Introduction to Podcasting: Using Audacity to Record Sound

Purpose

A podcast is a digital media file that can be distributed via RSS feeds. It could be an 'audio' file or a 'video' file. In this tutorial, we focus on creating an 'audio' file by using Audacity. You will learn how to upload the audio file to your blog.

In this tutorial sheet you will learn how to:

  1. Install Audacity
  2. Use Audacity to Record Sound
  3. Post your MP3 File to your Blog

Software Needed

Web Browser

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills

Before completing this tutorial please make sure that you have completed the FTP tutorial and Edublog tutorial.

Overview

 

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Lesson 1: Installing Audacity

Audacity is free, open source software that can record and edit sounds. Audacity allows you to record live audio, convert tapes into digital recordings, and edit sound files. For the purposes of this course we have saved the Lame Encoder in Sessions > Resources folder in ANGEL. For instructions on how to access this file outside of ANGEL after the course is over please be sure to read the side box next to Activity 2.

 


 

Activity 1: Getting Started

  1. Type http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ in your web browser.



  2. Download Audacity 1.2.6 installer for Microsoft Windows.



  3. Click Run on the File Download Window.



  4. Once the program is installed go to Programs> Audacity to open the program .




 


mouse

Info
To access the Lame Encoder outside of Angel visit http://audacity.sourceforge.
net
and click on Lame MP3 encoder under Optional Downloads.

Follow the instructions on the Audacity website.

 

Activity 2: Installing LAME

  1. In order to export your audio file to MP3, you need to install a file called LAME. Go to Sessions > Resources and click on the Audacity/ Lame Drivers folder.

    Download LAME from Angel screenshot

  2. Click on the folder that designates your operating system.

    Choose Operating System Screenshot

    The next set of instructions are for the PC Users. If you are a Mac user please skip down to number 6.

  3. Click on the PC driver link. You should see a link to a file called lame_enc.dll.

  4. To download the file to your own computer, right-click the location link and select "Save Target As" or "Save Link As" from the pop-up menu.

    Save Lame Encoder Screenshot

  5. When the Save As Dialog box appears be sure to remember where you save the Lame Encoder file because you will need to access it later and then click on Save.

    The next set of instructions are for Mac users. PC users can skip to the next activity.

  6. There is a separate driver for Intel Macs and for Non-Intel Macs. Therefore we have written two sets of instructions.

    Intel Macs
  • Click on the folder that says Intel Mac 1.2.6 or higher
  • Click on the Intel Mac Driver link. Save the file libmp3lame.dylib to your Audacity folder. (This is the folder that you would go to to open Audacity. When you installed Audacity it would have automatically saved it to your desktop. )


this is a view of the folders
Macs 1.2.6 or lower (Not Intel)

  • Click on the folder that says Mac 1.2.6 or lower
  • Click on the Mac Driver link. Save the file LameLib to your Audacity folder. (This is the folder that you would go to to open Audacity. When you installed Audacity it would have automatically saved it to your desktop. )
    image of folder

 


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Lesson 2: Using Audacity to Record Sound

Audacity allows you to record and edit sound.You will need a microphone (either internal or external) to record your voice. For better sound quality it is best to use an external microphone. In this lesson you will learn how to record your voice using Audacity. Audacity can cut, copy, splice, and mix sounds together. Due to the copyright laws it is not acceptable to use audio files you obtain from audio CD's or music downloads. There are royalty free music sites such as Jamendo where you can obtain music to be used in your podcast. For your assignment in this class you will only need to create a voice recording for your podcast.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Info
If you did not save the Lame Encoder to your computer please go back to Lesson 1 Activity 2 for instructions on how to do this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Info
An MP3 file contains information about the title, artist, album, etc. This information is stored in what is called ID3 tags. iTunes and Windows Media Player use these tags to organize your MP3s.

It is important to use these tags so that your listeners will have access to this information once they download onto their MP3 player.

 

 

Activity 1: Recording Sound

  1. Plug in your microphone and make sure that it is recognized. (For Windows users, go to "control panel," click on "sounds and audio devices" and look under "sound recording." in the "audio" folder. Your microphone should already be recognized in the drop down menu. If not, you may have to install your microphone by following the prompts listed and testing your microphone. Mac users need to click on the apple icon in the main menu once their mic is plugged in. Select System Preferences. In the section labeled hardware click on the sound icon. In the sound window click on the third tab on the right labeled Input. You should see the name of your mic listed here. Click on the name of the mic. You can test it by talking into your mic and then you should see the input level increase.

  2. Click on the Red circle (RECORD) on the toolbar to start recording.



  3. When you are finished click on Yellow square (STOP) on the toolbar (or the spacebar) to stop recording.



  4. To save the file, go to File> Save Project As.



  5. Most podcasts are distributed as MP3's so in order to set up your podcast, you need to export your file as an MP3 file. Go to File> Export As MP3.



  6. An Export MP3 message will pop up, when you export your file to MP3 for the first time. Audacity will prompt you to browse for the LAME file you've installed. Click Yes and browse for your LAME file.



  7. Click lame_enc.dll and Open.



  8. You can create the ID 3 tags for your MP3 file. See the side box for a more complete explanation of these tags.



  9. Save your MP3 file in your designated "podcast" folder.


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Lesson 3: Posting an MP3 File to your Blog

Basically there are two ways to post your MP3 file to your blog depending on the size of your file. There is a 25 MB storage limit on Edublogs. If your file size is smaller than 25 MB, you can upload it in Edublogs and insert a link. The file will be stored on Edublogs server. Activity 1 shows you how to do it. If your file is larger than 25 MB, you need to upload your MP3 file to a remote server first. Posting an MP3 file is the same as posting a webpage or document to your AFS space. Activities 2 and 3 will show you how to upload a file to your AFS space and insert a link to the file in Edublogs. Be sure to complete the FTP tutorial before you go through this lesson.

 

Activity 1: Posting an MP3 File smaller than 25MB

  1. Log in to your Edublogs account.



  2. You need to create a new category where you can post your podcasting. Go to Manage> Categories. Click "add new".



  3. Set up a new category.



  4. Go to Write> Post. Create a title for your post. Make sure to check on "Podcast" category below the post text box.



  5. To upload the audio file, click on the Add Audio icon.



  6. You will see a new window like the one below. Click on Choose File to Upload button or click on the Browse Uploader link.



  7. You will see the following screen.   Click Browse, choose your mp3 file and click Upload. It may take a few minutes to upload. The indicator at the bottom will be working.
  8. Blog Post Upload Window

  9. Then you will see the following.  The MP3 file is listed. You will want to change the title. You can also add a caption and description. When you are finished click on the Insert to Post button.
  10. Uploading Audio File

  11. You will see the title of your MP3 file underlined. Click Publish.

  12. Go to View site and click on the link to check whether your MP3 file has been uploaded or not.



 

Info

If your MP3 file won't transfer, make sure the file is closed.

 

Activity 2: Uploading an MP3 File larger than 25MB into AFS


In this section we are presenting two methods for uploading your mp3 file to your AFS space. We have listed directions for uploading your file using Internet Explorer 6.0 and Filezilla. If you are using a different program or even a different version of Internet Explorer, then the directions will be different.

 

I. Using Internet Explorer Ver. 6.0

  1. Type ftp://YOURUSERNAME@afs.msu.edu in your web browser. For example, if your user name is Sparty, type ftp://Sparty@afs.msu.edu.

  2. In the Log On As window, type in your password and click Log On.

  3. Go to the folder named "web" and create a new folder (ex. Podcasts).


  4. Open the folder where you saved the MP3 file and drag the file into the folder in your AFS space. Don't forget the address of this file:

    http://www.msu.edu/~msuid/Podcasts/filename.mp3

    You will need it to create a link in your blog.



  5. To close the AFS, go to File> Close.

II. Using FileZilla

  1. Go to Start> FileZilla. Enter the following information and click Quickconnect:

    Address: afs.msu.edu
    User: msu id
    Password: msu password



  2. Locate your MP3 file in the Local Site.



  3. In the Remote Site, double-click on your "web" folder. Once you are inside the "web" folder, right-click and select Create Directory. It will allow you to create a sub folder in the "web" folder. Name the new folder "Podcasts".



  4. To upload your MP3 to the Remote Site, just drag and drop your MP3 file from the Local Site into the "Podcasts" folder in the Remote Site. You will be able to see the MP3 file in your Remote Site once the uploading process is completed. Don't forget the address of this file:

    http://www.msu.edu/~msuid/Podcasts/filename.mp3

    The URL address is case-sensitive so make sure to use the uppercase letter "P" in your "Podcasts" folder. You will need this address to create a link in your blog.



 

Activity 3: Creating a Link in Edublogs to your MP3 File in your AFS Space

  1. Log in to your Edublogs account.



  2. You need to create a new category where you can post your podcasting. Go to Manage> Categories. Click "add new".



  3. Set up a new category.



  4. Go to Write> Post. Create a title for your post. Make sure to check on "Podcast" category below the post text box.



  5. In the Post text box type in the text that you want to make as a link to your podcast. Highlight the text and click on the Link icon which resembles a chain link. Type in the MP3 file's URL in the Link URL box. Click Insert. Then click Publish.



  6. Go to View site and click on the link to check whether your MP3 file has been uploaded or not.

    View link in site

 

 
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Wrap Up:

Podcasting can be used in multiple ways. You can record your lesson and post it on your blog so that students can listen to it after school. You can also use it as an oral presentation tool. For more tips please check out the following clip.