I’ve been getting a few emails and messages since the first episode of Métis In Space dropped asking questions about how to podcast, so I thought I’d do a quick write up on this whole thing. Before I get to that though, here is the plug for Episode 2!
In the second episode of otipêyimsiw-iskwêwak kihci-kîsikohk (Métis in Space) Molly and Chelsea review Season 2 Episode 16 of Quantum Leap, “Freedom,” where “As an American Indian, Sam escapes from jail to get his grandfather back to the reservation so he can die at home.”
Hit us up at metis.in.space[at]gmail[dot]com, Metis in Space on Facebook, or @Metis_In_Space on Twitter with review suggestions, feedback, gifts of wine, or hate mail.
How to do this podcasting thing
First off, and perhaps quite shockingly, we are not experts. In fact we are such rank amateurs that I really debated whether this post would actually be of use to ANYONE AT ALL.
But! There are great resources that we used, and somehow we managed to cobble together two (amazing) episodes. So why not share those resources with you?
First, we turned to the grand pappy of Indigenous podcasting. Actually I think Ryan McMahon is the same age as me so it’s more of a ‘trail-blazing’ grand pappiness rather than an ‘of an advanced age’ thing. If you don’t know (how do you not know?) about Ryan’s Red Man Laughing podcast then you need to become aware. There is a Red Man Laughing app you can download to get every episode delivered to your mobile device, you can listen on his website, or in iTunes!
Ryan is now on Season 4 of his podcast, with a whopping 50 something episodes out so far. Literally days of material that he has been putting out for years with amazing interviews, music, and discussions. Which in my opinion definitely qualifies him for that grand pappy title. Well that, and the launch of the amazing Indian and Cowboy Media Network!
Ryan recently put out an entire episode devoted to “How to Podcast” so this is where we went first, and if you are as new to podcasting as we are, it’s we suggest you go first too.
Then, ignoring all of Ryan’s advice about not spending too much money on a fancy microphone, we went out and spent too much money on a fancy microphone. It was about $150 from Indigo, but we looooooooooove this mic! It sounds absolutely amazing, it’s a USB mic so you just plug it in and set it up in a few clicks. Molly and I are nerdy, not technically savvy, so having a mic we don’t have to fiddle with or even understand, and that makes us sound semi-professional is pretty much the best thing ever.
Molly has a Mac (sucker), but had to instal and old version of Garage Band since apparently the new versions don’t have a podcast option. It is the 6.0.5 version. I have Audacity (it’s free!) installed so that is something we may use as well. Any recording software you are comfortable with should work just fine.
We don’t script our show, we just watch stuff and riff off it, so if you want something a little more polished, now might be the time to start writing yourself up a script or at least some guidelines for what you’ll hit in your show.
Copyright is an issue so despite the amazing soundtrack we would love to have on the show, we can’t afford it. I installed a free app called Beatwave, and made some cheesy space music on that which we ended up being pretty happy with.
Then I got a silly but very useful app called Voice Changer Plus to make our show intro sound, and our “Ask a môniyâw” intro. Seriously low budget, low tech stuff, very awesome.
Next thing we did was find a place to host the episodes, which are hovering around the hour mark each. We chose Soundcloud (at first just because it was free and easy to figure out). I might be able to host the episodes here on this website, but I’m honestly not sure I’ve got the bandwidth, so Soundcloud seemed like a good alternative. You only get 120 free minutes though, and we used up 52 of those in the first episode. Since we haven’t quite figured out where else to host it, we totally ignored Ryan’s advice again and laid down cash we don’t have for a year unlimited Soundcloud account.
It is important if you use Soundcloud to make sure you enable downloads, because a lot of people were asking for this function so they could listen to us while away from the internet. We haven’t seen that option being available when we first upload an episode, so we just go in after it’s uploaded and edit that. Seems to be a default to not allow downloads.
We got really stuck on how to get an RSS feed, which you need in order to get your show on iTunes (and many other platforms). iTunes doesn’t host your content, it’s not on some huge gazillion gigabyte server of there in Palo Alto (I don’t actually even know where that is) so you find a host, and then you get an RSS feed and go through the rigamarole of getting everything onto iTunes. We haven’t done that yet. It’s confusing and annoying. But it WILL happen. Eventually. Soundcloud has a Beta program we applied to which is supposed to hook you up with an RSS feed but they haven’t gotten back to us yet.
So we’re sort of stuck at that part, but not really worried about it yet. We’re two episodes in, we’ll be fine. I think it would be really easy to get caught up in all the technical aspects of podcasting, but we just really want to get the momentum going and try to get an episode out a week.
Basically we’re hoping that a whole whack of Indigenous people go out and start podcasting things. It’s so ridiculously simple that even we figure out how to do it without too many mishaps. It’s not super slick, but we’re not going for slick, we’re going for fun, interesting and sustainable.
Hope to hear your podcast soon!