Since Version 4. 9,
i Tunes has treated podcasts just like content
from the big boys.
Producing TV shows on the cheap. By Howard Wen
Video podcasting is easy; it’s just like audio podcasting, but you point your RSS feed to video files
instead of audio. (To learn about RSS feeds, see
“Podcasting 101” in MAKE Volume 02, page 86.)
For example, in the <enclosure> tag, you point to a
Quick Time MOV file and list type=”video/quicktime”
instead of pointing to an MP3 and listing it as
type=”audio/mpeg”. And that’s it; that’s why it’s
called Real Simple Syndication.
The hard-but-fun part is making the video itself.
Here are my suggested tools and tips for making
video for podcasts on a budget.
For shooting, I recommend MiniDV cameras,
which have fast and easy Fire Wire download
interfaces. A basic model costs less than $400.
Mac software: All you need is iMovie HD, part of
Apple’s iLife suite ( apple.com/ilife, $79). It transfers video from the camera, lets you do simple
editing, and exports as Quick Time.
Windows software: Download with WinDV
( windv.mourek.cz, free), edit as AVI in VirtualDub
( virtualdub.org, free), and convert to MPEG- 4 with
PSP Video 9 ( pspvideo9.com, free). Or download,
edit, and save as Quick Time using the Windows
version of Quick Time Pro ( quicktime.com, $30).
Apps like Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, Vegas,
and Liquid Edition also do all of the above.
To minimize file sizes, try a few compression
settings and compare the results. The most important ones are bit rate, sound quality, and image
resolution. 320x240 or 240x180 are best, so shoot
everything simple, clear, and high-contrast.
Save in Quick Time format if you can. In my
experience, Quick Time files are smaller and
better-looking than MPEG- 4 and MPEG- 1, the
other two video formats that i Tunes supports.
Whether or not you’re already a podcaster, you
can make your TV-producer dreams come true.