How to make your own Spanish Podcasts using Audacity

I love podcasts.  Most people, who have been to my resources page, know I recommend Notes in Spanish and Lingq.  I recommend them for the fantastic podcasts in spanish that go from beginner all the way to advanced.  I also know there are heaps of other sources of podcasts out there that I haven’t even had a chance to try yet.  There is one problem with these podcasts and that is you don’t get to choose what they are about.  More often than not they are also one or two people talking and don’t involve many people discussing things.  Then there are movies, tv shows in Spanish or even youTube videos that you might like, but if you do most of your language learning in the car like I do, you are stuck with what ever you happen to be able to download as a podcast.  That was until recently, when I discovered Audacity!

What is Audacity?

To quote their website, “Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds.”  Audacity the part that makes Audacity useful to me is that it lets me take any sound that is played on my computer and record, edit, and export it to an mp3 file.  From there I can then put that on my Ipod and I can play what I want to hear when I want to.

How does it work?

First you need to download it.  You can do that at their website: audacity.sourceforge.net.  After that you will need to download the free plugin called LAME, that lets you export recordings as an mp3.  You can download that by clicking here.  Once both of those are installed you are ready to go.

First thing first, go find the audio that you want to record.  Once you are ready, open Audacity and hit the record button.  Once that has started, then go and hit the play button on the audio you want to download.  You always want to hit record on Audacity first to allow all the audio you want to be captured to be recorded.  Once its done, you can go and cut out the parts you don’t want such as long pauses or parts of podcasts that are not useful to you anymore.

When the audio is just how you want it, go to the file menu and Export it to mp3.  This feature will not just convert the file to mp3 for you, but lets you choose the artist, album and all sorts of fun stuff that like that so when it gets put on the mp3 player of your choice, it is already organized in a way that makes it easy to retrieve.

How do you use Audacity.

The first way I started using Audacity was to cut out lessons from the FSI Basic Spanish course.  The course is free, but the recording are organized by their original tape cassette sides.  So I have to go in and splice out each lesson individually so I can use it more effectively.

The second way I use Audacity is to splice together several Lingq recordings.  I like Lingq, but their podcasts are 1 or 2 mins long(at least at my level).  Now I can splice together several of them just using Audacity!

The last way I have started using audacity is to record episodes of Destinos.  Since I am listening and not watching, I have edited out some of the long pauses that are ok for those watching, but are really boring otherwise.  As a side note, I thought this would be weird at first, but now I love listening to just the audio of tv shows.  Its kinda like going back in time and listening to the old Radio shows.  It also makes me focus on what is being said more and not relying on context to fill in the blanks.  I think it is making my ears stronger, by taking out the visual aspect.  I will be recording TV shows and movies in spanish much more from now on.

So that’s how I use Audacity, I know I am not the only one who uses it.  If anyone else out there has experience using Audacity send them in the comments below.

2 Comments

Filed under spanish, Ways to learn

2 responses to “How to make your own Spanish Podcasts using Audacity

  1. I’m thinking of taking your idea here and taking it to the next level. I am working out a plan to publish my own podcast, spoken entirely in Spanish. I’m hoping it will take my Spanish to the next level…..that is, if I can pull it off. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

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