With an estimated 1.5 million active podcasts around the globe, this audio format has gone truly mainstream. And, as the industry has grown, recording and production habits have evolved.
Gone are the days when your choice as a podcaster was between a pricey, complex, professional recording rig and your everyday smartphone. Rather, studio-quality sound is now possible no matter where you want to record. Even if your co-host and guests can’t be in the same room.
At Riverside.fm, we’re dedicated to making it easier to record remote podcasts. Podcasters no longer need to turn to old-school desktop programs like Logic Pro, Adobe Audition, and Pro Tools for their recording needs.
Our podcast recording software prioritizes audio and video quality, while offering an interface that’s user-friendly, fully web-based, and designed with distance podcasting in mind.
Yet, we’re not the only ones. Podcast recording software is a booming niche, as more podcasters want to start recording their show while keeping their setup nimble and affordable.
In this guide, we’ll look at what you need to look for in a podcast recording software, compare a few different tools, and explain why we think Riverside.fm has the edge.
Podcast Recording Software: What to Consider When Browsing
When you’re launching or running a podcast, you’ve obviously got a lot to consider – the format, the guests, and more. At the same time, your tech is not something you should overlook or underestimate. The podcast recording software you decide today will have a long-lasting impact. To call it right, you need to dig down into what you want your podcast to sound like now and in the future.
With this in mind, here are some questions to consider when choosing your recording software.
Remote or in-person? The COVID-19 pandemic, and social distancing, has changed podcasting – potentially forever. If recording in-house still works for you, great. Yet, recording remotely doesn’t need to mean sacrificing sound quality to poor or unreliable connections.
Audio alone or video too? Audiences are hungry for new media – and the growth of video podcasting offers a different way for you to engage them. But not all podcast recording software provides video functionality (or video call in) – so make sure you’re clued-up on what they offer.
Professional or amateur? Whether you’re a pro podcaster or new to the business, experience, and skill matters when choosing your recording software. Will you really use all the Adobe Audition tools you’re paying for? Or would you prefer simplicity to focus on your content?
Guest numbers? If your podcast is you and a mate chatting, you’re going to need something different than a show with multiple guests every episode. Some podcast recording tools have limited capabilities in terms of guest numbers – so check this out before you make a choice.
Live release or pre-recorded? Podcasting, traditionally, isn’t live. However, live shows have given podcasters the ability to engage audiences in real-time – and you may want a podcasting software that gives you that option.
And there are other things to consider, including:
- Whether you need to add custom branding
- Whether you need screen sharing capability
- Whether you need producers to have access behind the scenes
- Whether you want the podcast host to have control, e.g. managing the waiting room, adapting audio or visual controls, removing participants, or chatting privately to co-hosts
Which is the Best Podcast Recording Software For Remote Interviews?
You’ve pinned down your needs. Now you need to find the software out there to fulfill them.
Here, we’re going to look beyond the classic options for in-person recording and editing: tools like GarageBand, Adobe Audition, Pro Tools, Audacity. While these are generally effective apps, we want to focus on software that lets you record over distance.
We’ll look at five options for remote podcast recording software – starting with Riverside.fm. That’s us.
Riverside.fm is unique among remote podcast recording software – even if we say so ourselves. We’re the first browser-based recording platform to offer local 4k video and audio recording. This way, we can help you deliver quality shows to your audience, regardless of the format you choose.
In everything we do, the quality of the recording is our priority. That’s why we record locally, so audio and video don’t need to span internet connections to be captured. Rather, your guests are recorded where they are – meaning crackly connections, lags, and unwanted noise will all be avoided. The host or producer, meanwhile, can adjust audio levels live, so that post-production pain is kept to a minimum.
To keep quality high, Riverside.fm saves all audio as WAV, while video comes in 4k (if your camera supports it) – and both are uploaded to the cloud progressively as they are being recorded. If one of your guests loses connection, the recording is still safe, secure, and usable for your podcast.
Beyond simple recording solutions, we’ve built plenty of other tools into our podcast recording software.
We offer integrations for platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, and Twitter, for example, allowing easy live streaming. Users can also stream the live recording on the platform itself, using what we call the “Audience Room”. And uniquely, our platform lets users take live video calls from listeners, too – integrating them into a split-screen alongside as many as eight other users.
Finally, producers can join the conversation without being recorded. This is called “producer mode” – allowing them to monitor progress and communicate with all participants from behind the curtain.
Summary of Riverside.fm Features:
- Riverside.fm’s browser-based software ensures ease of use – and no fiddly installations – for you and your guests
- Locally-recorded WAV audio and 4k video files, to maintain sound quality at its highest
- Progressive uploading keeps your recordings safe, even if connections are lost
- Up to 8 co-hosts and guests, to avoid unnecessary constraints on your show’s format
- In-built live streaming functionality through Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms
- Live video call-ins from guests – a unique feature in podcast recording software
- Producer mode – giving producers an easy way to manage the podcast
Riverside.fm offers a user-friendly platform providing local audio and video recordings of the highest quality. But we understand if you don’t want to just take our word for it. We offer a free trial with no credit card required – so you can give Riverside a try without any risky long-term commitment.
And if we’re not your thing, let’s look at some alternatives that might suit your needs…
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One of the biggest tech names of 2020, no brand represents the idea of socially distant working like Zoom. Yet, you may be surprised to see it here. Zoom wasn’t designed as a podcast recording software. Rather, as a video calling service, the voice-recording feature has been a convenient afterthought.
Despite this, Zoom is frequently used as a platform for recording podcasts. And it gets most of its appeal from the fact that it is familiar to use, affordable, and able to record both video and audio.
Yet, anyone who has had a Zoom call knows that the audio is not reliably high quality. Given that recordings are saved as mp4 video files and m4a audio, you may well find that the sound that eventually reaches your listeners’ ears is below their expectations.
On top of this, files are converted and saved only after your Zoom meeting has finished. Compared to the progressive uploading offered by Riverside.fm, this makes lost files a real risk – unless you’re taking a backup recording at the same time. However, this would really defeat the point of using Zoom at all.
Related article: How to Make a Zoom Podcast (And Other Alternatives to Consider)
Once the undisputed leader of online video chat, Skype has since lost its crown. However, thanks to its ubiquity across devices and people’s familiarity with how it works, Skype is still a popular option. And this is particularly appealing among podcasters who want to give remote guests a simple interface.
Like Zoom, Skype does offer video recording. Yet, unlike Riverside.fm, this doesn’t happen locally – and even if you only want the audio, you’ll get the video nonetheless. This means that sound has to pass through an internet line from where it was spoken. As a result, your guests on your podcast are going to sound like they’re on Skype. And this doesn’t give audiences the best listening experience.
Regardless, Skype is free and widely-used, and it is user-friendly. All you have to do is click record. As a result, it could be a suitable option if you are taking the very first baby steps in your podcasting career.
Related article: Riverside.fm: A Skype Alternative for Podcasting
One of the better-known remote podcast recording platforms is Zencastr. Like Riverside.fm, Zencastr is a browser-based service that records podcasters working at a distance using their own local microphones.
Each participant is recorded in lossless WAV and all recordings are automatically saved both in the host’s computer and in the cloud, as they’re being recorded. This means that recording quality should be high, although you’ll find a number of stories online about conversation recordings going out of sync – and about technical glitches in the recording process.
While Zencastr offers a free option, this is a little limited. Rather than WAV, expect mp3 files – and bank on only 8 hours of audio per month – among two guests. Premium, meanwhile, offers unlimited recording, along with a soundboard – so you can add intros, jingles, and ads mid-recording.
Finally, Squadcast is one of the newer names on the podcast recording block. While it fills some of the gaps left by the likes of Zencastr and Skype, it does have a couple of drawbacks of its own.
Before we get to these, though, Squadcast is a browser-based recording software – just like our platform, Riverside.fm – and it aims to make participating in podcasts easy. Guests just need to click a link, and a virtual green room allows them to get into the zone before going live.
Where it supersedes Zencastr is in the inclusion of video. Squadcast allows you to record audio while you’re on a video conference with your guests. This lets the host get to know guests a little better and bounce off physical cues they’d miss with audio on its own. Curiously, Squadcast doesn’t let you record this video. While the participants see each other live, only the audio is recorded for the show.
Ultimately, this is a drawback similar to the one that Zencastr suffers: podcast fans may want to see you in person and will be disappointed not to be offered that opportunity.
Finally, Squadcast is held back by the fact that it isn’t yet available on Safari, iOS, or iPadOS – and it only allows four participants in each recording. While this may seem like a minor issue, it does actually exclude quite a large section of the podcasting community, who like to work with bigger groups.
Summary: Choosing a Podcast Recording Software
With so many podcast recording software options available, the choice can only be yours. Yet, the big names of Zoom and Skype needn’t be your first port of call – particularly when they’re not purpose-built, and while the podcasting industry is evolving so dynamically.
At Riverside.fm, our platform will help you shift your recording over to remote without sacrificing audio quality – and let you take advantage of the growing demand for video. To finish, let’s recap some of the key features that our remote recording platform offers:
- Local recording in separate lossless WAV audio and 4k video files
- Reliable browser-based platform, meaning easy usability with no downloads or installs required
- Progressive upload and automatic back-up of recordings, ensuring no lost files
- Up to 8 co-hosts per recording
- Live streaming opportunities to Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms
- Live guest call-in, also in video
Now that you know which podcast software to choose, it's time to start recording. Or you can first read more about remote podcasting.