If you have a microphone, even a cheap one, and access to the Internet, then you can create a simple podcast. Vocaroo is one such site designed for simplicity. You plug in a microphone, click the green button, and record your voice. Within seconds, you’re listening back. If you stumble over your words it’s easy enough to try a second or third take. Just click the “Record Again” button and the old file is gone, replaced by the newer one.
With Vocaroo, you sacrifice sound quality for ease of use. Even with a high-grade microphone (I use a Blue Snowball), the audio is crackly and thin. And you only get a single track — that is, no adding background music or additional voices. What you record is what you get. But Vocaroo automatically generates both a hyperlink to your audio file and HTML code you can use to embed your podcast right into a website. Podcasting really doesn’t get much easier than that.
Use in the classroom
As an introduction to podcasting or as a way to practice speaking for a speech or drama class, Vocaroo is a potential home run for students of all ages. While you can set up an account within Vocaroo, you do not need to be logged in or have an account to get started creating an audio file. You go to the site, click the green button and within seconds, you are ready to record. The only difficulty with using the site without an account is keeping track of the URLs of the audio files you’ve created, so a bookmarking system or strategy to archive the links would be crucial. For some time, Vocaroo was offering a free download of its Vocaroo Express, but, to be honest, Audacity is a better bet for recording on your computer, as it offers many more possibilities.