Is there a single best podcast editing software option out there? Unsurprisingly, no.
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 Simplest, Free, Going Pro, and Advanced.
The Simplest 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 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 comprehensive video course teaching Audacity too, 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
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)
Adobe Audition is an excellent 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.
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.
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. Our courses in there aren’t limited to recording and editing – you’ll find ones on monetisation, promotion, and presentation skills too!