Has finding reliable podcast software and apps ever been this difficult?
If you are a creator or producer, don’t let your enthusiasm for this exciting new medium be dampened by the amount of ‘overchoice’ out there!
We know that there are hundreds of solutions popping up and they’re offering incredible solutions for recording and editing podcasts.
How do you know which podcast software to go with and who has the time to sift through all these solutions?
Well, we do!
And we’ve reviewed 7 of the best podcast software providers in this guide. From open-source software, free software and windows-supported podcast software, we’ve got you covered.
- 1 The Podcast Trend
- 2 Top 7 Podcast Software Providers
- 3 2) Audacity
- 4 7) Reaper
- 5 Picking the right podcast software
- 6 Conclusion
- 7 References
The Podcast Trend
Some of you might not remember that podcasting actually started way back in 2004, but it never quite took off as it has now.
Between late 2018 to 2019, the humble podcast finally took its place as the next big content medium and 2020 has seen it reach into mainstream media.
With the rise of streaming services, faster internet connection speeds and lower costs, podcasting has grown into an inclusive space for independent bloggers or content producers as well as brands, companies and mainstream media.
Here’s a quick podcast industry snapshot:
- 51% of the US population has listened to a podcast – PodcastInsights.com
- There are more than 850,000 active podcasts and over 30 million episodes in more than 100 languages – MusicOomph.com
Top 7 Podcast Software Providers
We reviewed some of the top industry digital audio workstations (DAWs) as well as some upcoming companies offering solutions specifically for podcast creators.
We rated these tools from 1 – 10 according to the following criteria:
- Price vs features
- Ease of use
- Suitability of podcast production
- Customer service
- Verified customer reviews on software rating sites such as Capterra.com and G2.com
- Overall value for money
Formally called Cool Edit Pro, Adobe Audition is an audio workstation that comes with all the robust features you would expect from the Adobe Creative Cloud. This is a premium solution that you can use to record, edit, mix and finish audio at professional quality and it is packed with tools and features.
Best for: Professionals, brands and agencies.
Our rating: 9/10
Price: $24.14 p/m on the annual plan, or $36.21 p/m on the monthly plan
Free trial: Yes
- Multitrack recording and editing
- Diagnostics panel to repair and restore
- Adaptive noise reduction
- Mixing and mastering
- Professional, broadcast quality.
- Available for both Windows and Mac.
- Podcast templates.
- Access to a large library of audio tracks.
- Works seamlessly with other Adobe apps such as Premiere Pro.
- Comes with 100GB cloud storage, Adobe Spark and access to Adobe Fonts.
- High monthly fees for the single app account.
- Even with their numerous tutorials and best attempts, it’s quite a complicated and crowded interface.
- High learning curve.
The power of podcasting is pretty remarkable. It is such an amazing way to mobilize fans. It’s almost like they’re part of your family. They probably listen to you more than they listen to their own families. I know that’s true for me. So there is a real bond there.Scott Aukerman
Audacity is a free, open source and cross-platform audio software and is one of the most popular free podcast tools available at the moment. It stands up well to some of the industry giants such as Adobe and really is a capable recording and editing tool for both beginners and pros.
Do keep in mind that this is an audio editor with destructive editing, this means that any edits you make to your recording is permanent, so rather export a raw file of the recording before you edit because it is easy to overwrite your only recording.
Best for: Beginners, start-ups or those looking for a quick and easy open source podcast software.
Our rating: 8/10
Price: Free. Audacity accepts donations.
- Recording, editing
- Import/Export multiple files
- Support for various plugins
- Editable plugins
- Sound effects, spectrogram view mode
- Free and open-source.
- Does simple sound editing very well.
- Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux with minimal system requirements.
- Lightweight app that doesn’t require a lot of storage space.
- It doesn’t handle multitrack layering well.
- Not the most intuitive interface, and the dated look might not be the most appealing.
- Destructive audio editing is possibly one of the biggest drawbacks on Audacity.
GarageBand is a free DAW (digital audio workstation) for Mac and iOS devices and has been around for 16 years (feel old yet?). A favourite among both beginners and pros when it comes to music creation, recording and editing, it has also grown into a popular choice for podcasters.
Best for: Mac or iOS device users, those who need a more creative workstation that supports music creation.
Our rating: 9/10
- Recording and editing
- Virtual smart instruments and synthesizers
- Touch Bar
- MIDI Editing
- Powerful music creation tools and realistic effects
- Pre-recorded acoustic and electronic loops
- Allows you to plug in and play your own instruments.
- User-friendly, with a visually stunning interface.
- Generous library of music, samples and instruments.
- Smart Control Panel.
- Only available for Apple users.
- GarageBand is geared towards music creators and might come with too many features that aren’t necessary for podcasting.
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Named after the Hindenburg Airship Disaster during which Herbert Morrison recorded what became the very first mobile eyewitness news report, Hindenburg has continued this thread of supporting audio storytellers and journalists.
While many tools in this guide are either great audio recording and recording software, or music creation apps, Hindenburg is the first journalist-first podcasting program.
The Hindenburg suite of products for individuals includes an entry level option designed for podcasters, producers and radio journalists, a Pro version of this as well an audiobook creator.
Best for: Radio journalists, established podcasters looking to upgrade to specialist software.
Our rating: 8/10
Pricing: Journalist: $75, Journalist Pro: $315.
Free trial: Yes
- Multitrack audio editing
- 1-click publishing
- Click and drag imports for any audio file
- Built-in publishing tool
- A range of editing tools
- Designed specifically for podcasts and radio journalism.
- Tools developed specifically for spoken-word productions.
- Works on Windows and Mac.
- Non-destructive editing.
- 30-day free trial.
- The lowest tier (Journalist) is quite high and might be out of reach for most young journalists or startups.
- The price jump from Journalist to the Pro edition is very steep (about $75 vs over $300).
If you’re looking for podcasting software that’s clean, quick, and easy, consider using Alitu.
This relative newcomer is a great podcast app for content producers who don’t want to fiddle with every little detail of their recording, but still want a polished and commercially-ready show to share.
Best for: Content producers, or those who are not that into managing the granular details of their audio and are looking for a simple and easy way to create and publish a podcast quickly.
Our rating: 6/10
Price: $28 on the monthly plan, $280 annual plan (comes with 2 months free).
Free trial: 7-day free trial
- Recording and editing (multiple recordings)
- One-click solutions
- Theme music
- Easy audio cleanup.
- Easy to use, and fast.
- Accessible across multiple platforms.
- Pricey compared to the amount of features you get from other tools in this guide.
- Not much room to customise – but they are upfront about who this tool is for.
165 Million People in the US Have Listened to a Podcast~ musicoomph.com
If you’ve heard about Avid, you’ll know that this is the software powering the global entertainment industry.
While their licenced software is far out of reach for many self-starters and small podcast producers, you’ll be happy to know that they actually offer a pretty good free audio editing tool. Pro Tools | First is the lighter, free version of Avid’s Pro Tools digital audio workstation.
It’s a monster of a tool that allows podcasters to create, record, mix and publish music or audio content.
It’s a great way to get more acquainted with the full Pro Tools suite for free. The free version comes with everything you need to produce a pretty decent podcast and includes a library of music samples, loops, sounds, and templates.
Best for: Beginners, students, podcasters, those looking to get hands-on experience with Pro Tools before investing in the full licence fee.
Our rating: 9/10
Price: Free for Pro Tools | First, Pro Tools starts at $599 p/month.
- Record and edit (record up to 4 tracks at the same time)
- Available on Windows and Mac
- Virtual instruments
- MIDI editing
- Session templates
- 500MB Sample library
- Effects and plugins (up to 20)
- Full recording and editing capabilities as Pro Tools.
- Powered by a high-end entertainment industry software.
- Can run up to 3 projects at the same time.
- Gives you a studio-like experience.
- Professional quality sound.
- No MP3 option.
- No third-party plugins or instruments.
- Only 1 virtual instrument.
- Maximum of 16 tracks per session (shouldn’t really be a problem for podcasters though).
Where Alitu gives podcasters the ease of one-click options and templates, Reaper is heavily customisable for those who want to have control over every detail. Reaper is great for podcast recording, editing, mixing and mastering at a professional level, without the hefty price of other digital audio workstations.
Best for: Podcasters at all levels, particularly those who want to have full control over audio editing and quality. Not for novices who are looking for a quick and easy podcast solution.
Our rating: 8/10
Price: $60 once-off discounted licence for non-commercial use (personal projects), or small businesses, or students. $225 for the commercial licence.
Free trial: 60-day free trial
- MIDI editing
- Import and Export in any format
- Multitrack recording, mixing and editing
- Manage multiple projects
- Supports almost any third-party plug-ins for audio and MIDI
- Real-time FX processing
- Heavily customisable.
- Once-off licence fee.
- Lightweight application.
- Works on Window and Mac (experimental option for Linux).
- A great support community.
- A very generous 60-day free trial.
- Steep learning curve.
- The interface is not very user-friendly.
- No built-in virtual instruments.
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Picking the right podcast software
When it comes to picking the right podcast software, it’s important to first evaluate the following:
- Your level of expertise.
- The kind of podcast content you are producing: interviews, music and so on.
- What your appetite is for learning new, often complex software (i.e how much time are you willing to invest in learning and mastering a new tool?).
- What you can afford.
- How quickly you need to have your podcast project up and running.
- Whether or not you’ll need heavy music editing or virtual instruments.
- What your hardware can handle.
- The kind of sound quality you’re aiming for.
- Your own preferences such as user-friendliness, sounds, samples, instruments and customisability.
Of all the great podcast apps and software out there, we believe this list really has something for everyone’s needs. But, just to make it even easier, we’ll share our top picks:
Avid Pro Tool Lite: An excellent free tool that comes with many of the same features in the paid version for professional quality podcasting and music production.
Adobe Audition: A leader in digital audio workstations if you’re looking for “the works” and will spare no expense. High-quality sound, access to an enormous creative suite from a trusted, and reliable service provider.
Try them all, download the free trials and give them a go.
The more hands-on experience you have with various types of podcast software, the more confident you’ll feel when it comes to investing in a professional tool or deciding to go with a free one.
The Best Audio Editing Software for Beginning Podcasters: https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-audio-editing-software-for-beginning-podcasters/
5 key podcasting trends from the Digital News Report 2019: https://whatsnewinpublishing.com/5-key-podcasting-trends-from-the-digital-news-report-2019/
The World’s Top Podcast Publishers: https://www.statista.com/chart/20973/podcast-publishers-with-most-global-streams-and-downloads/
Podcast statistics: https://musicoomph.com/podcast-statistics/
G2: Business Software and Services Reviews: www.g2.com
Capterra | Find and Compare Software: https://www.capterra.com/