When you're new to podcasting it can seem like there is a lot of overwhelming information and multiple different types of software to learn about in order to create a show for the world (or just your friends) to hear.
If you're hearing different terms like recording, editing, hosting, publishing, listening, and you're confused about what is what and where to start then this overview will help you understand the basics.
Assuming you've already planned out what your show and episodes are going to be about, recording is where everything begins, because, obviously, there needs to be something for people to listen to 🙂
Recording software is simply any software or app that allows you to record audio through a microphone and save it as a file on your phone or computer.
Editing is about taking what you've recorded and making it more 'listenable', that is, more audibly appealing to the human ear and your audience.
There are really two ways to do this:
- Change what is included in the audio (cutting out long pauses, adding an intro or background music, etc)
- Change how it sounds (adjusting the volume, clearing up any bad quality audio etc)
You will come across the term Digital Audio Workstation, or DAW. It sounds very technical but is really just a fancy name used in podcasting for the software used to record and edit audio. Often you'll find software that combines recording and editing all in one package.
If you're on a Mac, Garageband is a great free DAW. If you use Windows, Audacity is a good, free recording and editing software to try out. Once you've used free software to become familiar with the basics, there are a number of paid professional software packages to suit all budgets. However, you shouldn't be put off by the 'free' price tag - it's definitely possible to get professional sounding results without paying a fortune for software.
Hosting and publishing tools like ZenCast form the bridge between recording and listening. We publish your show by sending the RSS feed (a special computer-readable document containing your podcast ) to a number of podcast listening platforms/apps such as Spotify and Apple Podcasts. These platforms then know your show exists, so they will list it in their catalogue and regularly check back with us for updates and new episodes.
ZenCast hosts (stores) your audio files and when someone plays an episode, we 'deliver' the file to the listener, through the app or player that the listener chooses to use to listen to your podcast.
ZenCast has a free trial, and then there's a range of plans to suit different needs - if you're just starting out with one show then the Hobby plan would probably do fine.
Finally, listening platforms/podcasting apps are the public side of podcasting, and you've probably heard of many of them. Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, and that's just a few... ZenCast publishes to over 15 different platforms.
Podcast listening apps/platforms are generally free and some have additional premium options.
That's a lot of information to take in, but hopefully, you now understand the basic parts behind publishing a podcast. If you have any questions us know through the live chat bubble, or get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org