Book review podcast: Todd Cochrane’s Podcasting

A few weeks ago, I received the copy of Podcasting: The Do It Yourself Guide by Todd Cochrane that I’d ordered from Amazon UK.

As a business podcaster myself and a regular listener to Todd’s podcast, Geek News Central, I wondered how Todd’s book on podcasting would address the topic.

Well, he’s done an excellent job in discussing a medium that’s too often shrouded in tech-speak in a way that almost anyone would be able to grasp and understand why podcasting has garnered so much attention by so many people in so short a time.

In deciding to post a concise review of it, I chose a way that fits perfectly with the subject matter of the book – as a podcast. So I’ve produced a 15-minute commentary in a 5.5Mb MP3 file.

If you subscribe to my RSS feed via FeedBurner, you should automatically get the MP3 file as an enclosure as I’ve set that up with their SmartCast service. If not, you can download it directly from here:

In my podcast review, I talk about the book’s five distinct sections which take you from cradle to grave, so to speak, helping you understand the basic concepts (“What exactly is a podcast and where do I find them?”), how to get started yourself with minimal outlay – buying a good microphone is likely to be your only major expense to start out – and how to actually record, produce and publish your podcast.

I think much of the real value from this book comes from Todd’s analyses, explanations and recommendations on things like the software and hardware you might need. For example, he provides clear guidance on how to set up and configure Audacity, one of the popular recording applications (open source and free) used by many podcasters where it’s not too easy to figure it out for yourself. There are sections on copyright, comparisons between some of the popular weblog services where you might publish your podcast, and simple explanations of RSS (the delivery mechanism of podcasts) and how to create an RSS feed for your podcast. And much more in its nearly 300 pages.

As the first book of its type on the market, Todd has clearly got an early-mover advantage. Whether first or not, it’s a terrific book and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about this explosive new communication medium, especially if you want to dip your toe into the water.

Podcasting: The Do It Yourself Guide
Publisher: Wiley Publishing, Inc.
ISBN: 0-7645-9778-7
Publish date (UK): 17 June 2005.