What guidelines and tips would you offer to people submitting podcasts to AppleVis?

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team
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We've been totally staggered by the number of podcasts that we've been able to share over the past 16 months. We've been even more staggered by the number of people who have contributed podcasts, many of whom have never recorded a podcast before. We truly thank each and every one of you.

There have been times, however, when we have had to decline a podcast or ask that it be redone. This is always difficult for us to do, as we know that time and effort has been put into the recording. So, to try and reduce the number of times when this is necessary, we have decided to create a basic list of guidelines and tips for people who are thinking of submitting a podcast to the site.

As we have a lot of very experienced podcasters in the community, along with a lot of people who from simply listening to podcasts will know what makes for a good one, we want to open this up to you all and invite your suggestions and feedback.

What follows are some basic guidelines and tips. Please let us know what you think of these and offer suggestions for anything else that you think should be added:

  1. Make a short test recording before starting on your actual podcast. Use this to check the audio levels are appropriate and background noise is low.
  2. Make sure that the volume level of VoiceOver is appropriate for the level of your own speech.
  3. If necessary, slow down the speech rate of VoiceOver so that it is comfortable for listeners used to a slower rate.
  4. Have a plan in advance for what you want to cover and say in the podcast.
  5. Make sure that your podcast does what you say it will in the introduction.
  6. If demonstrating an app, don't feel obliged to walk-through and describe each and every page, element and button.
  7. Clearly state what gestures or keystrokes you are using when interacting with an app.
  8. Try to keep to a minimum any discussion which is not relevant to the podcast.
  9. Try to avoid long pauses and too many 'ums' and 'ahs'.
  10. Content is far more important than recording quality, so don't be deterred from recording a podcast simply because you don't have specialist equipment or software. A good quality recording can be made directly onto an iDevice.

We would love to hear your feedback and suggestions.



Submitted by Piotr Machacz on Sunday, March 10, 2013

You don't have to be an audio guru to record a good podcast. That said, if you stutter a lot, it might be a good idea to go through your recording, using an audio editor, like the free audacity, and just cut out those bits. Also, if your conection allows for it, save your recordings in a higher bitrate, since the Applevis staff will recompress everything again, and if you initially save your audio at a lower bitrate there will be more mp3 artifacts. Also some formats will sound much better than others at lower bitrates, which is also a good way to avoid artifacts. Let's not compare a 128KBPS MP3 to a 128KBPS M4a/AAC. Another way to cut down on space is, consider if your recording needs stereo. You might want to save your recording in stereo if you're demonstrating a high quality game or music creation app, but a review of a news reader probably won't need stereo audio.

Submitted by Michael Hansen on Sunday, March 10, 2013

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

In reply to by Piotr Machacz

Hi everyone, When we edit a podcast, we usually save it in 64 kbps mono MP3. We do this to (1) save space and (2) reduce download times. The reason we save them in mono is to easily make the audio levels consistent across both channels. Podcasts that contain music or other special effects are considered on a case-by-case basis. So, with all that said, the higher quality the format you can give us the podcast in (besides uncompressed Wave--please, no 300+ MB files), the better the end result will sound. Best regards, Michael Hansen AppleVis Editorial Team