Podcasts aren’t just for retirees in Miami anymore. Okay, well, they never really were—although if you looked hard enough, you might find "The Miami Retiree’s Podcast." Heck, it might even make its way onto iTunes. And that’s the beauty of podcasting. Anyone can do it, from kindergarten teachers to duck fanciers. And yes, old guys in Florida with pants pulled up to their armpits. Podcast Factory from M-Audio makes it easy for anyone to create a podcast and publish it online.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, podcasting (in which people create shows on a wide variety of topics) is an alternative to radio or television broadcasting. Podcasts are available on demand, so you can listen to them or view them at your convenience. Podcasting is growing in popularity with new shows popping up every day. Although some shows don’t make it past the first few episodes, others, such as The Dawn and Drew Show, have enabled the hosts to quit their day jobs and get into podcasting full time. So whether you plan to make podcasting your new career or just want to share your hobby with your fellow Internet denizens, let’s look at how Podcast Factory will help you make your podcasting debut (see Figure 1).
Figure 1 Podcast Factory box shot
Do You Need an Entire Factory?
You could start podcasting with a cheap headset and built-in microphone, but if you’re serious about sound quality, control, and software selection, Podcast Factory brings everything together for you in a single package. That package includes a special version of M-Audio’s Fast Track USB hardware with XLR microphone input, a broadcast-quality microphone with desktop stand and a smorgasbord of software that will allow you to record and edit your podcast, add theme music and post it to the Internet. Because Podcast Factory takes a standard XLR microphone and provides phantom power if the mic requires it, you can substitute any compatible microphone, although the audio quality of the included M-Audio microphone is very good (see Figure 2). For a review of the Heil Sound PR-40 microphone, visit http://www.geekviews.com.
Figure 2 Podcast Factory’s broadcast-quality microphone
Those of you who are fans of open source or free software might notice that Podcast Factory ships with two free products: Audacity and Podifier. The beauty of using these products is that they’re available for both the Mac and the PC, as is Ableton Live Lite, the music editing and composition software included in the package. So whether you’re running Windows or OS X, M-Audio has you covered (see Figure 3). Now let’s take a closer look at some of the software bundled with Podcast Factory.
Figure 3 The Podcast Factory Fast Track device