I would like to impress my grandchildren by learning how to start a podcast! I’ve already impressed them with learning Zoom for our virtual visits during this time of sheltering in place. It came to me to start telling them our family history and my own as well. We share many stories and laughs. Our calls have become something that we all look forward to and I find myself writing down notes about stories I remember my grandparents telling me. Now the kids are teasing me about making a podcast so that the stories can be shared in my voice with the cousins. I’d like to surprise them by figuring out how to document the family history!

Can you help?

Samuel

 

Hi Samuel, 

Kudos to you for connecting with your grandchildren! Podcasting has become modern storytelling and, as you have found, a form of social connection. It’s a throwback to the first radio shows, but instead of having to cluster around the radio at a designated time, we download audio files of podcast episodes on our iPhones or Android phones and take them with us. It is another way that history repeats itself.

There are a variety of podcast apps (many of which are used to play music) like iTunes, Google Play or Spotify. It doesn’t matter if you have an Apple, iPad or other computer; you can Google what is trending and always find new podcast information. You have a choice of podcast players to download such as the standard free Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts and others which have specialized features like Pocket Casts (owned by public radio producers), Castbox, Overcast or Stitcher. 

Once you find the best podcast apps, consider investing in a smart speaker (Alexa, Amazon Echo or another brand) so you can listen to high audio quality and use it for recording. One insider tip is when you start to record your own podcast, try doing it in a large closet to achieve better sound quality. Podcast hosting can be fun as you go step by step through the creative process of finding a podcast name, cover art, intro and outro music.

As a true podcaster, consider making show notes for your first episode. Maybe recruit one of your family as a co-host to liven up the storytelling and get real-time laughs recorded. 

Start simple with the recording software through Skype or Soundcloud and progress from there. If you have an Apple iOS computer you can use Garageband or Audacity. Afterwards, try more advanced audio editing software such as Adobe Audition, Buzzsprout, Libsyn or Anchor to cut out those little stumbles in your storytelling. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the technical skill: you can look to Fiverr to hire some virtual help. There are a few other items you will need: headphones, USB microphones, pop filters and other recording equipment. Most of these can be purchased on retail sites such as Audio-Technica or even Amazon.

You may want to reach out to extended family using social media and tell them all about hosting your new podcast (but don’t give everything away). Eventually you can add a blog or make your own website to post a playlist of latest episodes and old pictures that the family can swipe through. Give them an option of hitting the play button, choosing a playback speed and subscribing to your podcast right in your blog. There are even ways to allow them to download episodes to their smartphone and take their favorite podcasts with them.

We have no doubt you will dazzle your grandchildren and extended family with your modern day storytelling. Be careful not to become a podcast addict!

Best of luck,

The Amava Team

 

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