Audio Essay & Podcasting Resources

Making_Podcasts_Work_for_You, by Robin Davis, Kristen Job, Lance Mosier, Lynn Spady, Jim Stromberg, was written for K-12 teachers. It’s a well written overview of the medium, including essential terms, software,

This GuideToPodcasting, developed by Jenifer Rao from Lafayette’s Instructional Technology team, is a good place to start. Note: as of 11.10.2016, the best place to download Audacity is The website SourceForge is no longer as reliable as it was when this guide was developed.

Check out these high quality digital recorders available to borrow from the circulation desk at Skillman.

iPhone users may choose to use their phones to record their projects. Check out this resource from Lafayette’s Todd Walton.

This resource from from Amy Goodloe, a professor of digital writing at U. Colorado, provides great advice on the writing process for audio essays.

If you’re working on your own laptop (Mac or PC), you may need to install the LAME MP3 encoder, a free program that will allow you to export your final project as an MP3. is an online training library that consists of thousands of videos on technology related topics, including Audacity. If you’re new to Audacity, I suggest Up and Running with Audacity.

If you’re very serious about podcasting and would like to go deeper, check out Transom, a showcase of new public radio. You’ll find a lot of detailed information about equipment there.

The Chicago History Museum offers educational resources on oral history techniques in honor of Studs Terkel. “Collecting Stories: The Oral Interview in Research” is an especially useful resource for students conducting interviews for ENG 100.

The Center for Digital Storytelling hosts StoryCenter, a “space for transforming lives and communities, through the acts of listening to and sharing stories.” This non-profit organization provides many resources for community members who wish to use the power of digital storytelling to make things happen in the world.

Music and Sound: If you’re looking for sound to layer into your essay, check out, “a huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps, … released under Creative Commons licenses that allow their reuse.”  Soundsnap is a similar site used by professionals, but it’s a pay service. Need backing tracks, or maybe even audio of an expert discussing your topic? Try searching SoundCloud for recordings (be sure to check for open licensing). And the Creative Commons website offers a list of at least a dozen sites publishing music under CC licenses.

Captioning is important to make your projects accessible. Lafayette students have access to Kaltura video services at After logging in using your Lafayette credentials, you can upload audio or video files and request captining. Log back in a day or two later and you’ll find a text file with all the dialogue from your project. YouTube offers free (as well as paid) captioning options. Amara is another option. Any kind of auto-generated captioning software will be far from perfect; but if you treat the auto-generated captioning as draft that you can go back and edit, it will save you LOTS of time.