I just finished reading the book Podcasting Year One by Donovan Adkisson.
As the podcast consultant from the School of Podcasting and the author of More Podcast Money: Turn Your Passion into Profits I like to read all books about podcasting. Donvan points out that this is not the be all of “How to podcast” books. It's a tale of the different configurations and lessons learned. You watch his journey from cheap headset to a $300 microphone.
I give him credit for diving into the deep of the pool. Podcasting has a small learning curve without throwing in live streaming of both audio and video (something I personally would not recommend when starting out, but again this is not a “best practices” it's a diary of his struggles and triumphs). There is even a section that tries to explain “mix minus” (which seems like such overkill when there are simpler ways).
Another “Live” Podcaster
While I can't argue with his book (it's a diary after all), to me trying to podcast live (both audio and video) adds WAY too much technology for someone just starting out. There is also very little return (the live feedback is SUPER addicting, but isn't one the magical aspects of podcasting the fact that you DON'T have to be at a certain place and time to hear it?). If you are interested in “podcasting live” he gets knee deep into shoutcast servers, video streaming, etc. As this is something I'm not interested in doing, I found those parts of the books very informative – but not useful for me.
One very useful aspect of the book are the links to all the software and hardware items he mentions. This makes it easy to use as a reference. He also points out software for both PC and Mac. It will be interesting to see if there is a “Year two, three, four” each year to watch his progression. I would use this book for “want-to-be” podcasters to point out the importance of planning ( but would no way would I say follow in his footsteps). By the end of the book he has gone through four hardware upgrades.
He has started a podcast to promote the book over at www.mypodcastingexperience.com where he stated he is using Amazon S3 to host his media files (something I've “Been there and done that – got the $40 bill to prove it). Unless you like higher media hosting bills (and no stats) I'd avoid it. He has also decided to ignore about 30% of his audience and use the “1 pixel out player” which is flash based (and thus ignores people on iOS). I will be interested to hear his podcast as he starts to understand the “young” mistakes he is making with his podcast.
If you want to podcast live, this book will have more value for you. I enjoyed it, even if I didn't always agree with it (and I'm more informed about streaming technology). I interviewed Donovan on my podcast and he's a great guy, and I wish him all the best.