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6 absolutely free tools for podcasters and YouTubers

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OK, we’re well aware that we’re veering away from our music-focused remit here, but we’d feel like we were failing in our duty to bring you the finest in freeware by not pointing out the ocean of top quality podcasting and YouTubing resources readily available to download or sign-up for right now. 

Podcasting has grown exponentially in popularity and ease over the last decade, as has the number of music production-focused YouTube channels. While having a good voice, amiable personality and a decent backdrop (if you’re on film) are pretty important, many of the technical considerations can be surprisingly handled by the appropriation of the following…

1. Anchor.fm

freeware

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One of the most substantial free podcasting resources on the web, Anchor.fm features a suite of tools for recording, editing and – importantly – publishing your shows. With unlimited free hosting, your shows can reach a wider audience (albeit, interspersed with advertising). It’s also got automatic distribution to Apple Podcasts.   

2. Audacity

freeware

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Audacity’s well-documented uses are many, but this free open source audio editing powerhouse provides a tremendous boon for quick cutting and snipping to make your podcast top-notch. Capable of processing 32-bit audio, high-quality resampling and dithering, not to mention VST and AU plugin support, you should really have this on your hard drive. 

3. WavePad Audio Editing Software

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Another solid audio editing giant, WavePad has been the cost-free sound sculptor of choice for many podcasters and those needing to get some quick sonic tweaking done without shelling out. While a paid-for version is available, the free version is really all you need, and sports spectral analysis, text-to-speech and vocal manipulation. 

4. Google Voice

freeware

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One of the most efficient, and free, methods of capturing your long distance interviews is by using Google’s Voice platform. Once you and your guest have created a free account, the conversation can be recorded by simply pressing the number 4 on your keypad. It’s hassle-free, so you can focus on not asking awkward questions.   

5. Zencastr

freeware

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Capable of recording multiple synchronised audio tracks for two guests, 1080p HD video recording, and a live editing soundboard, Signing up for a Zencastr Hobbyist account is a fab way into the world of podcast hosting or launching YouTube shows. The permanently free version allows you to record a max of eight hours per month.  

6. Stitcher

freeware

(Image credit: Various)

Any podcaster worth his or her salt will surely need to have some awareness of how other ‘casters produce their shows. Stitcher offers free access to tens of thousands of original podcasts, and offers insight into the wider world of distribution. On top of that, this could be a great launchpad for your own show.

Pro tip: podcast hosting

There’s a wide array of options out there when it comes to free podcast hosting. Many will be monetised by advertising. Some, such as the slick Podbean provide routes to distribution for Apple, Spotify and Google, as well as deep analytical tools, so you can keep tabs on your podcast’s success. You can add more (paid) abilities as you go. 

Another notable platform, the super easy Buzzspout, offers unlimited storage and 90 days of podcast hosting (though you’re only granted two hours of upload time each month!). It’s an idea to get started with a free version, but we’d always recommend that if you want to seriously invest time and effort into making podcasts, you should certainly sign up for a professional account with your host of choice. 

It’s also worth pointing out that many free trials and accounts have rights stipulations which mean that your uploaded shows are fair game for the service to use as an example in its advertising. So, if you’re aiming to be the next Adam Buxton, bear in mind that the ownership of your show might just have been signed away in the T&Cs! 

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