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Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Podcasting on the Lenovo ThinkPads

Now that the EVSC high schools have a new 1:1 device, it’s an excellent time to see what it can do. One popular classroom activity is podcasting in which students record their voices and publish them to the web. There are a lot of great podcasting tools and solutions. Knowing which is the right fit for your device and how to get everything in place for success requires some planning.

The instructions below are a roadmap for one way to successfully create podcasts using the tools that already exist on your students’ Lenovo ThinkPads. You can also download these instructions using this button:

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Step One- Open Audacity:

  1. Go to Your Windows Menu and open the Audacity Program.
  2. You will be prompted to Install a couple of programs. Make sure both are check marked and click Okay.

Pod 1

Step Two- Plug in Your Headphones and Select Them as Your Input Device:

  1. Plug in your USB headphones.
  2. Then, in the initial window for Audacity, find the Speaker and Mic drop-down menus and make sure that they both recognize your USB headset.Pod 2
  3. Try speaking into the Mic to see if your voice registers in the program. If not, check to make sure the volume is up on your microphone and the mute is not on.Pod 3

Step Three- Record:

  1. To record, press the button with the red circle.
  2. Wait a second before speaking. Then, speak at a pace just slightly slower than your natural pace. Be sure to speak at a natural level. Also, be sure to enunciate clearly.
  3. Do not touch the microphone or move too much during recording. The goal is to get the cleanest audio possible.
  4. If you mess up, keep recording, pause for 3 seconds, then resume speaking at the beginning of the sentence that you messed up in. You will be able to go back and edit the mess up out later.
  5. When you are finished recording, wait 3 seconds, then click the button with the yellow square.Pod 4

Step Four- Edit:

  1. You can edit parts of your recording out by clicking and dragging to select the portion of the track that you want to remove and then either hitting the delete button on your keyboard or clicking the cut button in the program. Pod5
  2. Trim your recording at the beginning and the end to avoid wasted space.
  3. If your voice isn’t loud enough, you can up the volume digitally in the left-hand audio track sidebar. Pod6
  4. If your teacher wants you to add music under your voice to give it that authentic podcasting flavor, you can locate an appropriate track and import it by going to the file menu, clicking Import> Audio…, and then browsing for your audio track: Pod7 Pod 8
  5. Use the editing features to fit your new audio track to the podcast. You will likely need to lower the volume of the music track so that it doesn’t prevent the listener from understanding the spoken track.
  6. Be sure to be a good digital citizen and only use music that is licensed for re-use, and be sure to give verbal credit to the creator of the music when required. There are lots of websites that feature free-to-use music and sounds licensed under Creative Commons licenses. It is your responsibility to know what is required to use them.

Step Five- Save and Export:

  1. Save your project file first by going to the File menu and clicking Save or Save As… NOTE: This save saves the project that you are working on. It saves as a .aup file. This is not how you save the final product which will be a .mp3 file.Pod9
  2. To export the final product (.mp3) file, select Export under the File menu. Then under the Save as type menu, select MP3 Files. Pay attention to where you are saving the file. I recommend that you save it to your Desktop initially. Then click Save.Pod10
  3. Next you will be prompted to fill in Metadata about your project. This is not required, but it is a good idea:Pod11
  4. If you need to give credit for an audio track, you can do so in the comments section of the metadata. You still need to give verbal credit as well in some cases.
  5. Once you hit OK, you may be prompted to complete a one-time procedure to attach your Audacity program to a LAME.dll file. If you are, this is what you do:
  6. Click Browse:Pod12
  7. Then open Libraries, and then Documents:
  8. Select Resources File and Open:Pod 16
  9. Then select the lame_enc.dll file and click Open:Pod14
  10. Finally, Click Okay:Pod15
  11. At that point your product file (.MP3) should be located where you chose to save it. Look for an Orange Cone Icon with the name you assigned to the file:

Need More Help?

Feel free to request PD from the ICATS or contact Tim Wilhelmus for podcasting support.

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