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HPR4126: Podcasting for Newbies

Hosted by Moss Bliss on 2024-05-27 00:00:00
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My name is Moss Bliss. I'm a podcaster. This is technically my 2nd HPR podcast, but as the first one was unintentional AND back in 2019, I can start fresh.

I don't know much of anything. I'm a Linux user, about the same way most people are Windows users. I have gotten more technical over the past few years largely due to being a regular on various Linux podcasts. I don't have sufficient education to be hired in computers (although I've tried several times), and I did spend a few years in radio back in my youth.

So what do you have to know to become a podcaster? Almost nothing. Just so long as you have a computer, an Internet connection, and a microphone. (For some shows, you may need a webcam.)

I got into podcasting by asking questions. I tried for almost 2 years to get Chris Fisher at Jupiter Broadcasting to co-feature me, with zero experience, on a podcast about using Linux desktops. It never happened. So when in 2018 Rob Hawkins asked for new hosts to take over mintCast, I was one of the first 10 or so people to apply, and one of 6 who eventually stuck with it. All I had was a computer, an Internet connection, and a Blue Yeti microphone my little sister gave me. Within a few months, I started another podcast, Distrohoppers' Digest with Tony Hughes. And a couple years later, I was asked to take over Full Circle Weekly News. Apparently some people like my voice. Since starting my little mini-career in podcasting, I have probably more than doubled what I know about Linux. I'm not all that scared of the Terminal anymore...

Some microphones are pretty bad, and my Blue Yeti was the worst one on the show when I joined mintCast. In about a year, I found a very inexpensive CAD Audio U29 USB mic, currently $20 at Amazon, and that worked pretty well. Some time after taking on Full Circle Weekly News, the magazine bought me a Samson Q2U ($60), which I'm still using. I love this mic, as it can be used either as a USB mic or plugged into a sound box for even better audio.

When I started, I had a T430 laptop and the Blue Yeti microphone. My listeners and co-hosts have made my life better with new and used equipment I could never have afforded on my own, including laptops, Raspberry Pis, modems, routers, headphones, and even a sound box. My current setup includes a 2016 Lenovo ThinkCentre M600 Tiny, which cost me under $200 on eBay, a Focusrite Solo sound box (a gift from a friend), a WavLink ST336A external goodies box (also a gift), and an old Dynex 26" TV I use as a monitor I paid $15 for locally. I have a boom arm for my microphone, which is made by Neewer and costs $15 on Amazon. My keyboard is a Fellowes Microban Natural, which I need as a trained touch typist. And I put all this stuff on a little rolling computer desk, which I bought used locally for $25.

The only software I use is Audacity, and I didn't need to know any more than the basics. If you're part of a team, such as mintCast, you aren't even required to do any audio editing, although if you know your way around Audacity you will find your skills very welcome.

If you want to start podcasting, have the equipment, contact Ken (Note: I misspoke in the audio and said Ronnie where I meant Ken) and do something here at HPR, which is a fairly low entry bar, or you might contact long-running shows such as mintCast. Participation and commitment are usually all that is required.

OK, so maybe you want to do more than produce an HPR show or join mintCast. You have your own idea and you want to get it out there, your own personal podcast. This is where it gets a little more detailed. If you already have the information you need, you can stop the podcast here, but...

First, you'll need a website or blog (if you're really broke, there are free WordPress sites available at wordpress.com, or you could use the dreaded Google blogs (blogger and blogspot). Other than that, you'd have to register a domain name, find a webhost, and write a website, some of which can be cheap (or not!). Then you have to find a way to stream your podcast. Google has closed Feedburner, but there are some paid places like Red Circle you can get for not much bread. Those will probably help you stream your podcast to places like Apple Music, Archive.org, Spotify, etc. But if you want help from me, I'm already lost. mintCast is handled by Bill H., Distrohoppers' Digest is handled by Dale M., and my Full Circle Weekly News is uploaded to Ronnie for publication.

Or maybe you want to do it with a few friends, and they can't cram themselves into your bedroom to do that. In that case, you should explore using Discord, Jitsi, VDO.ninja, or (sizzle preserve us!) Zoom. Everyone will need to record their own part of the stream, and you'll need someone who knows Audacity well enough to edit a few (or several) streams together. Maybe you want to post it on YouTube. If you want both a video and audio podcast, someone will have to learn OBS and Audacity, and if you want the video podcast to be edited, have fun learning one of the many video editors out there (you might start with KDEnlive).

For more information on streaming, you'll need to get someone else to make an HPR podcast on the subject. Way over my head.

I hope this little show has pushed a few of you into wanting to try your hand. It doesn't take much, or it takes a whole lot, depending on what you want to do, and your future listeners will thank you. My listeners have certainly shown me lots of thanks.

HPR Comments


Henrik Hemrin says: Equipment, experience, encouragement and radio.

RE: hpr4126::2024-05-27 Podcasting for Newbies by Moss Bliss
00:05:08 Listen in ogg, spx, or mp3 format.
Thanks Moss for sharing your experience, equipment details and encouragement to anyone who wants to become a podcaster. Nice also to learn about your radio background.

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