Click here to see what local podcasters were up to in 2023!
Do you have a story to tell? Or opinions to share? Are you passionate about a particular topic or have experiences to discuss? Would you like to interview people to learn more about a certain subject?
Maybe you should consider creating a podcast!
What is a podcast?
Podcasts are digital voice (and sometimes video) recordings that can be as short as a few minutes or as long as a couple of hours. They are very similar to a pre-recorded radio program and are generally centered around a theme or topic. They are published as episodes, on a daily, weekly or other regular schedule and may have multiple speakers and/or interviewees. If you have a passion you’d like to share, podcasting can be a great way to get your ideas out there!
If you are new to podcasting, we recommend you take a look at:
Buzzsprout’s How to Start a Podcast step-by-step guide
Podcast Guide – Getting Started
Podcast Guide – Recording with the Zoom Podtrak P4
Podcast Guide – Recording with GarageBand One Mic
Podcast Guide – Recording with GarageBand Two Mics
To start your own podcast, speak to our staff to:
- book a session in the Gallery Room to record your podcast
- select which podcasting equipment you would like to use
- learn how to create a podcast and have your first episode ready to record
- learn how to edit your podcast for broadcast
- check the Frequently Asked Questions section for answers to common questions
The sections on this page will help you learn what is involved in producing a podcast, how to book our Gallery Room and what types of equipment we have available for you to use.
To book the Gallery Room for a recording session:
Speak to the staff at the iConnect desk on the 2nd floor of the library. They will assist with your Gallery Room reservation and make sure that the equipment you need will be available for your session. You may also call 604-527-4665 to reserve the room and equipment.
The Gallery Room can be booked 4 weeks in advance, for a maximum of 2 two-hour bookings. If you require additional time, this is provided on a case-by-case basis, depending on availability.
The following equipment is available for use in-library. Speak to our iConnect staff for more information about how to borrow.
- MacBook Pro with GarageBand
- 3 Samson Q2U XLR/USB microphones
- 4 Audio-Technica ATH-M20X headphones
- 1 Zoom PodTrak P4 portable recorder (4 mic max)
- Pop screens, boom arm, and shock mount
- GarageBand on our MacBooks
- Audacity on the Creation Stations
- Adobe Audition (can be downloaded to our MacBooks)
How much help can I expect from staff?
Please note that technical support during your recording and editing sessions is limited and staff are only able to answer very basic questions. It is expected that you will take time to learn how to use the equipment and the software needed for your project.
If you require further assistance, we recommend you look at the resources listed below.
LinkedIn Learning Courses (requires NWPL library card)
- What is a podcast? (Garrick Chow)
- GarageBand: Podcasting (Garrick Chow)
- Producing Podcasts (Dannie Ozment)
- Producing Professional Podcasts (Richard Harrington)
- How to Start a Podcast (Buzzsprout)
- How to Start a Podcast Step-By-Step
- How to Start and Grow Your Podcast
- How to record a Zoom podcast in higher quality
- How to record a podcast on the Zoom PodTrak P4 recorder
- How to record a podcast on Zoom (Best Settings)
Do I have to have a library card to borrow equipment? Why?
Yes you will need a Library card. We need to check equipment out to you so that it is reserved for your use during your session
What do I have to bring with me in order to borrow podcasting equipment?
If you are recording on one of our computers, you will need to have either a USB Flash Drive or a cloud storage account (like iCloud or Google Drive). We are unable to have you save your files on any of our computers.
If you are using the Zoom Podtrak P4 recorder, you will need to bring an SD Data Card.
You will also need your library card!
Why can’t I see the podcasting equipment in the catalogue?
The podcast equipment is dedicated for podcasting sessions and is used in conjunction with a room booking, we require that you speak to staff at the desk to discuss your equipment needs. This way we can be sure you get what you need for the recording you are planning.
Can I make a video podcast?
The initial service implementation phase will provide only for voice recording podcasts and not for video podcasting. We will review options for video recordings once we have ensured that the recording space is working well for its intended purpose.
Do I have to use the equipment inside the Library?
Yes. For the initial launch of this service, we require that people use our equipment in-library only.
Is the Gallery Room fully soundproof for recording?
We have made some significant changes to the Gallery Room to accommodate voice recording for the production of podcasts. However, the room is not as soundproof as a professional studio. We ask that podcasters also be aware of environmental noises and be prepared to accommodate those. The Gallery Room is surrounded by other public spaces that may from time to time produce some noise but overall the room is very quiet.
How often can I book the Gallery Room for and for how long?
The Gallery Room can be booked as follows:
- 2 sessions per calendar month
- 2 hours per session, with extensions depending on availability and staff discretion
- booked a maximum of 4 weeks in advance
- any additional time will be reviewed on a case by case basis
Can I use the podcasting equipment without booking the Gallery Room?
In the initial phases of this new service, all podcasting equipment is for in-library use only. If you are recording with our equipment we will expect that you have a Gallery Room booking as well. An exception to this is if you are editing material you have already recorded. You might use our MacBook Air to edit or one of our Creation Stations and not require the Gallery Room. Please speak to iConnect staff to discuss your needs.
How much storage space will my podcast recordings take up?
The basic voice recording that we recommend is done at 16 bits / 44.1 kHz. For each track (each speaker) you will need 5MB of storage for each minute. Some examples shown below will give you an idea of what type of storage you will need:
2 speakers recording for 1 hour will require 600MB (.6 of a GB) If you are creating an 8-part podcast with 2 speakers doing 1-1.5 hours each session, you may want to purchase a 20GB USB flash drive or make sure you have sufficient cloud storage.
I forgot to bring a USB stick or SD Card for storing my files
If a customer has come to record their podcast and they do not have a USB stick with them or other storage device. They can do one of the following:
- Save their files to a cloud-based backup account
- Email the files to themselves if they are not too large
- Borrow our SD Card (if using the Zoom Podtrak recorder) and then transfer the files to email or a USB afterwards
- Buy one of our USB sticks to store their files on
How long will it take to edit my podcast recordings?
For every hour of voice recording you will need approximately 2-4 hours for editing, depending on your experience.
Can I use the Creation Stations to edit my podcast?
Yes if you have your sound files exported from the software they were recorded in you can import the sound files into either Adobe Audition or Audacity on the Creation Stations.
Can I download my preferred editing software to the Creation Stations?
The Creation Stations do not permit downloads of any apps or programs.
Why are you using the Gallery Room for podcasting?
We understand that meeting space is hard to come by and in high demand. We required a smaller, cost-effective space solution to accommodate our new Podcasting service. For the initial phase of implementation we will be reviewing the impact of additional bookings due to podcasting and will continue to evaluate meeting space use to meet the changing needs of our community.
What kind of help can we expect from staff?
Staff assistance is limited to helping the customer by providing the information in our Getting Started Guides. Customers are expected to know how to use the podcasting software and equipment and those requiring additional assistance will be directed to the resources outlined on this podcasting webpage. Our monthly Podcasting Meetup is a great way to connect with others who are at different stages of learning where you can get advice and tips and how to optimize your own production.
Do you have podcasting programs?
Check our Events Calendar each month for upcoming podcast demonstrations, meet-ups and other related programming.
Have further questions about podcasting at NWPL? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-527-4665