Best Podcast Editing Software: At-a-Glance
- There's a plethora of podcast editing software options on the market today.
- At their core, they all really function and work in the same way.
- For many, the choice comes down to budget. There are free options out there, like Audacity.
- Paid platforms like Adobe Audition are immensely powerful and flexible, though overkill for most podcasters.
- A dedicated podcast editing tool like Alitu is a great option for those who want simplicity and automation.
- Read on to find out more…
Is there a single best podcast editing software option out there? Unsurprisingly, no. But, we can tell you some of the best options FOR YOU!
That's because, although all podcasters have much in common, there's also a lot of individual factors to think about with something like this.
People come to podcasting with different backgrounds, skills, experiences, commitments, ambitions, and budgets. And those are just a few factors that might help decide what the best podcast editing software for someone is.
This makes it impossible to recommend one podcast editing software option as “the best” – so I'm going to offer 4 recommendations under the categories Easiest, Free, Going Pro, and Advanced.
Remember, if you're looking a guide to ALL of the types of software you'll need to run a show, check out our main Podcast Software article, for recording, editing, scheduling & planning software, and more!
What Your Podcast Editing Software Can (And Can't) Do
First up though, a quick crash course in why you'd want to use podcast editing software in the first place.
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Podcast editing software typically doubles up as podcast recording software. This is handy, because it means you only need one single platform to record and edit your podcast.
One exception here is if you're recording remote conversations with interviewees or co-hosts. If that's the case, you will want to use dedicated call recording software. You'd then download your audio after each session and import it into your podcast editing software to begin working on it.
Editing (Cutting Stuff Out)
People use podcast editing software for two main reasons. The obvious one is the editing out of mistakes and unwanted segments. This is literally where you cut out content from the finished episode. For a deeper dive here, check out our ultimate guide to podcast editing.
Cleaning Up, & Fixing Volume Levels
Another key use of podcast editing software is a process known as “post-processing”. This is where you clean up any background noise, ensure that volume levels are consistent throughout, and that the overall volume of the episode is within generally accepted podcasting standards.
Your podcast editing software can be a powerful tool. But it isn't a magic tool, or a substitute for good practices in the recording process. If you hear a podcast that has great audio quality, the main factors at play are that the podcaster has a good level of gear, is using it in the right way, and has taken the recording environment into consideration.
The cleaning up of “background noise” is a bit of an ambiguous term too. Editing software can easily clean up consistent sounds like the hiss or hum underneath the vocals caused by things like equipment, fans, or AC units. However, background noise like people shouting, doors slamming, and phones ringing aren't so easy to remove. With a bit of know-how and the right tools you can certainly have a stab, but often this type of audio surgery will leave audible flaws in the voices we're trying to listen to.
With that all said, let's now crack on to what you came here for – our best podcast editing software recommendations.
The Easiest Podcast Editing Software Option
Are you a complete beginner with no real technical background, and no desire to learn about audio editing?
If so, there's a tool called Alitu that'll let you build your episodes in an incredibly simple way.
It'll take your raw audio, do all the volume leveling and cleaning up for you. It'll let you add in your music, segments, transitions, etc. In fact, it'll even go as far as to publish your episode for you once it's ready!
Full disclosure here – Alitu is our own app.
It was something we developed because so many of you were asking for a completely simple solution to podcast editing. The feedback so far has been brilliant so far too. One user commented that her show “would never have seen the light of day” if it wasn't for Alitu.
So if you're in the “non-techy” and “complete beginner” camp, and the thought of editing and production is really holding you back, we'd love you to give it a try!
Alitu Cost: $28 a month (7 day free trial available)
The Free Podcast Editing Software Option
Maybe you're a complete beginner who's not looking to spend any money, but has some spare time to learn the basics of podcast editing?
If that's the case, Audacity is your best option.
A stalwart in the world of podcasting, Audacity is an open source audio recording and editing program. Such programs are also known as DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations).
The fact that Audacity is free makes it the most commonly used DAW in podcasting too.
But being free isn't it's only appeal. It's also packed with enough features to build any type of podcast episode you like.
We actually have a huge, in-depth course on how to use Audacity, from beginner to pro, inside The Podcast Host Academy. But you'll also find enough free tutorials out there to get you up and running if you're working with no budget whatsoever!
Audacity Cost: Free
The Pro Podcast Editing Software Option
Hindenburg Journalist is a DAW that's specifically designed for podcasters and radio journalists.
The Hindenburg website says that the program's “focus is on storytelling.” and “The design and features are tailored spoken-word productions.”
This actually makes it a little cleaner and less intimidating than its more advanced alternatives.
With Hindenburg Journalist you can put together complex documentary-style episodes with multiple elements without being an audio production master.
Hindenburg Journalist Cost: $95 (one off)
The Advanced Podcast Editing Software Option
Adobe Audition is an excellent podcast software option for someone who wants complete flexibility and control over their projects.
This DAW has everything you need to achieve a level of mastery in audio editing and production.
Audition can take a lot more learning and getting used to because of the amount of features and options in it. But once you've grasped the basics, the stuff you can do with your audio is pretty limitless.
If you're prepared to spend time and money on getting first class audio quality with your podcast, then Audition is a stand out option.
You can read my full review of Adobe Audition here, where I run through some of my favourite features for producing podcasts. That'll give you a glimpse into how the DAW looks, feels, and performs.
A quick heads up that our link below is an affiliate, so we'd earn a small commission if you were to buy through it – at absolutely not extra cost to yourself!
Adobe Audition Cost: $29.99 a month
Summary: Best Podcast Editing Software
As I said at the start, everyone is different, and it's impossible to pick one single best podcast editing software option. It all depends on where you are at this moment in time in your podcasting journey.
There will always be exceptions, but on a general level here's a summary of my recommendations.
- If you're looking to save time and avoid learning anything about audio editing, DAWs, etc, then go with Alitu.
- If you're looking to save money, but are prepared to invest some time in learning audio editing, go with Audacity.
- If you can afford to spend some money, as well as a little time, you can learn the streamlined DAW Hindenburg Journalist which is designed with audio storytelling in mind.
- Or, if you want long term flexibility, and no limits on your quest for audio production mastery, then check out Adobe Audition.
It's also worth noting that – like whatever microphone you use – your editing software is just a means to an end. The quality of your podcast will ultimately be decided by its content, and no editing software or DAW can guarantee you growing an audience.
With that said, none can hold you back from growing one, either!
So choose something, learn it, and use it to the best of your ability. But don't let it distract you too much from the work that matters most – creating engaging episodes that people want to listen to.
And, if you'd like some more help with any (or every) aspect of running a successful podcast, have a look at The Podcast Host Academy. There, you'll find all our courses on everything from editing to promotion, and we run weekly live Q&A sessions for you too!