By class on March 4th, each student, working in pairs, should create a short podcast that provides some critical discussion of digital audio. The goal of the assignment is to use the audio form to express ideas about web-based audio and podcasting that would be otherwise difficult to convey via writing or visuals. Length is flexible, but 5 minutes should be the upper limit – the goal is to convey & explore ideas, not record a creative masterwork.

Students are free to record audio in a range of locations if they so desire – microphones and portable recorders will be available for check-out. You are free to use found audio clips (even if copyrighted), but be sure to credit the sources of the files, either within the audio or in the associated blog post.

Audacity is a free program we will use to edit and encode audio, although you are welcome to use other audio programs that you might know. Podcasts should be encoded in MP3 format – when complete, files should be uploaded to Muskrat’s web space. Students should then write a blog post with the category Podcast, with the URL to the mp3 file posted. Then the RSS feed for that category can be added to an audio aggregator like iTunes to gather the files. Students are also encouraged to provide commentary on the process in the blog post, and comment on each others on the blog.

Server Space

For this and other media projects associated with this class, you can save your project files and raw source files to the muskrat server.

From a PC
Tools (dropdown menu) -> Map Network Drive

From a Mac
Go -> Connect to Server

Be sure to name files clearly, as everyone in the class will be sharing this server space.

Audacity and LameLIb

Instructions for installing Audacity

1. Go to http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/
2. Download Audacity for your operating system.

Instructions for installing the LameLib

1. Go to the LAME download page, http://spaghetticode.org/lame/.
2. Download the version of LameLib for your operating system
3. When you have finished downloading extract the file. (This may happen automatically.)
4. Save the file called “LameLib” anywhere on your computer.
5. The first time you use the “Export as MP3” command, Audacity will ask you where LameLib is saved. Simply browse to that location. You will only need to do this once!

Publish your podcast

You can use our distribution Muskrat space to publish audio or other media files to the web.

From a PC
Tools (dropdown menu) -> Map Network Drive

From a Mac
Go -> Connect to Server

Once you have added your audio file to the space, you can link to it from a blog entry by adding the following link:

…where [audiofilemname] is the name you have given your podcast file. Use your own names to name the file, and only use letters, numbers and underscores (no spaces!)

You can also use WordPress’s embedded audio player by typing (in brackets) audio:URL  in a blog post, where the URL is the web location of an audio file. Be sure to categorize your post as Podcast, and provide a link to the project on your individual student page.