Over on Twitter, Macho Man Adam Drake asked:

Adam Drake asked on Twitter how I add the chapter markers and images to podcasts.

So I recorded a screencast showing how I add chapter markers to podcasts I edit for clients.

Tools Used to Add Chapter Markers to Podcasts:

I edit podcasts in Logic Pro X (available in the Mac App Store). It’s not the cheapest piece of software but I bought it years ago when I first started recording podcasts and haven’t had to pay anything since. Kind of nice compared to the Adobe method.

Inside of Logic Pro X I add Markers wherever I feel is appropriate. Each podcast is different – for some it makes sense to have a new marker every time the topic changes and for others it’s more like a book aka a new chapter.

Adding a Marker inside of Logic Pro X

Then I bounce/export from Logic Pro X to a single WAV file. It helps if you keep the same name for this file each time and only change the episode number part.

Bouncing a WAV file out of Logic Pro X

Then I drag that WAV file into a program called Forecast – made for free by Marco Arment, creator of Overcast, a popular podcast player for iOS. Forecast automagically picks up the markers that Logic Pro X embedded in the WAV file while it also compresses the WAV file to MP3.

It all happens so quickly because Marco Arment programmed it to be crazy fast so he can spend more time fiddling with his coffee and headphones.

Pocket Casts picks up the chapter marker created by Forecast

While you’re in Forecast you can add links and/or images to chapters as well so that they look extra fancy inside a podcast player and listeners can tap right on it to visit a webpage or sponsor mentioned in the show.

Then you just have to upload it to your favourite podcast host – I like Transistor.fm personally – and bob’s your uncle… you’re done!

Bonus Marks for Chapter Jumps on the Web

If you really want to impress the humans in your life, you can copy the Marker list from Logic Pro X, paste them into this CodePen Pen, click Run, and BOOM – you’ve got a nice Markdown list of the chapter time jumps to throw on your podcast’s website.

Not all websites support fancy things like TimeJump but hopefully they will eventually.

The video embedded above covers this all in more detail – or you can watch it on YouTube here.


Castaways Club artwork.

If you’ve got questions or it’s not working for you, leave a comment below or – even better – join a community of podcasters who are trying to figure this stuff out together over at Castaways.Club.


Want More Tutorials Like This?

There’s a couple ways:

Leave a comment below if you’ve got a suggestion for the next video tutorial I should make!

First off, let’s get the vanity quote out of the way:

Having a sound editor person is nice because it ups the quality and takes that task off your plate. Lemon Productions is good.

Chris Coyier, My Particular Podcast Journey

Thanks Chris! I have loved editing ShopTalk Show so much. I have never pulled up Logic Pro X to edit an episode and felt that “ugh… this?” feeling that I used to get when working on website projects for clients. This is getting pretty close to my dream job and I thought I’d follow Chris’ post up with a bit of my own journey in podcasting.


It’s funny how big and small the internet is at the same time. I remember stumbling across CSS Tricks way back in the day when I first started doing web work at my job and loving Chris’ style of blogging/screencasting whatever he’s learning – sometimes while he was learning it. Mistakes and all.

That style really helped those of us a little behind in our web developer journey (aka me!) to feel like it was possible to learn and figure this stuff out – you didn’t have to be completely polished and know everything perfectly.

An internet radio show about the internet starring Dave Rupert and Chris Coyier.

Fast forward to a couple years ago when ShopTalk Show were needing a new podcast editor and I had tentatively put my name out there into the world that I might maybe kinda want to maybe do that kind of thing (maybe?) and Chris & Dave gave me a shot.

Chris FREAKING CSS TRICKS Coyier? Are you kidding me?

That “shot” set me onto my own journey into podcast editing/production work beyond where I was currently at as a hobbyist podcaster who was getting tired of trying to keep up with all the tricks in CSS. To the point that my entire business is now based around editing / producing / consulting on podcasts and the podcasting industry.

And I love it.

Bringing this back around to Chris Coyier and his journey – a year ago I revived my YouTube channel because I wanted to give back in the same way Chris had done for me (and millions of others). I wanted a place to document and share what I was learning – mistakes and all.

Podcasting isn’t the easiest medium to “show” your work in – CodePen for Podcasting anyone? – but I figured I could start by talking about what I was learning in audio apps like Audio Hijack, Loopback, Logic Pro X, etc. even if I didn’t know everything. And even if I made a mistake or two. And I have fun doing it each time I feel like making a video.

And it’s interesting how following that bit of fun has led to getting consulting gigs with folks around the world. Without doing any sort of marketing funnel biz dev automation systems, I’ve had the opportunity to help folks in Australia, the United Kingdom, South America, and USA/Canada with their podcasting related questions.

All from blogging occasionally and recording videos about something I’m doing.

What mic do you recommend if I’m recording in a barn with 3 horses and a cow?

I originally started this post to try and fill in some gaps or other options that Chris didn’t cover in his post. But you can read some of those in my blog archives, leave a comment if you’d like some clarification a bit of gear, or book a consulting call if you’d like to dive deeper.

For now I’ll end with saying that your journey might not take the exact path you thought it would. It might not go as quickly as you’d like. And even just being patient might not lead you to success, however you may define success. My experience (so far! This could all end tomorrow!) has been to at least keep a bit of my time invested in what I’d really like to be doing so that if/when an opportunity arises to do more of that kind of work, it’s been an option for me to say yes.

Alright. Back to editing a podcast!

p.s. If you’re a podcaster or wanna-be podcaster interested in joining a community of podcasters / wanna-be podcasters, sign up at Castaways.Club. It’s a new community I’m building and I’d love for you to be a part of it.

I got this question from my internet/one trip I took to San Francisco nerd friend Jesse:

I am hoping to do some video tutorials soon. Programming and Unix stuff. I’d like them to be nice. Probably camera on my face in the corner and my screen occupying most of the space.

Any uh “idiot” tips for a newbie to this? I was just going to use my MacBook camera and mic to start, and if the mic sucks buy a good one.

Jesse Atkinson / @jsatik

What’s Screencasting?

Screencasting is basically a catch all term for what I generally do on many of my videos on YouTube — record the computer screen along with some commentary for demonstration or instructional purposes.

For example:

This is a screencast recording of me editing a podcast.

So What Did You Tell Jesse?

What I told Jesse is:

  • The MacBook mic does suck.
  • The MacBook webcam sucks as well.
  • …not that you shouldn’t try it with those first.

If you’re the kind of person who follows through on ideas no matter what, then buy some of the gear I’m going to mention below.

If you’re more of a “I’ll see if I like doing it and maybe I’ll stop the first time I have to spend more than 5 minutes editing video or audio of myself“, then go with the built-in gear and wait until you’re sure you want to do this more than once before buying anything.

Ok. I Want the Gear. Stop With the Philosophical Questions.

(There are affiliate links ahead. I make a couple bucks if you buy something from the Amazon links below.)

Microphone

Just like I mentioned in my Gift Guide for Someone Who Wants to Get into Podcasting blog post, the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone is a great mic to start off any audio adventure with. And while you can certainly get away with using your built-in Mac mic, your viewers will thank you for having a voice that’s much easier to understand and hear when explaining whatever a “UNIX” is.

Available to buy from:

Logitech C922x webcam

Camera

The Logitech C920 series is a great webcam to get. The current model in early 2019 is the C922x. It should be around $70USD / $100CAD and will work great for screencast recordings as well as any live-streaming, Skype or Google Hangouts, or FaceTime calls you do on your Mac.

Available to buy from:

Screenflow for macOs

Software

You can use macOS’ built-in ability to record the screen with QuickTime — Apple has a support doc detailing how here — but that doesn’t give you many options to edit your video once you hit stop.

Screenflow, $129USD from Telestream, is what I use to record and edit all the screencasts I publish to my YouTube channel and it makes recording screencasts so much easier.

Besides being a pretty powerful video editor, the coolest feature of Screenflow is that it records your webcam, computer screen, and even your iPhone/iPad all on separate video tracks. So unlike using QuickTime to record, you can move your webcam video around on the screen during your recording. Or make the computer screen half size while you’re demoing something on your iPhone.

For example, in my Instagram 101 series I have my webcam, desktop screen, and iPhone all on the video at times showing what I’m doing on my iPhone while you can still see and hear me talking about what I’m doing. If you tried editing that all together inside of iMovie or even Final Cut Pro, you’d get a headache pretty quickly.

Screenflow is worth every dime if you’re doing any amount of screencasting on the Mac. (Plus, I know folks like Justin Jackson use it as a video editor for video they didn’t even record inside of Screenflow.)

Boom Arm

The ATR-2100 comes with a mini tripod that works well enough. But depending on how your desk is configured, a boom arm can help you stop bumping the mic / desk and creating extra noise on your recordings.

This boom from Neewer isn’t going to win many awards — but at $14USD, it’s not going to break the bank either.

Available from:

Publishing Your Screencasts

Once you’ve got a video recorded, you need to show it to the world. There’s plenty of options for where you can publish it, but I’d recommend one of the following:

  • YouTube for free + a huge potential audience. But your videos can get lost in the ocean of content available to viewers.
  • Vimeo is good for a bit of control over how your player looks, who can embed it where, and avoiding giving more analytics to Google/YouTube.
  • Wistia would be my recommendation if you’re wanting to host the videos yourself and get analytics + a beautiful looking player. It’s a big jump from their $0 to the $99/month plan, but if you need to be able to show return on your video dollar/time investment, the analytics and marketing details from Wistia will be much easier to justify to your boss or bank account.

What Else?

As with any projects involving video and/or audio, the sky is the limit (of your bank account). There’s always more you can do to improve your studio / recording space including:

Got an idea for something I didn’t cover? Leave a comment below or tweet at me!

Want More Tutorials Like This?

There’s a couple ways:

Leave a comment below if you’ve got a suggestion for the next video tutorial I should make!

Santa came a little early this year and brought me a Elgato Gaming Green Screen so I thought I’d record an unboxing, set up, and quick review video of how well it works alongside OBS (Open Broadcasting Software) for streaming.

There are plenty of cheap DIY ways to get a green screen for video/photography work but I’m not very good at DIY stuff because it stresses me out to the point that I don’t ever actually DO the D part of DIY. So I thought if Santa wants to bring me one, that’ll save me a lot of DIY’ing stress.

Anyway – on to the video review of the Elgato Gaming Green Screen:

Direct link to the video

You can pick up the Elgato Gaming Green Screen at Amazon or check out Elgato Gaming’s website for more details.

My Review of Elgato’s Green Screen

As I mention in the video, there’s obviously a lot of cheap ways to build yourself a green screen. What I loved about Elgato’s Green Screen is that it’s built really well and feels like I can set it up and roll it back down over and over without worrying about it breaking or falling part on me. The screen is a high quality material that, as long as I can keep my kid’s sticky hands off of, I’m sure will last a long time. I can definitely see myself bringing it on location for photo / video shoots I do for clients – as well as using it on livestreams on our Goodstuff Twitch channel.

If you’re less DIY and more BUY, then this is the green screen to get.

Want More Tutorials Like This?

There’s a couple ways:

Leave a comment below if you’ve got a suggestion for the next video tutorial I should make!