Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

How hard can it be? - Setting up a new podcast has many pitfalls and promises

Published by Jon Waldock

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Earlier this year the opportunity arose to become one of the commentators at the 24 hour 2CV event at Snetterton and after recovering from what was an exhausting weekend I realised that I enjoyed doing things with audio; whether commentating on a pit stop, explaining race procedure or playing jingles, I had fun doing it all. Since I have been a long time Sidepodcast listener/commenter the next step seemed obvious - a podcast. I mentioned this idea on my blog and it got a great response and I was even pointed in the way of a podcasting kit.

"How hard can it be?" I asked myself. The answer was very.

I’d settled on the topic quite easily as there’s only one subject I know a lot about and would feel comfortable talking about knowledgeably; junior formulae, and so ‘The Feeder Series’ was created. My podcasting kit arrived with mixer, microphone, headphones and various bits of software. In reality all you need is a microphone and to download Audacity, but as I knew I would need other inputs in the future, I went for the whole kit.

Once I had started playing about with the software and hardware it dawned on me what I had let myself in for. Firstly, I discovered that I don’t read out loud very well and as such the first episode, which was only 6 minutes long, took a good few hours to get right. However it does take time and you can’t expect to be producing professionally sounding recordings first time unless of course you do that kind of thing for a living.

After feedback from the comments I made some changes to the hardware settings and to how I was speaking as well. The thing I have found most hard is trying not to sound monotone and like I’m just reading from a script, but these things don’t happen quickly, and so patience is the key with such a project.

Once I’d finished my first episode I had to find a host. Currently my podcast is hosted by 2 different sites - Podbean hosts my website downloads and RSS subscriptions, whilst my iTunes downloads and subscriptions are hosted by Podcast Machine. It may seem odd to do it that way and I hadn’t planned to do it like that, but as Podcast Machine do not offer a podcast website (but do have the best free bandwidth and storage package), Podbean was the next option.

Now that I’ve got the hang of the equipment I can start to grow the listener base of the podcast; through social networking, setting up interviews with drivers and through word of mouth. Whilst still in its infancy, the podcast is growing and although I might not be on the iTunes top 20 yet, it’s something that I can say I’ve made, that serves a purpose, and that ultimately is fun to do.