Although Apple had nothing to do with the podcasting technology, the iPod and podcasting quickly became linked. With the advent of the iPod Video, podcasting entered a whole new level. Now, more than the usual audio broadcasts, aspiring film makers can also share their work with the world.
So how do you go about making your own video podcast? To make it easier on you, use a digital video camera. If you have an analog video camera, it is still possible to convert the footage to digital format but it adds another step to the process. So assuming you have a digital video camera, what do you do?
First, take great footage. Of course, making a film is not simply shooting. Create a concept and make it good. When you have finalized your ideas, it is time to shoot. When taking your shots, bear in mind your target media – the iPod. The small screen will not be able to display too many details so it is a good idea to get close when shooting. Do not use the wide-screen mode but use the standard mode instead. Optimize bandwidth and battery power by shooting several short segments instead of one full-length film. Edit! Small screen viewing will not show text clearly unless they are large enough. Also bear in mind that fast motion and high contrast might not show very clearly on the small screen.
Now that you have your video, it's time to compress it. This needs to be done so that the video will be optimized for web and iPod viewing. There are different ways you can do this. If you have a MAC, it’s no big deal. You can compress and export your video using iMovie HD6 simply by clicking the following: FILE>Export>iPod>Share. It's as easy as that – the software automatically converts the file and shares it on iTunes. For PC users, you can also use QuickTime Pro, version 7.0.3 or higher. Again, simply click Export > Using Quick Time Conversion. The resulting *.m4v file is the one you will upload to your web server. Other options are Sorenson Squeeze and Spasm Software's Podner.
Describe or tag your movie. This is very important as all the information you supply will be the basis of searching later on. This is how your movie can be found and singled out, out of all the video podcasts out there. If you’re using the latest iMovie version, all you need to do is drag the file onto iTunes and click the Info Tab. Then enter the necessary information. You can also change the filename. For PC users, create an XML document. Just change the details to suit your movie. When this is done, all you need to do it upload your file to your web server.
Now what? Distribute! Let people know that your video podcast exists. You can do this in a variety of ways. To reach as many people as possible, submit your podcast to iTunes. You can also provide a URL for your podcast by including it in your blog. First create an RSS feed feedburner.com is a good one) so that you can attach your video to your blog. Then create an entry in your blog and then place a link to your video. Of course, if you really want people to notice your work, you have to promote it. Go to websites such as podcastalley.com. Now wait for the world to discover the budding film maker in you.