MF 270 : More on editing, compressing your files and artwork
Updated: Apr 14
On this bonus episode, we cover more on editing, compressing your files and creating podcast artwork. More at www.bemovingforward.com.
More on editing
The past few weeks, we’ve covered a lot about editing and it’s a lot to digest so let’s put the pieces together. A few episodes ago, I talked about editing two sides of a conversation for interview podcasts using a program like Ecamm. Skype’s native recording feature doesn’t allow you to split the sides so my suggestion if you’re using that is to be mindful when recording. If a huge interruption or sound artifact occurs, simply stop the interview and ask the guest to repeat the last part. You may want to repeat the last question to help prompt him or her. From there, you can splice and edit later. Don’t do this for minor sound artifacts. You don’t need perfection as long as the substance of the conversation comes through and is clear. Save this only for those extreme situations, in which there is a really big interruption or a dropped call – fortunately, this doesn’t happen often.
Storage plans: keeping the math simple
When you sign up for a host service provider like Libsyn, each month you will get a storage allowance – eg 50 MB or 150 MB depending on the plan you have for that month. You can vary this from month-to-month as your needs change. Reminder: keep the math simple using a 1 min : 1 MB ratio. So, for 50 MB you have approximately 50 minutes of storage for that month; meaning you can have any combination of 50 minutes:
One 50 minute episode
Two 25 minute episodes
Five 10 minute episodes
Since Libsyn allows you to schedule episodes when you want to release them, you can pre-populate the episodes ahead of time and according to your release schedule. Back when I did interviews, I typically used the 150 or 200 MB plan which would allow me to record, upload and schedule out 2-3 months worth of episodes in advance. The following month, I might reduce that down to 5 MB since I had enough content scheduled. To keep the 1 min : 1 MB ratio, I recommend that you export your files to 128 KBPS. When I export my files from GarageBand, they’re typically a little bigger (eg 50 MB for a 20-minute episode). So, I take the file and plop it into iTunes (now Apple podcasts), set the export rate to 128 KBPS (“good”) and export it.
On iTunes, I can also add a title, episode blurb and even add artwork.
Certain platforms like Adobe may allow you to set your export rate – I’m not sure. If not, running the file through iTunes, and exporting a final file will help keep you to the storage to minute ratio. If you’re using a service with unlimited storage, then you won’t have to worry about the storage math.
Artwork: big but small
Your podcast artwork is often the first impression that a new listener will have when they find your show on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. For Apple podcasts, your artwork has to be a square that is at minimum 1400 x 1400 pixels which is huge. You can hire an artist to create your podcast artwork or create it yourself using a platform like Canva.
A few key tips:
Keep the title and wording visible. Even though the logo resolution is huge, most will see it on their phones so make it legible and readable when viewed as the size of the postage stamp.
Most podcast storage platforms like Libsyn have a section where you can upload your artwork and set it the default. You can also change it up as needed, just be aware that it counts against your storage queue.
iTunes (now Apple podcasts) also allows you to tag individual files with the logo. I do this in case someone wants to download the file as it presents it as a branded file with the logo rather than a blank one. You don’t have to do this but if you do, I recommend create a version of the logo that’s smaller (and hence less space) than the full size version to tag your files since that adds to the file size.
For more on podcast artwork, check out my LinkedIn article.
Try out Libsyn for free with promo code: CAST
If you’re interested in trying out Libsyn, I am an affiliate. Go to Libsyn.com, pick a plan and use promo code: CAST to get your sign-up month plus the following month to try it out for free [Note: you cannot change your plan during the trial otherwise the billing will kick in so pick a plan with enough storage to try it out and if you decide to stick with it, you can adjust to a plan that suits your show’s needs going forward right before your free trial ends].
Episode 271 will air on Monday, Dec. 23rd and the season finale, episode 272, will air on Monday, Dec. 30th.
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