a time. but they take care of automatically publishing to iTunes, I can upload graphics, and I can archive as many podcasts as I want and designate which ones are live or not. Then, there are the other features like the ability to include notes, share to Facebook or Twitter, and much more.
They have a paid option that is only $10 a month with unlimited audio podcasts, and another for video as well. But for us, we use the FREE subscription, which allows us to put the messages out, share them across social media platforms, have regular subscribers, and save a few dollars!
You can check them out here: http://podpoint.com/
Setting up your new, free account will take you about 15 minutes the first time.
Once in, you can set up different files, which I do for series. You can add graphics, and then you click upload media, pick your file, add any notes or comments, and publish. Then you're done. Uploads for 40-50 minute audios take about 2 minutes for me, usually.
You can take a look here to see what our page looks like to the public: http://podpoint.com/family-worship-center
If you are looking to do a podcast that isn't ministry related, Podomatic is another company that offers similar features and has a free 'lite' version as well as paid versions with more features. You can check them out here: https://www.podomatic.com/login
So, if you're looking to get into the world of podcasting, sharing your thoughts and content, consider having a long range plan and knowing what you're going to be sharing. Map out 6-8 weeks ahead (unless its a weekly sermon podcast), and keep the strategic plan update. Then, save yourself some money and produce good quality podcast by checking out Audacity and Podpoint (or Podomatic for non ministry related content) to edit, upload, and share your stuff!
*This post is not a sponsorship, and is shared based on personal use without any obligation or benefit from the companies mentioned in an effort to help leaders and ministries get their content out easily.