Retirement hobbiesBefore retiring, many of my more recent jobs and consulting assignments required the use of, or software development for the Internet. The reach of the Web always fascinated me. How else can something you write, record, photograph or video have the potential to be instantly available to hundreds, thousands or even millions of people around the world?

I have been tinkering with various hobbies for years: woodworking (made a nice looking napkin holder), photography (shot photos of family members and our pets that no one will ever look at), stained glass (didn’t have the patience to cut so many small pieces of glass), genealogy (could never find anyone beyond the previous generation) and many others.

I needed a new hobby. A hobby that would let me convey my vast knowledge of useful (or according to my wife, useless) things to the masses.


A derivative of the words pod (as in iPod) and broadcast, podcasting is a means of recording digital content (audio/video/documents) and distributing it by streaming or web syndication.

As many articles indicate “even a monkey can do this”. Actually I made that up but it is not very difficult to do. The hard part, as with anything you load to the web, is promotion of your creation so that at least a few people other than your family and close friends read, listen to, or view it. Unless of course you don’t care who accesses it because the satisfaction is in its creation. Right.

Podcasting is a fairly cheap hobby. The major cost is your time. This is a perfect hobby for the retiree who suddenly has all that free time.

Many who create podcasts present them as multiple episodes of a common theme.

The process to create an audio podcast is as follows:

Required tools:

Search for a free audio recording software application and downloaded it to your PC or MAC. Audacity is one of the free packages available online that will allow you to record and edit your podcast. There are also all-in-one record, edit, and upload podcasting programs that have multiple recording tracks (for voice, music, etc.), voice effects and a teleprompter. You can purchase a more sophisticated package but it is really not necessary.

Get a microphone that can plug into your computer. You may want to consider an external condenser microphone because it helps to reduce background noise. You may also want to consider getting a stand and a headset. The stand will allow you to record without having to hold or touch the microphone, which may also create noise. The headset will enable you to monitor your recording levels. There are some podcasting packages available for purchase which include the microphone, headset, stand, and recording/editing software.

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