Podcasting and vlogging, to the novice, may not sound a lot different. But to be honest, there is quite a difference between the two, and the one central point is in the audio format, and the other one is a video. Both are content-driven, but the delivery differs. As a result, a podcast’s application or usage scenario could also be different from a vlog. In this article, we’ll get introduced to podcasting and YouTube vlogging and get to know the difference between the two.
What is Podcasting?
Podcasting is just audio – you can call it online radio. In other words, it is vlogging’s audio version. The term “podcast” was coined in 2003 by Ben Hammersley, who worked for The Guardian. People who would like to have their voice heard by the general public but are not confident showing up on a computer screen would find podcasting an excellent alternative route. This format can be used for oral storytelling, hosting prerecorded Q&A forums, interviewing others, etc.
For a podcast to be successful, you need a great voice and also excellent storytelling skills. Also, you should prepare well and have good memory skills. The ability to recollect ideas and thoughts and share them at a whim is essential. Podcasting is not for people who are not good at effortless and seamless conversation and cannot come up with something new in every podcast.
• Growing Medium – Podcasting is not as popular as vlogging, but it’s growing, especially with the popularity of digital platforms such as iTunes.
• Free Expression – Podcasts are usually less limiting than vlogs, especially in terms of their duration. For an established podcaster with a sizeable following, this is a plus.
• Easy to Make – A podcast is usually easier to make than a vlog as there isn’t much work needed in the background. For instance, there is not a lot of editing to take care of. Also, as the visual element is out, work relating to creating a presentable video is negated too.
• Longer Duration – The duration of a podcast is both positive and negative. As far as the positive side, the length makes a podcast great to listen to during long drives or while performing routine tasks such as cleaning the house. The longer format also facilitates in-depth storytelling.
• Limited Reach – Audio can never be as stimulating as video. This means a podcast’s viewer base would always be smaller compared to a video’s audience size.
• Longer Duration – A podcast is usually longer in duration than a vlog. This could be a positive for people who regularly listen to podcasts and find the medium engaging. But the majority, particularly people trying to give a podcast a listen for the first time, would find the length a big turn-off.
• Compelling Content is a Must – Compelling quality content, in addition to a good voice, is a must if you want to succeed with podcasting. Moreover, you need to be good at storytelling, and the narration should also be well-thought-out as there is no visual aid to chip in and compensate for any errors in narration during a podcast.
What do I need to start a podcast?
You don’t really need anything special to get started. You only need a microphone, some software that allows you to record your own audio files, a computer/laptop, and a headphone.
1. Microphone : A quality mic will help you capture clear sound without distortion. If you’re recording yourself talking, then having one that has a built-in preamp helps reduce noise from outside sources. It also gives you more control over how loud you speak.
2. Software: There are many different types of programs available today which allow users to create and edit audio recordings. Some examples include Audacity, GarageBand, and Windows Sound Recorder. These programs offer features like trimming unwanted parts of the file, adding effects, adjusting volume levels, etc. They all vary slightly so choose what works best for you.
3. Computer / Laptop: To upload your recorded audio onto the internet, you’ll need a laptop or desktop PC running on Microsoft Windows OS. Most laptops these days run on either MacOS or Linux operating systems. However, most web hosting services require you to use Windows-based computers. So it pays off to invest in a decent machine before getting into podcasting.
4. Headphones: While listening to your podcast, you may have noticed that sometimes when someone speaks loudly, their words seem muffled. That happens because they talk directly into the microphone instead of using headphones. Using headphones ensures that you hear everything clearly even though others around you might be speaking louder.
Popular Podcasting Kit
Here are the popular podcasting kits you could get to start:
What is Vlogging?
The word “vlog” or “vlogging” is the truncated version of “video blog“. Unlike conventional video content, a vlog is more casual, entails little to no editing, and could be much longer than traditional videos. Informative vlogs are usually shorter, not more than a few minutes. Vlogs capturing routine activities tend to be longer. The content determines a vlog’s length. A vlog could be anything: a tutorial, performance, funny skit, review, revelations about one’s personal life, etc. Vlogs usually are synonymous with YouTube, thanks to the huge popularity of the platform. Some vloggers may even embed their vlogs into their websites.
• Stimulating – A vlog is visual and, therefore, a lot more stimulating. It lets you engage with your viewers a lot more personal since the audience sees your face. The visual aspect goes a long way in helping build trust.
• Live – A vlog can be live, and with video platforms letting vloggers interact with the general audience live, this trend has caught up. A live video has its advantages over a regular recorded video. For instance, live vlogs can be a lot more interactive and intuitive.
• Wider Reach – YouTube is arguably the most popular website in the world. This means a video on the site can potentially reach thousands of people in a short period, most certainly if the video goes viral. This massive reach is not possible through blogging and also vlogging, to a great extent. Moreover, videos get shared a lot more than any other form of media.
• Not for Everyone – The video format is not for all. Quite a few people are a bit too self-conscious to show up in front of a camera and deliver discourses. They may not fancy the way they sound and look in videos. And even if such people muster the courage and push themselves into a video, the video won’t come out naturally, and the awkwardness would be easily discernible.
• Time-Consuming – A 5-minute vlog could take quite some time to package and deliver, mainly if it entails a good amount of editing. Shooting is just one aspect of a vlog. Besides shooting, you’ll have to prepare the script, take care of lighting and audio, edit the clips, etc. For a novice, this can be pretty overwhelming.
• Competitive Space – Uploading a video and getting noticed in the sea of other bloggers is not easy. There are a lot more vloggers and video content creators, and the space is quite competitive. Again, someone just starting with vlogs could take some patience and effort to reap the benefits of all the work put in.
What do I need to start a vlog?
You don’t necessarily need a lot of equipment to begin a vlog. You can use an iPhone, Android phone, webcam, DSLR camera, camcorder, tripod, microphone, computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc. However, there are certain things that make a difference when beginning a vlog. These include but aren’t limited to:
1. Camera – If you’re going to shoot yourself talking, then obviously you’d want a decent quality camera If you plan to record something else, like food preparation, travel, pets, kids, etc., then you might consider using a point-and-shoot camera instead. Point-and-shoots are cheaper, easier to operate, and offer better image quality compared to SLRs. But if you’re planning to capture high-definition footage, then go ahead and invest in a DSLR.
2. Lighting – Lighting plays a big role in making sure everything looks natural. It’s important to ensure your subject doesn’t appear washed out or overexposed. The best option here is to use multiple lights. Some cameras allow you to set different exposure levels for each light source. Others let you control them manually. Either way, having several sources will help you achieve the perfect balance between shadows and highlights.
3. Audio – Audio recording is another crucial part of producing a successful vlog. Make sure you choose a mic that suits your needs. A shotgun mic works well for capturing voices from far away. On the contrary, close mics tend to pick up background noise as well. So depending upon where you intend to place the mic, you should select accordingly. Also, try experimenting with various settings before settling down on what sounds right.
4. Video Editing Software – Software comes in handy especially when you’re trying to create professional-looking videos. This includes software used to trim, cut, add effects, overlay text over images, etc. While free programs exist, paid ones usually provide better results.
5. Storage Device – If you’re serious about creating great vlogs, then you must store them somewhere safe. Having said that, most smartphones nowadays support external storage devices. External hard drives also serve the purpose. Just remember to back up regularly!
Popular Vlogging Kit
Here are the popular vlogging kits you could get to start:
You probably know what the difference between podcasting and YouTube vlogging is. Both vlogging podcasting has its positives and pitfalls. If you’re not sure what route to take, look into your subject matter. If it’s more personal and in-depth, a podcast would be ideal. And if the content is supposed to be informative and short, vlogging is the way to go. Also, consider how comfortable you are with the two.