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Best Tools for Recording a Podcast Online: Interviews, Co-hosting & Groups

Whether you run an interview show, or have a remote co-host, you need a means to record your podcast online.

Whether you run an interview show, or have a remote co-host, you need to know how to record a podcast online.

Traditionally these types of recordings have taken place over Skype. But a few new tools have appeared on the scene these past couple of years.

Things like multitrack recording and local file storage with cloud backup have become popular demands amongst podcasters nowadays. And some of the newer tools on the market are offering these features, and more.

As call recording apps compete to become the top choice in their field, we'll undoubtedly see more innovative features and capabilities being unveiled in the near future too.

Before we get to the roundup though, it's important to qualify an important point.

What Call Recorders CAN'T Do

The quality of any recording depends largely on equipment, environment, and mic technique.

You could use state of the art call recording software and it would still sound terrible if your guest was recording on a laptop mic in their bathroom.

Fortunately, you don't need to be a master audio producer to get the above things right. Or, to be able to coach your guests to get optimal sound quality from them.

Need Help Launching Your Podcast?

Check out the Academy

Check out some of the best entry-level recording kit for podcasters, and also how to optimise your recording space. That'll help get you set up on that front!

Best Tools for Recording a Podcast Online

So what are the best options for recording a podcast online right now? Things change fast in technology, so we'll be updating this post whenever necessary.

And remember, recording software is just one part of the bigger picture. To see the big picture, check out our main Podcast software article for everything from recording, to editing, to scheduling, to planning.

If it's recording software you're after right now, though, here are our picks…

Recording With Skype

Skype and podcasting have a long history together. And despite the many other options that've become available over the years, Skype is still the most popular place podcast interviews are recorded.

The connection can be variable, and even when it's perfect, you're still recording a internet-compressed ‘phone' call. But, in many cases, perfection is the enemy of consistency, so it can be a good option!

Using Skype to Record – Free Option

In mid-2018 Skype introduced its own dedicated call recording feature. For the first time, this meant that podcasters didn't need any third party software to capture their interviews. On the down-side, the recording options are a bit limited – no split channel, and only one format type. But, it's super-simple!

Ecamm Call Recorder for Skype – Mac Option

Ecamm's Call Recorder allows you to record Skype calls on your Mac. At the time of writing, it's one of the most popular ways of recording podcast interview online.

  • Mac/PC – Mac
  • Cost – $39.95 One-off payment
  • Files – MOV (can be turned into MP3 with in-app converter)
  • Guest Requirements – Skype account
  • Records video – Yes
  • Independent channels? The call records in stereo with the presenter on one side and the guest (or multiple guests) on the other side. The stereo track can then be split into two separate mono tracks with Ecamm's in-app converter.

Get Ecamm Call Recorder

TalkHelper Call Recorder for Skype – PC Option

A Skype call recorder for your PC. TalkHelper is a very similar program to Pamela. It costs a fair bit more, but it actually works!

  • Mac/PC – PC
  • Cost – $49.95 One-off payment
  • Files – MP3 and WAV
  • Guest Requirements – Skype account
  • Records Video – Yes
  • Independent channels? You need to go into the app's settings before recording your first call and change the default setting from ‘stereo' to ‘mono'. That way the call will record in stereo with the presenter on one side and the guest (or multiple guests) on the other side. The stereo track can then be split into two separate mono tracks in Audacity, Adobe Audition, etc.

Get TalkHelper

What About Pamela for Skype?

The Pamela tool is a bit of a veteran in the interview recording space, though at time of writing, it isn't fully compatible with the latest Skype update. For a PC Skype recording option, we'd recommend you use TalkHelper instead.

Standalone Podcast Recording Tools

If you're looking to move away from Skype altogether then there are plenty options on the market right now.

SquadCast – Our Top Pick!

With SquadCast there's here's no setup or install needed for Hosts or Guests. Audio is recorded locally while uploading progressively & backups are recorded in the cloud.

  • Mac/PC – Both
  • Cost – unlimited $20/mo or $200/yr ($5 an hour ‘Dabbler' tier available too)
  • Files – WAV & MP3
  • Guest Requirements – Google Chrome & headphones
  • Video – Yes with realtime presence including city, time, network speed, & battery life
  • Independent channels? Yes with 1 Host & up to 3 Guests

Get SquadCast

Ringr

RingrRingr is an app which enables you to record calls on your mobile or desktop. One of the best options out there if you want to podcast with your smartphone.

  • Mac/PC – Both
  • Cost – Tiered monthly payment
    • Basic – $7.99 per month
    • Premium – $18.99 per month
  • Files – MP3/OGG/FLAC
  • Guest Requirements – None
  • Video – No
  • Independent channels? Yes. 2 participants can be recorded independently with the Premium package.

Get Ringr

Use the coupon code podcraft when you sign up for a paid plan for 10% off monthly or 25% off annually! 

Cleanfeed

Cleanfeed enables anyone to send, receive and record live audio using only a browser.

  • Mac/PC – Both (Chrome)
  • Cost – Tiered monthly payment
    • Standard – Free
    • Pro – $34 for commercial use, $22 for non commercial use
  • Files – WAV for all recording types, including mulitrack.
  • Guest Requirements – Click a link either sent via email, or sent directly by the studio operator.
  • Video – No
  • Independent channels? Yes – there is a varied number of available recording and routing options available in both the standard and Pro tiers.

Get Cleanfeed

Zoom

Zoom.usZoom is a conference call app capable of hosting unlimited participants for unlimited durations. One of the big pluses of Zoom is its simplicity and reliability. The trade off is that the audio quality can be poor at times.

  • Mac/PC – Both
  • Cost – Tiered monthly payment
    • Basic – Free
    • Pro – $14.99 per month
    • Business – $19.99 per month
  • Files – M4A (video or audio)
  • Guest Requirements – They just need to click a link and download the Zoom Launch application.
  • Video – Yes
  • Independent channels? Yes

Get Zoom

Cast

trycastCast let's you record your podcast without the need to download or install anything outwith your own browser. It also doubles up as a media host service, so you can upload and publish your podcast with Cast too.

  • Mac/PC – Both
  • Cost – Tiered monthly payment
    • Hobby – $10 per month
    • Pro – $30 per month
  • Files – MP3
  • Guest Requirements – Using Chrome browser
  • Video – No
  • Independent channels? Yes. Up to 4 participants can be recorded independently.

Get Cast

Zencastr

ZencastrZencastr allows you to record two or more people from inside your browser on independent channels without even needing to download or install anything. They also offer a post-production feature for your recordings.

  • Mac/PC – Both
  • Cost – Tiered monthly payment with free option
    • Hobbyist – Free
    • Professional – $20 per month
    • Network $250 per month
  • Files – MP3 (Hobbyist) and WAV (Professional & Network)
  • Guest Requirements – Using Chrome or Firefox browsers
  • Video – No
  • Independent channels? Yes – each participant is recorded independently. You can have up to 2 with the Hobbyist account, but as many as you like with the Pro or Network packages.

Get Zencastr

Use coupon code THEPODCASTHOST for 20% off the first three months of a monthly Pro subscription with Zencastr.  If used for a yearly subscription, it will be 20% off for the entire year!

Summary: What Tool Should I Use for Recording a Podcast Online?

If you need to go free, then try Cleanfeed‘s free tier, or consider the alternative option, talked about below.

If you're able to dedicate a small budget towards your podcast, then I'd definitely go with SquadCast.

There are a lot of really good online recording tools listed here, but I've been most impressed with SquadCast. It's a really simple and intuitive tool to use, and it can give you great sounding interviews.

An Alternative Option – “The Double Ender”

Participants Record Their Own Audio

If you'd like to know how to record a podcast without extra software, then let's have a look at the ‘double-ender'.

In this method, each guest or co-host takes responsibility for recording his or her own audio at the source.

That might be opening up their recording/editing software, and running that to record their voice as they talk to their fellow participants.

Or it might be using a completely separate mic and digital recorder, to eliminate the risk of loss of audio due to computer issues.

In any case, with all being well, the producer will have quality recordings of each participant on independent tracks to work with in post-production.

If you're doing this, just remember to run a back up recording on something like Skype or Zoom. That way, if someone forgets to hit record, all isn't lost!

What About Editing?

Best Podcast Editing Software AlituOf course, once you've recorded a call, you still need to edit and publish it.

And for that, you might want to check out our “podcast making” tool Alitu, which practically builds your episode for you.

Alitu is really simple to use, and will take care of the processing, editing, and publishing of your podcast, without the need for any actual editing software. You can even record the solo parts of your episode in there too!

So whether you’re a complete beginner, or an experienced podcaster looking to drastically cut down on your production time, why not let Alitu do the heavy lifting, so you can spend more time on the content and promotion?

Need More Help With Your Podcast?

Having somewhere to record your podcast online is great. But it's still just one piece in a very large jigsaw.

There's other considerations too, like how do I actually conduct a good interview? Or how do I hone my skills as a host or presenter?

Then there's stuff like equipment and editing. And once your podcast is sounding good you'll want to think about promotion, audience growth, and maybe even eventually, monetisation.

Inside The Podcast Host Academy, you can get help with all of this and more. We have dedicated courses for each of these areas, and on top of that we run regular live Q&A sessions too.

It's the one-stop-shop place for launching and building a successful podcast.

Discussion:

17 Comments

  1. Justin on 3rd January 2017 at 8:26 pm

    Thanks for this list. I use a chromebook for now so these will come in handy. I’m checking out Cast right now too and like what I see so far.

  2. Marc on 1st March 2017 at 9:06 am

    Perhaps a vouch for Cleanfeed? http://cleanfeed.net

    • jULIANA CLIFFTHORPE on 3rd May 2018 at 2:23 pm

      Just a quick note that CleanFeed only works on Chrome browser at present. It has a FREE package for personal use and for charities. Basic usage, but it seems like a good starting point for first tentative recordings.

  3. Balint on 10th May 2017 at 2:34 pm

    I usually record with Google Hangout, so I don’t have to stress about errors, and also like the video feature (records the one who is talking).
    Today, however, my guest told me that Hangout does not work for him. So I’m here looking for solutions. I prefer to have video as well for my youtube channel.
    I was looking into Zoom.us – anyone had experience with it?

    • Rachel Thompson on 5th August 2017 at 4:26 pm

      I’ve been using Zoom for webinars and wondered how it might fare for podcasts. Did you find out more about how it compares to other options?

      • Matthew McLean on 8th August 2017 at 10:10 am

        Hi Rachel, Zoom is definitely something I’ll be adding to this roundup in the near future.

  4. Martin lindeskog on 10th October 2017 at 7:50 am

    I use Ringr. Have you listened to my interview with Tim Sinclair, CEO, Ringr?

  5. Josh on 11th October 2017 at 8:55 pm

    I use Supertintin Recorder for Skype which records audio and video for every participant on a separate channel! Which is awesome.

    but I’ve had compatibility issues with different Skype versions and it randomly fails to record video channels sometimes. This is unacceptable. I hope they fix it.

  6. Mark on 5th December 2017 at 5:53 am

    Hi, just like to add that on Zoom you can record at least 2 channels of separate audio. I’ve been using it since October this year for some podcast recordings. I’m really happy with it for its ease of use and quality. I think it adds compression as the recordings are pretty loud, and there seems to be a gate on it as well but depends on your mic setup on how it reacts.

    • stefano on 12th January 2018 at 11:26 am

      Hi Mark, very interesting but I can not understand how to record two different channels with Zoom. You could tell me more? Thanks.

      • Chris on 14th February 2018 at 5:22 am

        Stefano to record multiple channels in zoom go to Preferences > Recording and look for a checkbox that says “Record a separate audio file for each participant”

        There are some different settings for how it records video too but only one video file (single video file of: gallery view, active speaker or just you, etc)

    • Otis Woodard on 19th July 2018 at 8:15 pm

      Mark, that’s brilliant about Zoom. I’m a Zoom user and didn’t even know that. Thank you!

  7. Christina on 4th January 2018 at 12:48 am

    Has anyone worked with Cast? Seems like a simple one-stop shop for a podcasting first-timer. Thoughts? Pros/cons?

    Thanks!
    Christina

  8. Kolvorok on 20th August 2018 at 2:45 pm

    Absolutely get Audio Hijack by Rogue Amoeba, you can then use whatever software you want to use for your call, even regular phone line… and record it without hassle.

  9. Rick on 16th September 2018 at 11:45 pm

    It seems that most are fond of Zoom but per Chris it only records one video file so is there software that lets you record multiple video and audio files?

  10. BabuZakia on 2nd August 2019 at 12:30 pm

    You can check out GrowPlayer.com – One of the best podcast player for content marketers.

  11. Audrey on 14th November 2019 at 11:10 am

    Pardon my ignorance but how does Audio Hijack by Rogue Amoeba work?

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Written by:

Matthew McLean

Matthew is an audio drama writer and producer who enjoys talking about podcasts. He makes the tea at The Podcast Host, and is a loyal servant of adopted house rabbits.

November 6th 2019