Digital Media Services


Podcasting at Ithaca College

Creating audio and video podcasts is a great way to disseminate information to the Ithaca College community. Mini lectures, course materials, lab and practical demonstrations, policy and procedure training and athletic training videos are just a few examples of podcasts your colleagues have produced at IC.

Podcasting and iTunes U
IT has adopted iTunes U as our podcast hosting service. Visit iTunes U at to request a course page to host your audio and video podcasts.

Podcasting Kit Available at Helpdesk

IT has developed three 'podcasting kits' consisting of a PC laptop, high quality web camera and a USB PZM microphone (suitable for web conferencing or recording your voice). These kits are reservable and available for short-term loan. We've included a complement of software that you may find useful. The software includes:

  • Free Sound Recorder
  • Jing (free version)
  • Audacity & the MP3 Lame Encoder
  • WinFF
  • Skype
  • VLC Player
  • Microsoft Expression Encoder 3
  • Windows Media Encoder

What is a podcast?
A podcast is an audio file which can be shared (syndicated), downloaded (aggregated) and transported (synced to a mobile device). The word podcast has come to mean a portable on-demand broadcast. A podcast can contain audio and video content. The word Vodcast has come to mean a Video pODCAST. However, the term podcast is used to describe either.

Why podcast?
Podcasting is a great way to communicate related information to a target audience. Two primary sources of thousands of hours of podcasting are news media and major entertainment outlets. Through iTunes U, Apple Computer is promoting the educational use of podcasting. Several hundred institutions post course content, campus information, entertainment and marketing materials through iTunes U. Ithaca College is a participant and hosts an iTunes U site available to the IC community. For more information about iTunes U contact Marilyn Dispensa or Mark Hine.

An audio podcast can be produced by almost anyone. View this quick video hosted by YouTube and produced by the Common Craft show to learn more about the fundamental philosophy behind podcasting: Podcasting in Plain English

How is a podcast different from an audio file I can download?
It's in the packaging. At its root, a podcast is an audio or video file. What makes the audio or video 'podcastable' is a special RSS file (Really Simple Syndication) which provides data about the media's location and other information necessary for distribution.  A podcast is hosted on a web server that is accessible to the podcast's target audience (or publicly, in many cases). A podcast is often part of a series of broadcasts similar to a television serial. In the television world, Tivo users, for example, can set-up a season pass to download every episode of Grey's Anatomy or Lost. A podcast aggregator has the same power - to download the next episode of a podcast automatically.

What is an enhanced podcast?
An enhanced podcast is an audio podcast accompanied by a series of photos which change, like a narrated PowerPoint presentation. Apple's Keynote product, for example, includes a function to record an audio narration synchronized to each slide. When complete, the user may export a file which includes the audio and images which can then be hosted as a podcast. An enhanced podcast is generally smaller in size than a vodcast. Screen capture products, such as Camtasia®, Adobe Captivate®, and Jing (a free, cross-platform & open source alternative) can be used to create enhanced podcasts.

What is an Aggregator?
An aggregator is an application which collects syndicated (subscribable) web content in a single location. The iTunes® application is an example of a podcast aggregator. An aggregator, like iTunes®,  can serve as content repository and as a tool to subscribe to your favorite serial podcasts.

What do I need to make an audio podcast?
To create an audio podcast you will need:

  • A microphone (unless using a digital recording device equipped with one)
  • A digital recording device ( a computer or a digital recorder of some type)
  • Software to edit your audio (and perhaps transcode it if necessary*)
  • Access to a podcast repository or a web server (iTunes U, for example)

What do I need to make a video podcast?
To create a video podcast you will need:

  • A video camera (preferrably with a built-in microphone)
  • Software to edit your video & transcode it*
  • Access to a podcast repository or a web server (iTunes U, for example)

*File Formats & Transcoding

Transcoding is the process of converting a media file from one format to another. For example, a recording device may record a .wav file but your podcasting repository, such as iTunes, requires an MP-3 file or AAC formatted file. Software, such as Audacity, can be used to open and then export the file to the appropriate format.

Transcoding video can be achieved by using QuickTime Pro, Adobe Premiere Elements, iMovie and other video editing programs.