Last week’s Intro to Video Blogging class wasn’t the greatest use of my time, I admit that. I sat for two hours in a class listening to information that I already knew a millennium ago and vowed to only take classes, going forward, that offered a significant creative or philosophical challenge. It doesn’t matter if the class is for free or for a fee, it must be worthwhile. Today’s class, Intro to Digital Storytelling and Enhanced Podcasting for Mac, nearly fit the bill. It wasn’t as streamlined as Intro to Video Blogging, offered more bang for the buck, and provided information that even a seasoned Mac user could benefit from. Thank you.

Intro to Video BloggingDigital storytelling and enhanced podcasting is basically a slideshow with audio, the solution many of the low-end “videos” on YouTube employ. This could be produced in Final Cut Pro X, and to some degree iMovie. So why did we use GarageBandAccessibility is likely the answer. The cost of entry with Garageband is much less than with Final Cut Pro X. More individuals would be likely to explore digital storytelling and enhanced podcasting for fun and profit than they would if they required Final Cut Pro X to work with. That’s smart.

I’m glad we used Garageband for the class, and not a third-party or open source solution. Anyone with a modern Mac has iLife installed, so it’s easy to go home and practice what you learned in class without having to download or learn new software.

The two-hour class sped by, which is a good thing. There would have been complaints had it trudged along laboriously. Thankfully, we were a rapt audience, absorbing the lesson and taking thorough notes. There were even a few questions from the floor peppering the instructor’s presentation.

We learned how to cut audio and images, how to compose an enhanced podcast, how to do basic audio keyframing, and covered some very basic interview techniques. Many of these exercises were review for me, while some of it was new. Still, it was enjoyable and I did walk away with something that I could use in my own projects.

What we didn’t cover was managing a podcast series, online distribution, submission to podcast directories, RSS, bit rates, export and compression, or advanced topics like that. In all fairness, that’s beyond the scope of what the class was advertised to do…that’s just something that I was looking for.

Having completed the class, the questions arise: how can I use these new skills? Where would I use these new skills? I’m not certain yet, although I am going to practice and upload some samples to Vimeo…