Saturday, 9 February 2008

Apple know their onions: shameless promotion for Podcast Producer

I recently had the pleasure of attending a presentation by a couple of guys from Apple on their Podcast Producer. It's a very nifty tool which takes full advantage of all the great products that come with a Mac (and I love Macs) like GarageBand and enables you to produce and publish a podcast in minutes.

It's easy enough to create a low-tech podcast, but publishing is a bit more difficult, and Podcast Producer has a simple interface for getting around all the fiddly bits. The only down side is that you need a Mac OS X Leopard server to use it.

Apple are really hot on the educational possibilities of podcasting, and work closely with US Universities including MIT and Stanford, to examine the learning possibilities of podcasts. They've developed the iTunes U, accessible from the iTunes store, where you can access 30,000 video and audio files. Easy access learning from top institutions? Go Apple!! (whoops, lapsed into American there :-)

For me, podcasts have been a godsend, and I've now developed quite a vocabularly in Spanish, having been listening to the fantastic Coffee Break Spanish podcast on my commute.

The guy who produces it, Mark Pendleton, was described as a podcast guru by the Apple guys. He started small, but has a phenomenal number of downloads from around the world. It just shows what a powerful medium for learning podcasts can be.
I'm also learning more about photography techniques with the Tips from the Top Floor podcasts - a combination of audio and video casting, which has improved my pictures no end.

From a personal perspective, I think podcasts are the learning tools of the future - another fantastic addition to the e-learning possibilties already available, making anytime anywhere learning a reality and catering from those of us who have an auditory learning style.

All we need now is to persuade those pesky purse string holders to fork out for a Mac and a Leopard server and we're off...

3 comments:

Rufus said...

Hi Helen,
I've been podcasting a career advice show for a couple of years, totalpicture.com - I use a Mac with a DigiDesign MBox -- I also use quite a bit of gear to get a good quality interview over the phone. I've been using an inexpensive podcast publishing tool called Podcast Maker which has a number of very useful tools. I recommend this to anyone using a Mac.
Best,
Peter Clayton
Total Picture Radio

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