Pros and Cons of Anchor, Zencastr and Zoom Recording App
Updated: Apr 15
As a beginner podcaster, besides having a good idea for your podcast, having the correct software and application is of great importance. If you, by any chance, want to interview someone for your podcast, you have to know the best and most secure way to record it and acquire that audio or video file.
There are a lot of confusing reviews online, with some people being paid to sponsor the product. It requires a lot of time to gain a clear picture of the benefits and flaws an app can have.
In this article, we will present to you three best beginner recording apps for a podcast, their use in making a podcast, as well as discuss the pros and con’s of the app.
· Anchor is an all-in-one podcast-making application where you can record, edit, and do all your hosting, whether you use it on PC or a mobile app. It provides unlimited free hosting and uploading, and as such, it’s a perfect solution for a beginner or a hobbyist podcaster on the budget. Even though you must have some caution when it comes to free service, the Anchor app is a great starting point for podcasters before they are ready to invest more.
The best thing about Anchor is the convenience of uploading your episode and have it appear in places like Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, or Spotify automatically. You only need to upload to these directories the first time. Once you’re approved, the app will take over the automatization.
Anchor puts ads in your episodes, but the good thing about it is that you can manage when or where those ads will appear. That reduces the risk of an ad popping up in the middle of your sentence.
Another great feature is that, because you can run it via a mobile app, it gives you a lot more flexibility. You can do interviews on-the-spot instead of scheduling one with your guest. Just make sure you have your microphone ready, and you are free to walk around and interview people.
You can also build your episode in Anchor as it offers remixing, redesigning of the episode, and overall polishing of your audio content.
When Anchor publishes your episode to Apple Podcast, it does it under its own account, so you may miss out on being able to look at your stats such as drop-off and completion rates for each episode. These stats are useful in the long run as it makes you aware of your audience’s likes or dislikes.
If you think those ads will impact your income, you are mistaken. To make any significant amount, you would have to have thousands of downloads, and there is always the question of if you want your audience to suffer through ads.
The format is M4A instead of MP3 or WAV, and the recording speed is 32 bytes per second, which is far from the preferred 128 bytes /sec. That’s not good enough for podcasters that have full quality audio with music, voices, and effects. Still, for voices-only podcasts, it works just fine.
Episode builder is great, but the interface is often buggy, sometimes you want to select something, and it doesn’t select. There are some deselecting issues where at the end of it, you are not sure how it’s going to work. Editing isn’t’ possible from the web browser, just splitting your audio into segments, and any editing has to be done in your preferred podcast editing software.
Zencastr is a recording software whose primary purpose is to make it easier to record high-quality audio for call interviews. Usually, Skype and phone interviews sound horrible as they depend on the strength of the internet connection. This product works through a browser, so your guest needs only to click on the link. You can also monitor the status of the recording, making sure the interview recording is running smoothly.
Works for either Mac OS (10.10 or higher) or Windows 8.1 (and higher)
Offers multi-track recording, automatic postproduction, soundboard that allows you to add an intro or a sponsor add.
For Beginners, Zencastr offers a free Hobbyist account, and with it, you can record up to two guests and a max of 8h/month. Gives 128kbps, MP3 files tracks, and you have a 14-days Professional account trial.
Even though it runs on any operating system, it doesn’t have an app.
Zencaster is not an all-in-one solution for podcasters as it doesn’t provide tools for hosting and publishing your podcast.
After the initial 14-days Professional account trial, the automatic postproduction tool from this account costs $3/hr.
After some time, it starts to cause some problems during the interviews where you can experience radio-silence from both ends. Whether it is a user error or something different, it isn’t something quickly resolved. Also, you can experience a big bug when Zancastr expunges the guest’s audio, and then, basically, you are left without an interview. This all happens often enough to consider it a flaw.
Zoom is a video conferencing app that runs in your browser. You can have conversations in audio or video format with up to hundreds of people. It also runs on PC, tablet, or mobile phone.
There is a basic free version, the catch is that you have a 40 minutes limit on all group calls. This is not a problem if it’s a one-on-one conversation podcast. There are some features you may have to pay extra for, such as cloud storage or unlimited length for group calls, but it’s worth it.
The best thing about it is the simplicity. You can, in the middle of the interview, start recording by clicking on ‘Record on this Computer,’ and when you want to finish, you click the stop button. While still in the call, you can click on ‘End Meeting,’ and Zoom will save your audio to your computer.
The final product of the zoom is one MP4 audio file that you can load directly to your preferred audio editor or MP4 video file. If you choose to have separate tracks for each speaker, Zoom will provide for each one a separate MP4 file.
The only thing where can be considered a flaw is audio quality. It’s not exactly top-notch, but it’s reliable and suitable for any podcast type. This, too, can be justified since you are recording via interwebs, and a lot depends on the internet connection.
BONUS TIP: One thing you can do is optimize the audio quality. You see, every time Zoom records audio, it does some minor editing (like noise reduction and echo cancelation) to help it sound good. If you have a quiet space and a good mic, you will get more out of your audio if you choose the ‘Preserve Original Sound’ option.
So there you go! I hope this article offered you some insight into what each of these apps can provide to you. These are all excellent recording software, the question is what would you be using it for. My advice would be to take your time and try them all. That’s the best way to see which one will suit your needs the best and since they are all, more or less, free, it’s not going to put a dent in your budget. Good luck, guys, and happy podcasting!