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

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.