Podcasting is taking off. With the sheer number of devices capable of playing audio has created a serious demand for content to play on them, and there are a lot of people trying to fill that need. This has also created a need to find the best podcasting mixer for those looking to create a great sound for their podcasts; just like any other crowded chamber anything that sets you apart from the competition is well worth whatever it takes. While there is always going to be a learning curve, that curve is worth it if it makes the best podcast.
Consider The Price
The first hurdle is the price. While the ideal is freeware, where there is no cost involved, commonly there is a problem with quality: Cheaper programs often take shortcuts in order to release something as quickly as possible. They may also be demo versions meant to grab attention and show what the full product can do while holding back some of the more basic features of the full program. If there is no problem with the quality then there is a potential issue in that the program may modify the end result by adding a tag or quick advertisement for the program in question, making the podcast a possible advertiser for the program in question.
Interestingly enough the most expensive mixers are not always the best options. Given the investment in question reviews become mandatory reading material. Some companies work under the theory that the price tag is all people want; podcasters who want to brag about their software are usually the ones that fall prey to them the quickest. The problem is that the mixers with the biggest price tags also have the great disparity of quality; it just seems that the higher the price tag the great the odds of there being problems with the software just as it is likely that there will be some serious quality control. The buyer truly needs to beware and reviews are the best defense.
How Easy Is The Mixer To Use?
Learning curve is another issue. Some programs have every possible feature a podcaster could want but it is usually too much. The podcaster needs to learn every feature in order to use the software effectively. He can also feel intimidated by the software and that can hurt his confidence, something that can show in a recording. On the flip side, some programs are so simple that they cannot fix even the simplest problem; they take no time to learn but there is usually nothing to learn. The best mixer plays in the middle ground, where there is something to learn but they are not too simple.
Last but not least is the ability to handle different file formats and the ability to export as an mp3. While the former may not matter to most podcasters, to those dealing with music from a variety of different sources or messing with special effects that is a major issue; they need to be able to deal with different sound effects in order to do a clean tape. However, the latter consideration is a major issue; with almost every site wanting the podcast in the mp3 format, a mixer that does not have the ability to translate an audio file to that format, or needs another application to do so, is probably going to be a problem down the road.
Our Podcasting Mixer Conclusion
All told, the top podcasting mixer is one that is cheap or at least worth the price, has a decent learning curve, the ability to handle a variety of different audio formats, and can at least export as an mp3. The cost does not really matter, but is more of personal limitation; as such it has to be kept in mind at the very least. The ability to handle different formats is nice, but may not be for everyone. The one that makes or breaks or makes the decision is the learning or the ability to translate to mp3s, depending on the needs of the person. Nonetheless they are all worth keeping in mind when looking for the program that can make or break your podcast.