Making Your Own Podcasts: Resources to Get You Started

With all the recent talk about pod­casts, you may have won­dered how you can cre­ate your own. How can you record and dis­trib­ute via pod­cast what­ev­er valauble things you have to say? We have recent­ly come across some help­ful mate­r­i­al that seemed worth high­light­ing for you.

Pod­cast Acad­e­my

At Boston Uni­ver­si­ty, Pod­cast Acad­e­my recent­ly held a two-day sem­i­nar, led by sea­soned tech­nol­o­gy vet­er­ans, that offered a very com­pre­hen­sive overview of the craft. The top­ics cov­ered here ranged from get­ting start­ed with record­ing, edit­ing and pub­lish­ing pod­casts; to devel­op­ing a per­son­al style; to work­ing with the right equip­ment; to know­ing how to get pod­casts list­ed in search engines and also mon­e­tize them. You can review and stream all of the pre­sen­ta­tions in video from this page. Plus you can also find here copies of the PDFs used in these talks. This is an excel­lent resource for start­ing out.

Apple’s Pod­cast Recipe
Giv­en that Apple helped more than any­one to give life to pod­cast­ing, it only makes sense that they would offer some primers. You can find here a three-part sem­i­nar cre­at­ed by Apple experts, who offer their wis­dom on how to cre­ate a great-sound­ing pod­cast, pro­duce a pro­fes­sion­al show, and then pro­mote it. These pre­sen­ta­tions are also avail­able in video, and they are free. How­ev­er, you do need to reg­is­ter with Apple before you can start watch­ing the pre­sen­ta­tions.

Nuts and Bolts Primers
The mate­ri­als above don’t real­ly walk you through the actu­al tech­ni­cal mechan­ics of cre­at­ing a pod­cast, so we have added here a few primers that will real­ly give you the real nuts and bolts.

If you close­ly review all of these mate­ri­als, you should soon be ready to devel­op your first pod­cast, cre­ate a pro­fes­sion­al sound, and bring it to lis­ten­ers who will ben­e­fit from what you have to say. If you know of any oth­er great resources that should be added to this col­lec­tion, feel free to let us know.

Philip Roth’s Everyman and Beyond

Cour­tesy of the radio pro­gram Open Source, we get an intrigu­ing and widerang­ing inter­view with Philip
Roth, where he talks can­did­ly about his lat­est and 27th nov­el Every­man, a work that takes an exis­ten­tial­ly anguish­ing look at the end of life. We also get Roth read­ing from oth­er past nov­els, talk­ing about the day-to-day prac­tice of writ­ing, and offer­ing thoughts on the cur­rent state of Amer­i­can pol­i­tics. You can catch the inter­view in one of three ways: iTunes, Rss feed, mp3 stream.

For oth­er inter­views with promi­nent thinkers, see our page called Smart Talks — Lead­ing Thinkers in Mul­ti-Media.

A World Without Net Neutrality

If you’re a savvy tech­nol­o­gist, you’ve heard a lot about the debate over “net neu­tral­i­ty.” If you’re not, then you should get up to speed on the issue because it could change the face of the web as you know it.

Bill Moy­ers recent­ly put togeth­er an excel­lent pro­gram look­ing at the Faus­t­ian bar­gain that Con­gress might soon be mak­ing. In exchange for giv­ing the tele­phone com­pa­nies an incen­tive to build a fast fiber net­work in the US — some­thing that many oth­er coun­tries already have, and some­thing that the tel­cos promised to build years ago, but did­n’t, despite accept­ing tax breaks — our nation­al rep­re­sen­ta­tives may be primed to let the tel­cos con­trol the future web and oper­ate it as a “toll road.” Under the cur­rent regime, every web site is treat­ed neu­tral­ly, mean­ing
that web sites can dis­trib­ute con­tent at equal speeds and costs to con­tent providers. If things change,
the tel­cos will cre­ate a “fast lane” and a “slow lane” for dis­trib­ut­ing con­tent, and they can use their dis­cre­tion, based on what­ev­er stan­dards they choose, to charge con­tent providers dif­fer­ent rates for using the dif­fer­ent lanes. This will have a whole host of con­se­quences for the future devel­op­ment of the inter­net, chang­ing how com­pa­nies com­pete on the web, how the pace of inno­va­tion pro­gress­es (or not), how you access con­tent, and whether you can access con­tent freely and equal­ly. In short, it will deter­mine whether your cul­ture stays open or not.

There is a lot to this issue, and Moy­ers on Amer­i­ca does a very good job teas­ing apart the issue in this 90 minute exposé that you can find on iTunes (or see the rss feed). The pro­gram’s web site also has a lot of good sup­port­ing infor­ma­tion and is worth a look.

For more infor­ma­tion, you should also see what the ACLU is say­ing about the issue.

Open Culture Podcast Collection Gets Some Play on Diggnation Podcast

Since we’re talk­ing a lot about pod­casts these days, it seemed rea­son­able to men­tion that our for­eign lan­guage les­son pod­casts got a lit­tle men­tion on the lat­est episode (#77) of Dig­gna­tion, the week­ly pod­cast put out by Kevin Rose, founder of, and Alex Albrecht. Our pod­cast col­lec­tion now has 1877 “dig­gs,” and so it got their atten­tion and gave them a good plat­form to goof on Kev­in’s com­mand of Ara­bic. You can check out the episode here — iTunes, Rss feed.

See Open Cul­ture’s for­eign lan­guage les­son pod­cast col­lec­tion.

Philosophy Talk and Intelligent Design


It’s not quite “Car Talk,” but it’s not ter­ri­bly far away. Phi­los­o­phy Talk, a week­ly pub­lic radio pro­gram pre­sent­ed by two Stan­ford phi­los­o­phy pro­fes­sors, offers a “down-to-earth and no-non­sense approach” to phi­los­o­phy that’s engag­ing, if not enter­tain­ing. The show, which can be streamed from the web site, tends to range wide­ly. In recent weeks, they’ve tak­en a look at neu­ro­science, Amer­i­can prag­ma­tism, quan­tum real­i­ty, war crimes, belief in God, and dream­ing, each time inter­view­ing a lead­ing thinker in the field and also post­ing help­ful, relat­ed infor­ma­tion on the The Phi­los­o­phy Talk blog.

To get a feel for how Ken Tay­lor and John Per­ry run their show, you may want to check out an episode that deals with intel­li­gent design, a the­o­ry that has emerged out of Amer­i­ca’s cul­ture wars to com­pete philo­soph­i­cal­ly or ide­o­log­i­cal­ly (depend­ing on how you see things) with evo­lu­tion. Here, the hosts are joined by Daniel Den­nett, the Direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Cog­ni­tive Stud­ies at Tufts Uni­ver­si­ty and the author of Dar­win’s Dan­ger­ous Idea. Togeth­er, they tack­le the essen­tial ques­tions: “Is there any rea­son to
think the cause or caus­es of order in the uni­verse bear an even remote anal­o­gy to human intel­li­gence? Even if they did, would that mean these intel­li­gent caus­es had the benev­o­lence and sense of jus­tice required of a Chris­t­ian God? Is this whole issue one of sci­ence, reli­gion, or phi­los­o­phy?” You can catch the episode on iTunes or stream it through Real Play­er. (Also check out the resources at the bot­tom of this page.)

Free Audiobooks for Your iPod

This is just a quick heads up that we have added audio­book pod­casts to our larg­er pod­cast col­lec­tion. You’ll find here 40+ major lit­er­ary and philo­soph­i­cal works. Mark Twain, Shake­speare, Jane Austen, Friedrich Niet­zsche, Franz Kaf­ka, Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Allen Poe — they are all here, and the list will con­tin­ue to grow. In the mean­time, if you would like to see a par­tic­u­lar text added to the list, feel free to let us know.

Audio­book Pod­casts

Com­plete Pod­cast Col­lec­tion

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A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Let’s go into Christ­mas on the right note, with a free pod­cast of Charles Dick­en’s A Christ­mas Car­ol. (Find it here on iTunes.) Writ­ten in 1843, Dick­en’s tale remains one of the most pop­u­lar Christ­mas sto­ries of all time. It gave us the indeli­ble char­ac­ters of Ebenez­er Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and the Ghosts of Christ­mas Past, Present, and Future. And it invent­ed the notion of “christ­mas spir­it.” This pod­cast is rather well read. If you’d like to read along with the actu­al text, you can get a free etext here, cour­tesy of Project Guten­berg.

Also, you can find oth­er free Christ­mas sto­ries at Lib­rivox. On this page, you can stream mp3s of many dif­fer­ent hol­i­day tales.

For more free audio books, check out our Audio Book Pod­cast Col­lec­tion. We now have over 40 clas­sics list­ed and ready to down­load. Hap­py hol­i­days.

Thinking Humanity After Abu Ghraib — Conference Now Available on iTunes

The Abu Ghraib prison scan­dal first explod­ed into pub­lic light in April 2004 when reports and pho­tographs of tor­ture were revealed in a dar­ing New York­er arti­cle writ­ten by Sey­mour Hersh. At a con­fer­ence recent­ly held at Stan­ford, enti­tled Think­ing Human­i­ty After Abu Ghraib, Hersh and a pan­el of experts came togeth­er to think through the legal, polit­i­cal, psy­cho­log­i­cal, and eth­i­cal impli­ca­tions of the abus­es at Abu Ghraib, and also to weigh the con­se­quences of the US gov­ern­men­t’s evolv­ing approach to han­dling ene­my com­bat­ants and sus­pects tak­en dur­ing the war on ter­ror. You can now find all of the pre­sen­ta­tions on iTunes (which you can down­load for free). Here is the line­up:

  • Sey­mour Hersh — “Chain of Com­mand: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib” Lis­ten on iTunes
    • Sey­mour Hersh is one of the nation’s pre­mier inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ists and reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor to The New York­er on mil­i­tary issues and secu­ri­ty mat­ters. He gained world­wide recog­ni­tion for his expo­sure of the My Lai mas­sacre and its cov­er up dur­ing the Viet­nam War and again in 2004 for his dis­clo­sure of prison abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Mr. Hersh was award­ed the Pulitzer Prize for Inter­na­tion­al Report­ing and is the author of numer­ous books.
  • Mark Dan­ner — “Into the Light of Day: Human Rights after Abu Ghraib” Lis­ten
    • Mark Dan­ner, Pro­fes­sor of Jour­nal­ism at UC-Berke­ley, is a long­time staff writer at The New York­er, fre­quent con­trib­u­tor to the New York Review of Books, and, most recent­ly, author of Tor­ture and Truth: Amer­i­ca, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Ter­ror (2004) and The Secret Way to War: The Down­ing Street Memo and the Iraq War’s Buried His­to­ry (2006).
  • David J. Luban — “The Poi­soned Chal­ice: Human­i­ty at Nurem­berg and Now” Lis­ten
    • David J. Luban is the Fred­er­ick J. Haas Pro­fes­sor of Law and Phi­los­o­phy
      at George­town Law School and Leah Kaplan Vis­it­ing Pro­fes­sor of Human
      Rights at Stan­ford Law School. In 2005 he wrote Lib­er­al­ism, Tor­ture,
      and the Tick­ing Bomb, which appeared in The Tor­ture Debate in
      , ed. Karen Green­berg (2006).
  • Jen­ny S. Mar­tinez — “The Law of Tor­ture” Lis­ten
    • Jen­ny S. Mar­tinez is Assis­tant Pro­fes­sor of Law at Stan­ford. She served as Asso­ciate Legal Offi­cer for the U.N. Inter­na­tion­al Crim­i­nal Tri­bunal for the For­mer Yugoslavia, and recent­ly argued in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Jose Padil­la in the case of Rums­feld v. Padil­la on the pow­er of the Pres­i­dent to detain Amer­i­can cit­i­zens with­out tri­al as ene­my com­bat­ants.
  • Philip G. Zim­bar­do — “The Lucifer Effect: Under­stand­ing How Good Peo­ple Turn Evil” Lis­ten
    • Philip G. Zim­bar­do is Pro­fes­sor Emer­i­tus of Psy­chol­o­gy at Stan­ford, and
      past pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can Psy­cho­log­i­cal Asso­ci­a­tion. He is well known for lead­ing the famous Stan­ford Prison Exper­i­ment in 1971.
  • Ger­ald Gray — “Tor­ture Pol­i­cy at Abu Ghraib: Mil­i­tary Use of Sci­ence for the Con­trol of the Coun­try” Lis­ten
    • Ger­ald Gray, a clin­i­cal social work­er and psy­chother­a­pist, was Pro­gram Man­ag­er for the Cen­ter for Sur­vivors of Tor­ture in San Jose for five years, and is the author of Psy­chol­o­gy and US Psy­chol­o­gists in Tor­ture and War in the Mid­dle East.
  • Judith But­ler — “Tor­ture, Sex­u­al Pol­i­tics, and the Ethics of Pho­tog­ra­phy” Lis­ten
    • Judith But­ler is Max­ine Elliot Pro­fes­sor of Rhetoric and Com­par­a­tive Lit­er­a­ture at UC-Berke­ley. She is the author of numer­ous books, includ­ing, most recent­ly, Pre­car­i­ous Life: The Pow­ers of Mourn­ing and Vio­lence (2004) and Giv­ing an Account of One­self(2005) which address­es respon­si­bil­i­ty and ethics at the per­son­al and polit­i­cal lev­el.

Con­fer­ence Spon­sors: Think­ing Human­i­ty After Abu Ghraib was spon­sored by Stan­ford Con­tin­u­ing Stud­ies, and co-spon­sored with finan­cial under­writ­ing by the Free­man Spogli Insti­tute for Inter­na­tion­al Stud­ies, the Stan­ford Cen­ter on Ethics, the Ethics in Soci­ety Pro­gram, the Stan­ford Human­i­ties Cen­ter, and the Stan­ford School of Law.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.