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For every struggle faced by the human race, an app developer is building a handy solution. It’s no big surprise, then, that a handful of podcast making apps have emerged in recent years.
I should start by clarifying what I mean by “app.” In this article, we won’t be covering ‘Digital Audio Workstations‘ (DAWs) like Audacity or Audition. Instead, the focus here is on dedicated apps designed to take at least a couple of the recording, editing & publishing trifecta and make them really easy for podcasters.
List of the Best Podcast Making Apps
So, if you’re looking for the best podcast making app, what options are available to you currently? And which one is the best fit for you? Read on to find out…
1. Alitu: The Podcast Maker Tool
Alitu is a web app we developed ourselves because so many of our readers told us they hated editing. Or, at the least, they found it tricky and time-consuming. It seemed like loads of people were procrastinating over starting a podcast because of the thought of learning something like Audacity or Audition.
Alitu was designed to make recording, editing, and publishing super-easy. The outcome is that you can create a podcast without knowing the slightest thing about audio production.
You can record a call (or a solo audio track) inside Alitu. Or, you can easily upload your recordings from elsewhere (SquadCast/Riverside interviews, phone recordings, Zoom webinars, etc.), and Alitu does the rest. It’ll do the conversion, EQ, compression, levelling, noise reduction, and more, to get your audio sounding great.
Then, you can jump into Alitu’s editing tools – offering you top and tail functions, plus the ability to easily remove any mistakes from your audio. With Alitu, you can edit by text, too. It’ll auto-generate episode transcripts, and you can delete sections from that, which then removes them from the corresponding audio!
Once the editing stuff is done, the episode builder lets you piece together as many clips as you need, from solo segments to ads to listener call-ins, and it’ll add your theme music automatically at the start and end. There’s even a free music library if you don’t already have some.
Finally, you can publish directly to Alitu via its built-in podcast hosting and send it out to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and everywhere else podcasts are heard.
One of my favourite features is the edit playback speed. If you’ve recorded, say, an hour-long call, you can listen back through it to make any edits in literally half the time. Or, you can use the auto-generated transcriptions and text-based editing to search for edit points. Either way, Alitu will save you a lot of time!
- Podcast Maker App Type: Browser
- Price: $38 monthly subscription. Annual savings and 7-day free trial available
- Pros: Recording, editing, & publishing all in one place. Auto-transcription, text-based editing, and many other extras.
- Cons: Browser-only, no mobile app yet.
2. Podbean Podcast App
Brought to you by media hosting veterans Podbean, this app is a fully-fledged listening and discovery app first and foremost – but it has some handy creation and publishing tools, too.
Those making a podcast inside the app can record their content, mix in sound effects, and have the option of using music from an extensive library or simply importing their own.
What the Podbean Podcast App lacks in editing and production capabilities, it makes up for with its recording features. You can record up to eight participants in multitrack, though each person must be signed in to the app to make it all work.
Recording is done “as live,” but you can pause and restart your recording at any point. With Podbean Live you can record guests, co-hosts, and even take listener calls.
As Podbean are a media host, you can publish directly to their platform once your episode is created or download the file to edit or use elsewhere.
- Podcast Maker App Type: Desktop or Mobile
- Price: You can use the app for free, but storage and bandwidth will be limited. Paid tiers offer more options, starting from $14 a month ($9 per month when billed annually).
- Pros: Great for live broadcasting and ability to record eight people on individual tracks.
- Cons: Limited editing tools, and everyone has to sign up and log into the app.
You can get a month’s free hosting with Podbean when you sign up using the coupon code podcraft
3. Podcast Studio, by Spreaker
Spreaker is another top media hosting and monetisation platform for podcasters. Their Podcast Studio app is a great tool for creators, too.
It comes as either a desktop or mobile app and works in a similar vein to an online radio station, with the option to go live and interact with your listeners in real time through its chat function.
If you don’t want to go live, you simply select ‘Offline Mode’ to record your episode, then publish it manually once you’re happy with it.
Like Podbean, you can play effects and clips as you go. On the editing front, Spreaker Studio offers a trimming function that lets you top and tail your recording, prior to upload.
Spreaker really shines as a “live production” tool, allowing you to act as the DJ, creating a media-rich episode all on the fly. It’s great fun playing the music as you record and mix in listener call-ins, effects, and more. The desktop and mobile versions have mic controls and an “auto-ducking” feature that lowers the volume of the music bed whenever you speak.
- Podcast Maker App Type: Desktop or Mobile
- Price: You can start for free, but storage and session duration will be limited. Paid tiers offer more options and start from $20 a month.
- Pros: Excellent for live shows with music, listener call-ins, and other media.
- Cons: Limited editing and production tools.
4. Spotify for Podcasters (Anchor)
Another big reason for its popularity – it’s free.
Like the other apps in this roundup, Spotify for Podcasters makes creating and launching a podcast easy. Being a hosting service, you can publish directly onto their platform, too.
Their editing and production tools are a bit more basic and limited, but they’ll work fine for folks testing the water with podcasting. You can also auto-generate transcripts for segments of less than one minute, though not entire episodes.
One of their USPs is that you can play Spotify music within your episodes. There are a few caveats here – your music show will only be available inside Spotify, and tracks are inserted, so you can never talk over them or shorten them in any way. It’s still a really nice feature for the aspiring DJs out there, though.
Another big plus for some is that you can create video podcasts. These will only be available on Spotify, but it’s still a handy way to push more versions of your content out there.
Stretching back to its Anchor days, the app has had a tumultuous history. It hasn’t always been the most reliable, suffered badly from sync issues when recording with other folks, and shows hosted there even stopped working in popular listening app Overcast at one point.
Anecdotally, though, I’ve heard much fewer complaints and issues related to the service since its ‘Spotify for Podcasters’ rebrand, so that’s a good sign.
As one final word of caution, though, just be wary that, with any free service, you are the product, not the customer. If you’re podcasting as part of your business, it’s better to opt for one of the paid options here. But, if it’s purely a hobby show, then Spotify for Podcasters should be absolutely fine.
- Podcast Maker App Type: Browser or Mobile
- Price: Free
- Pros: It’s free! You can also make Spotify-exclusive music shows and video podcasts.
- Cons: Limited editing and production tools, limited transcription options, and historically not the most reliable of platforms.
Descript is a podcast-making app with a few groundbreaking features.
This is a tool that ventures beyond audio-only content. There are screen recording, video editing, and transcription features, too.
Descript was the first podcast making app that let you edit your audio via text-based transcription. Though you can now do this with Alitu, too.
Descript has a filler word detection feature that can help you eliminate those annoying uhms and ahs. You’ll also find the Overdub voice generation tool there, and it’s a pretty remarkable piece of AI software. These are all limited on the free tier, but give you a good hint of what’s possible with Descript.
Check out our full review of Descript for a deeper dive into this podcast making app.
- Podcast Maker App Type: Desktop App
- Price: Limited free tier. Subscriptions start from $12 a month, with the Pro tier at $24.
- Pros: Overdub and filler word removal are impressive tools.
- Cons: No call recording or hosting. You also need to download and install Descript on your computer, which limits access.
6. Libsyn Studio
There’s a few layers to this one. Libsyn Studio itself is available with any Libsyn account (starting from $5 per month), and that’ll let you record solo segments, piece them together, and add in some royalty-free music. It’ll also auto-level your audio before publishing directly to your Libsyn hosting account.
You can take things up a notch from $20 a month because you’ll then get access to Libsyn Connect for high-quality remote recording, and the ‘Easy Editing’ tool, which lets you… funnily enough, do some editing to your segments.
Get a month’s free hosting with Libsyn when you sign up using our affiliate coupon code podhost
- Podcast Maker App Type: Browser
- Price: $20 a month for full range of features
- Pros: Powerful remote recording tool, in the form of Libsyn Connect, and text-based editing options available in ‘Easy Editing’
- Cons: Slightly fragmented with all these different names, tools, and payment tiers.
What Can Podcast Maker Apps (Typically) Do?
Now that we’ve run through the options, I wanted to try and answer some frequently asked questions about this genre of software.
Each podcast maker app has its own unique design and set of features. But when you’re using a tool like this (as opposed to more general audio production software, podcast recording software, or a Digital Audio Workstation), a few common themes pop up.
Record & Store Audio
What’s a podcast if you can’t actually record the thing? It’d be difficult to claim anything was a “podcast making” app if it didn’t have a record feature. At a basic level, this means recording yourself talking, but the ability to record calls is a much-used feature on a tool like Alitu.
Cloud storage is another key feature of podcast maker tools, so you should be able to log in anywhere and find all your audio files and existing episodes. Tools like Dropbox and Google Drive can be great for podcasters, but the fewer places you need to hunt around for things, the more streamlined your workflow will be.
Add Other Audio Files, Music, etc. & Edit Them All Together
Podcast episodes are rarely one single spoken-word track. Most creators want to stitch together various audio files, add background music, etc. Post-production tools vary in flexibility and features, but most podcast maker apps will at least give you a basic editing process. With Alitu, we like to think we provide advanced features paired with extreme simplicity.
Publish Your Finished Episode for the World to Hear
Once all the hard work has been done, you want your finished episode to be available in podcasting apps on mobile devices all around the world. Most podcast making apps will provide hosting built-in, or, the ability to pair with a separate hosting account.
What Podcast Maker Apps Can’t Do for You
There’s no podcast making app out there that’ll make you a coffee or a sandwich (as far as I know – yet!). There are still a few things that you’ll need to do yourself, though. Or, at least, partly yourself…
Nail Down Your “Why” & Your USP*
Successful and professional podcasters all have one thing in common – they know exactly WHO they want to reach as well as WHY. They also have a USP (a Unique Selling Proposition). This can sound a bit corporate or salesy, but it really doesn’t have to be. Here are some essential resources to help you on your way.
- How to Find Your USP
- How to Hone Your Unique Podcast Topic
- * As of 2023, Alitu can. The Alitu Showplanner gives you a free personalised plan tailored to you and your show, no Alitu account, sign up or login required!
Substitute Good Microphone or Environment Quality
There’s no podcast recording software out there that can guarantee you a good level of sound quality. Equipment and environment are the key factors here. You should aim to record somewhere free from excessive reverb and background noise. An external mic (even a basic USB microphone) is going to drastically improve your audio quality if you’ve been recording into your phone or computer’s built-in mic.
Record good source material, and your software can really polish it up, but anything else is just going to be a patch-up and repair job. Check out our guide on how to record a podcast for a deeper dive on this.
Grow Your Subscriptions or Audience in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, etc
Your podcast maker app may enable you to publish to all the podcast directories out there, but the tasks of discoverability, marketing, and growth still lie with you. There are tools in your app that’ll help with this aspect of content creation, but podcast promotion is a whole topic of its own (we literally wrote a book about it).
The good news, though, is that a podcast making app will save you time, so you can dedicate more of it towards finding new listeners and growing your show.
Summary: So, What is the Best Podcast Making App?
The standard podcasting answer to any such question is, “It depends,” and this one is no exception.
Each of these apps brings its own unique flavour and offers something a little different for its users.
- Alitu gives creators much more control and flexibility in the sound and content of their end product, while still making things very easy. It’ll appeal the most to small business owners and solopreneurs who want to put out high-quality sounding episodes without getting bogged down in production. With hosting, transcriptions, and text-based editing now available, Alitu is a great “one place for everything” option.
- Spotify for Podcasters‘ big draw, of course, is that it’s free. You can also use it to publish video and music podcasts (exclusive to Spotify). Their editing tools have improved a bit, though their recording function remains a bit unreliable at times.
- Spreaker will appeal to those who want to run live shows with audience participation and monetization, but editing and production options are limited.
- Podbean offers an all-in-one podcast app for listening and creation, as well as some handy monetisation and premium content tools as part of its hosting service. It has a handy multitrack recorder option, too.
- Descript are an attractive option if you want to venture into the realm of video, and use text-based editing. They have some groundbreaking AI features like filler word removal and overdub, though you’ll still need separate call recorder and podcast hosting accounts.
- Libsyn Studio is a no-brainer if you’re already hosting with Libsyn, especially if you’re running a lot of online calls and interviews.
One of these options might immediately jump out to you as a perfect match for your podcasting needs and workflow. Or, maybe you’ll decide that a podcast making app isn’t the right fit for you or your podcast after all. If that’s the case, it’s also worth checking out our Complete Podcast Software Guide to explore your wider options!