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Thread: Live Podcasting

  1. #1
    Senior Member PaulSaunders's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Live Podcasting

    I am considering looking into doing my podcast live but need some suggestions on how to do it and if its worth the headache?

    I am looking to do a live show 3 days a week 1 hour each show. What are some of the benefits of doing the show live? What are some cons that you have experience. Is it better for me to do live video and audio or just start out with audio only.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Hey Paul, I have not done a lot of live shows, but that is fixin to change here shortly.
    Last edited by Dana; 11-15-2015 at 04:41 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Midwest U.S.
    Hi Paul,
    I've been broadcasting live since 2009, utilizing both live audio and video streams.
    There are some pros and cons of live streams and most of them depend on the content of your broadcast/podcast.

    1. Live setups require a bit more preparedness than pre-recorded. I'm guessing that you will, in addition to your live broadcast, want to record everything for posterity. That means you'll need to prepare your setup to handle both. It may be as simple as splitting the output to a recorder and your live stream encoder. However, things can become a little more complicated if you need to adjust the levels, or other aspects, of the audio going to one, or the other. When you couple live and recorded video with this things can become complicated very quickly.

    2. Determining the best location for your live broadcast can be a bit of a pain. The IAIB site is, of course, a good starting point when going over the options available. However, there are many available that aren't covered. The overall complication of this decision is based on what you ultimately want to do (video, audio, or both) and you may need to use multiple locations, as most only support one, or the other (video or audio). The selection of a location is, additionally, complicated by the selection of a free site, or a paid site. The advantages of each vary. Most free sites will want to insert ads, either pre-roll, or inline inserts. There are still some free sites that don't insert ads. Paid sites can be cumbersome, depending on their offerings and method of determining rates.

    3. Equipment considerations are something we all have to deal with. When broadcasting live video the main question you will want to consider is whether or not you need to provide return video to your guests, if you have remote guests. There are many ways of doing this, and most are semi-complicated and can cost hundreds of dollars, if not well planned.

    4. Bandwidth is an area that may determine what you can ultimately accomplish. I've found it best to consider the content of your program when determining what upstream bandwidth you can get away with, as acceptable for a live video, or audio, broadcast. If you have limited bandwidth, your decision may be made for you before you even begin your live broadcasts. Most think HD is the way to go. This might be true, depending on your show content. But, if the content is just 'talking heads' it probably is just a waste of bandwidth to go HD, which can consume a chunk of upstream bandwidth.

    5. Audio quality is another consideration that will depend on your show content. You may not need to use stereo audio, unless you are broadcasting music. It is almost certain that you will not need CD quality, unless you have specific musical requirements. Bandwidth can be utilized in such a way as to limit and control what you use, so you do not over-saturate your connection.

    6. Audience participation and interaction is something that one needs to consider. It is becoming expected that the participants of a live show interact with their audience. This could be done via social media or the incorporation of a chat room. If you have a specific audience in mind, or want to try and capture your already loyal audience over to your live broadcast, you will need to consider scheduling. The number of live audience members will likely fluctuate and, most certainly, be less than that of the recorded show.

    7. Timing. One must ensure that a live show start when the host/owner states it will. You will definitely need to be prepared to work by the clock, as your audience may not have time to wait around while you get the kinks worked out in order to get the broadcast started. There are some broadcasters that like to cover themselves by keeping an open mic/hot camera policy, broadcasting everything before, during and after a show. This, IMO, is a way to cover their non-preparedness. Others will have differing opinions.

    I'm sure there are more Cons, but those are quick ones, from the top of my head.

    1. Live audience participation. Participating with a live audience can be a lot of fun. There are pitfalls too. But for the most part, if your audience knows you and has been with you, it can be fun.

    2. Timeliness of content is something that you have available if you broadcast live, when compared to pre-recorded. You can be on top of the latest developments and bring them to your audience immediately. The value of this will depend on your show and its content.

    It looks like the Cons outweigh the Pros on my list. That is mostly because this is being put together off the top of my head. However, it may also be true. There are also Pros and Cons between Video and Audio broadcasts/podcasts. However, those are best left for a different thread. The Pros of doing a live show are mainly self-perceived and your's will differ from mine, or any other broadcaster.

    Best of luck in whatever you decide.
    Richard Wildman
    Executive Producer / Host
    Music Scene Investigation

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