I have been running an Xserve with podcast producer for some time now and love the intuitive nature of it. It can be a little tricky to set-up and you may require a system engineer, if you are unfamiliar with server setups. Once it’s going it seamlessly creates workflows for podcasts and can push them straight to a pre set-up class blog. Students literally walk out of the room and it’s on their device ready to watch! It takes all the work out of creating podcasts or screen casts. Before I started using this I would record audio with my iPhone transfer it to my MBP, into garageband and then finally uploaded to my web site. Time consuming to say the least.
I use the podcast capture app to run Podcast Producer, however, you can run it directly from a browser on any machine when it has been setup on a server running 10.6 Snow Leopard Server.
There are many ways to use this software, I have used it in the following ways:
- Recording in class discussions, student presentations, my keynotes, major theory components, introducing new themes, units, briefs, assessment tasks, learning activities, teaching software.
The great thing is if you are creating a new “lecture” based podcast you can use Apple’s GarageBand and push it directly to Podcast Producer via the share menu.
Setting up the work flow with Podcast Composer. This comes with Podcast Producer package.
First you need to set up your workflow for the Podcast Producer server with Podcast Composer. Podcast Composer guides you through the various stages. In the information step, you input workflow name, author and description. It’s a good idea to name your workflow specifically for the class, i.e. Art workflow. This will give the podcasts a consistent look and feel. Give a detailed description as this will eventually be used in the RSS feed or in iTunes.
Dual Source: This fantastic if you are using keynote and want to record the presentation, it gives you various options to include a pre set-up camera or the isight of your MAC.
Montage: Allows you to input and it creates a quicktime movie of the keynote or document. Documents that can be used are PDF, Word, PowerPoint, Pages, Keynote, image, and movie documents, which can be rendered by Quick Looks.
Edit allows you to place a front end video and title and also back end credits for you podcast. This is really useful in creating a consistent feel for your content for a single class or department. You can also create your own custom titles if you prefer. The provided ones are pretty slick.
Publish: As I run a wiki server it goes directly to my Apple wiki. You can choose other options: Podcast library, Apple wiki, File transfer, Folder or Workflow. If you have set up a webDAV the file transfer options is also handy as the media is accessible on any device or computer.
Notify: You can notify your students regarding the new podcast that has been produced. It is a totally automated program and can be sent via email or using iChat.
Thats it! The workflow takes some setting up but once they are complete you don’t have to worry about creating them again, just select your workflow once you log into Podcast Producer.