Attention Pod Casters!!

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Blog entry by Alan Hart posted 02-14-2011 10:18 PM 753 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello LJ’s

I have a question, and a few more, for the pod casters out there (I think it’s called pod casting). I am wondering how you do your shows? What equipment do you use? What computer programs do you use? What else can you tell me about pod casting? Where else can I get information on this?

I’m asking because I am interested in doing this but I have now idea how. I have watched some of the videos and it doesn’t look all that difficult. When I was a leader in Boy Scouts I showed the boys how to do alot of things, cooking, camping, canoeing, packing a pack, pitching a tent, ect.. It looks like it’s just putting a video camera there and doing the same thing I’ve done, just talking into a camera insted of a person.

Any information would be helpfull. I’m interested, curious, and just plain wondering how it’s done.



-- Al Hart

5 comments so far

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8799 posts in 2915 days

#1 posted 02-15-2011 03:07 AM

Go Mac. Need I say more?

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Steve Good's profile

Steve Good

78 posts in 2771 days

#2 posted 02-15-2011 07:51 AM

Basically to get started all you need is a video camera and some editing software. On the PC there are a few options. Adobe Premiere Elements and Pinnacle Studio being two that are modestly priced and work well. If you want to take it further you can go with Adobe Premier Pro and Adobe after effects but it’s going to cost an arm and a leg. There is a very basic video editor bundled with Windows called Movie Maker. The latest release is better the the older version but leaves a little to be desired but it’s free.

As Todd said above the Mac is considered ideally suited for video production. The Mac comes with Imovie which is a basic video editor with enough features for most pod casters. The big boy editing software for the Mac is Final Cut Studio. Great software with all the features you would ever need at a fairly steep price.

Technically a “Pod Cast” was originally an audio show. As the bandwidth of the internet allowed streaming video to become popular the term started to include video. Sometimes you will hear it called a Vid Cast or vlogging.

If you go the PC route you want to consider a fairly powerful machine. Rendering video is time consuming and especially if you shoot in HD you want all the power you can get.

Hosting you vid cast has some things to consider also. If the show becomes popular you can receive some serious bandwidth costs. There are a few different options here to help reduce the cost but the free way is to use Youtube. The downside there is the videos are limited to 10 minutes. You can break the video up into parts but that’s a little awkward. Honestly most vid casts would be better off if kept under 10 minutes anyway. Most internet viewers have a short attention span it seems.

Any modern video camera will work. If you want to get the best results you want to look for a camera with a mic input. The built in mics of most cameras are poor and being able to use a lapel mic or shotgun mic adds a great deal to the production quality. I won’t get too deep into the video camera formats but you have to decide on HD or Standard def. You also want to decide if you wand a DV camera, Hard drive camera, Flash memory camera or DVD camera. Best to just rule out the DVD camera right off the bat and then do your research on the others. MiniDV and flash are generally the most often used for vid casting.

The next most important concern is lighting. You can kill a video with poor lighting. Do a google search for “guerilla video lighting” for lots of cheap tips to light your video.

If you want to see how vid casting can be taken to near tv production quality visit Leo Laport’s TWIT network. He has been vid casting and pod casting for years and has thousands of dollars invested in his studio. If you enjoy tech talk it’s worth the look.

Vid casting can be done on a shoe string budget or you can spend thousands. The good news is that either way can bring great results. I’m old, fat, ugly, don’t speak that well and don’t have a bunch of money but I have built a pretty large following. I have over 100 videos with over 2 million views on a subject that is pretty niche. I talk and demonstrate technique on the scroll saw. I have over 20000 monthly readers on my blog and I did it all with a $300 video camera and a PC. By the way that’s another thing to consider. How do you get viewers? Big question with lots of answers but don’t forget that you can post your woodworking videos here at lumberjocks.

Hope this helps a little. I’m far from an expert on the subject but I have studied it pretty much indepth and would be happy to answer any questions you might have if I can.

-- Steve Good,

View Alan Hart's profile

Alan Hart

54 posts in 1508 days

#3 posted 02-15-2011 09:23 PM

Thanks for your help Steve. Another question, I’m not to computer smart but I can hold my own, but what’s a Mac. I remember a “Mac” being a computer, Macintosh. Is this the same thing?



-- Al Hart

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8799 posts in 2915 days

#4 posted 02-16-2011 04:44 AM

I had not used computers since the 80’s (Dbase III & Wordstar)

I got an Apple MacBook just a few years ago, it was not long before becoming an LJ member, and I knew nothing about computers.

It did not take too long with a little help here & there from the LJ crowd and I was making woodworking videos with my Mac and the included iMovie program. AWESOME!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8799 posts in 2915 days

#5 posted 02-16-2011 04:47 AM

Steve has sound advice.

I do believe the video length allowed on YouTube now is 15 minutes.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

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