Technical Details

June 7, 2018

I occasionally have people ask what I use to produce my podcast.  I’m not an expert on the recording stuff, but I’ve done a lot of research.  On the web stuff I have a good bit of experience building websites so I can speak more to that side of things.

Audio

A good mic is essential to good sound quality.  Anything is better than the mic from your phone or laptop, but preferably something better than that.  Quality microphones are getting cheaper and cheaper as podcasting becomes more common.  I use the MXL 770 condenser mic and I love it.

A decent audio interface is also essential if you are using a condenser mic.  I’m using a cheap Behringer U-PHORIA UMC202HD and have had no problems at all with it.  I’m sure it’s a reverse engineered product stolen from another company, but beggars can’t be choosers.

For editing software, I’m using Reaper.  It’s fantastic and cheap.  Try it for free.  You can also use the open source software Audacity, but I found the UI clunky and limited.  Trust me on using Reaper.

Website

I use WordPress to power my site, hosted on Rochen webhosting.  I’ve used MANY webhosts over the years, and find Rochen to be the best in service and support.  For the podcasting feed, I use a plugin called PowerPress for that.  It generates the podcast feed, player, and other things podcast related.  I use Amazon S3 cloud storage to store the actual mp3 files.  It makes the most sense to store your media on a solution like Amazon S3 because your hosting provider caps your storage limit, and the space you are given is expensive when you do the math.  Amazon is dirt cheap, and extremely fast.

There is a small learning curve with S3, but there are lots of great help articles out there on how to get it going.

Stats From S3Stat

This is one of the hardest parts to work out.  You can use a web-based service to capture stats, but the setup with those services is complicated.  I don’t know how non-tech people manage it.

I discovered a fantastic service called S3Stat.  It only works for Amazon S3 users, so you will need that first.  S3stat analyzes your Amazon logs and parses out the download stats.  It provides you with charts and tables breaking down your stats nicely.  I can see each file, how many downloads, where they come from, when, etc.  Since this is reading statistics at the file level, it captures all downloads of that podcast from anywhere.  No more looking at iTunes, Goggle Play, website, etc and trying to put it all together.  I can see it all in one place.

I can’t recommend Amazon S3, along with S3stat enough.

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