The Queen\’s English


So what’s this all about then?

Break out the cucumber sandwiches, it’s time for The Queen’s English!

Who?

The show is written, produced, directed and voiced by me, David Underwood. I am a British university student in Canada (it’s a long story), where I am studying Computer Science.

What?

As you may have guessed by now, The Queen’s English is a podcast. Rather than dealing with news or society or politics, I created it in the name of Comedy. A single show will generally consist of several sketches (think Kids In The Hall (Canada) or the Fast Show (UK)), but it is by no means bound to a strict format.

Where/When?

New shows are posted here on the blog every Sunday. However, the preferred method of listening to each new show is via the feed. This can be accessed through all major feed readers (such as Juice or iTunes), and can also be set as a live bookmark in Firefox.

Why?

I got into this whole ‘podcasting thing after being introduced to several existing shows by my girlfriend. After a few weeks of listening to these, I thought ‘Hey, I could do that!’. I then promptly did nothing for another few weeks until I finally got off my arse towards the end of June 2006 and recorded The Inaugural Episode. I found that I could throw together enough comedy in one week to make a worthwhile show and since then that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.

How?

As I’m producing this whole thing on a zero budget, I’ve had to draw together several free resources to allow me to make the show.

To start with, I record the show on my $15 headset microphone using the open source audio program Audacity. Whenever a scene requires sound effects, I either record my own or head out into the big wide internet to search for sound effects covered by a creative commons liscence. These are free to use and usually only require that you provide a link to the author’s webpage.

Once the show is mixed into it’s final form, it needs uploading. This part is a little bit complicated because there are several websites involved. Primarily, all the shows are hosted by the Internet Archive, where they will remain forever to be enjoyed for generations to come. I then come back to this very blog where I write a post containing info on the show and, most importantly, a link to the mp3 file over at the Archive. That’s really all I have to do, but there’s one final step that makes me a ‘podcaster’ as opposed to an ‘audio blogger’. That has to do with the feed.

If you’re not familiar with the concept of RSS feeds, allow me to explain. An RSS feed is basically a list of all my recent blog posts presented in a format that is easily read by other programs. It also contains special ‘enclosures’ which identify links to ‘rich media’. Rich media refers to anything other than text in the feed. In my case, that’s the show. WordPress (where this blog is hosted) provides it’s own RSS feed that I could use if I wanted. However, there is a far superior service offered at FeedBurner. They take an existing feed and spruce it up no end with extra features and compatability. It’s also handy if your source feed changes location (as mine did) because your FeedBurner feed can remain the same. Setting up FeedBurner is a one off thing, after which it automatically updates every time a new post is made to the blog. Clever, eh?

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