So, you want to create a podcast? And you’re doing a little research on platforms? Heck yes, we’re all about podcasts here.
To get started with remote podcast hosting, it’s important to understand the platforms available for remote recording. A popular podcasting software is Zencastr (see also ‘Riverside.FM Vs Zencastr‘), and you’ve maybe read about it, but decided that’s not your jam. Respect.
Plenty of podcasting software offers features similar to Zencastr at a lower price. We have some thoughts on all of those Zencastr alternatives, so we’ve laid them out for you.
Read our reviews of 10 other software tools (besides Zencastr) podcasters use to record, edit, and produce their shows.
Squadcast (see also ‘Riverside.fm Vs SquadCast‘) is a top podcast tool for remote interviews. Companies like Spotify and ESPN use it for recording, so you know you’re in good hands.
Their software emphasizes the host and guest experience and still provides incredible audio quality.
Squadcast has Audio pricing tiers and Audio + Video tiers. All the plans offer the same features. The main difference is the hours a host can record.
With Audio only, the tiers are:
- Indie Audio: $20/month or $220/year for 5 recording hrs
- Pro Audio: $50/per month or $550/year for 12 recording hrs
- Studio Audio: $150/per month for 25 recording hrs
For Audio and Video, the tiers are:
- Indie Audio + Video: $40/month or $440/year for audio + video 5 hrs
- Pro Audio + Video: $100/month or $1100 for audio + video 12 hrs
- Studio Audio + Video: $300/month or $3300/year for 25 hrs
- Sound Quality: Recorded content will produce studio quality.
- Real-Time Upload: The separate tracks of you and your guests are uploaded as your record.
- User Friendly: A sleek and simple interface. Plus, the green room lets you work out any potential tech kinks before interviews.
- Separate Audio Tracks: Editing recordings separately is the best way to get a studio sound.
- No Safari Support: MAC-users can use this software, but not on the Safari browser.
- No iOS Mobile App: The software is available on Android devices, but iOS and iPadOS are not supported.
- Price: The price points may be restrictive for some podcasters.
This is the professional remote podcast tool for audio and video. Few alternatives exist.
If you’re interested in video podcast hosting, check Riverside.fm out. It produces studio-quality media on all fronts.
Built-in social media integration means live broadcasting straight to YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, and Facebook.
Riverside.fm has monthly and yearly plans available:
- Basic: $9/month or $90/year for 2 hrs. of recording time
- Standard: $19/month or $180/year for 5 hrs. of recording time
- Pro: $29/month or $288/year for 15 hrs. of recording time
- Guest Friendly: Hosts can interview or call up to 7 guests at one time.
- Social Media Integration: Live stream your podcast straight to social media.
- 4K Videos: Riverside.fm allows you to record pristine audio and video.
- Price: It’s on the pricier side, but it’s worth the quality media you’ll receive.
- Video Editing: This isn’t necessarily Riverside.fm’s fault, but you should be aware fine-tuning videos cost you more time (and money) than strictly audio.
Cast is a Zencastr stand-in with a combo of features. You’re able to record, edit, and publish on the same platform.
For a remote interview, your guest will not need an account. Cast generates a guest link. The link allows up to four guests to join the host.
All plans include analytics, hosting, and RSS feeds at no additional cost. Start podcast hosting for less than $20/month.
After a free month, the pricing tiers are:
- Hobby: $10/month for 10 hours of recording time
- Pro: $30/month for 100 hrs of recording time
- All-in-One Service: Do everything right from your browser.
- User Friendly: Your guests can easily record. You can too.
- Web-Based: Cast’s web hosting means it won’t clog up space on your computer.
- Analytics: If you want data regarding your listeners or your podcast’s performance, Cast offers free analytics.
- Cost: On each plan, the hours/price per month is super affordable.
- No Mobile Capabilities: No mobile app yet!
- Web-Based: If your internet connection goes out, you may lose content.
Cleanfeed produces quality sessions. Record solo or include multiple co-hosts. A host can record their session, and the platform delivers two separate audio tracks on one WAV file.
Cleanfeed is available only on a Chrome browser. However, you can’t use it on iOS. Even for commercial use, it’s free to get started.
The price tiers are:
- Standard: Free with limited features
- Business Pro: $34 per month for commercial use
- Discounted Pro: $22 per month for individual and non-profit use
- Studio Quality: Your remote podcast comes out crystal clear for listeners. Cleanfeed supports up to 320kbps stereo or 256kbps mono.
- Multiple Guests: There isn’t a strict guest limit on Cleanfeed. Most people have 5 or fewer due to non-Cleanfeed limitations.
- No Synchronizing Required: Live audio recording is synced for you, saving you editing time.
- Chrome Support Only: You can only access Cleanfeed on Google Chrome.
- No Editing: Cleanfeed is for recording media only.
Ringr acts as a recording alternative. It has Android and iOS apps, so your remote podcast guest can call from their phone.
This podcast tool is simple and relatively inexpensive. Each plan offers unlimited calling, storage, and a “green room” feature.
A guest receives a convenient e-mail detailing their call date. They can save interview information directly to their calendar. The e-mail also contains a link to the call.
Ringer offers two pricing tiers:
- Basic: $7.99/month for up to 1 guest
- Premium: $18.99 for conference calls
- Mobile Compatibility: It’s easy for your guest to use a phone for their interview.
- Unlimited Hours: There’s no limit on how much you record.
- No Editing: You can only record.
- Content Quality: Don’t expect a studio-quality podcast.
Audacity is a free Zencastr replacement capable of powerful editing. The overwhelming interface may overwhelm new users, but once you get a feel for it, it’s great.
Audacity allows one microphone connection when recording. This makes it less-than-favorable for hosting remote guests. But, you can easily upload separate tracks and handle post-production with Audacity.
- Editing and Effects: You can cut, copy, duplicate, etc. Audacity also has preset EQ curves, voiceover tools, and much more.
- Access: It’s pretty much available on any computer.
- Outdated Interface: The interface is…clunky.
- Destructive Edits: You can’t undo an edit down the line unless you undo all your edits.
- Publish Manually: You’ll have to save and export elsewhere.
Anchor (see also ‘Simplecast Vs Anchor‘) is another all-in-one service. It’s available as a mobile and browser app.
You can start a podcast for free when hosting with Anchor, and you won’t compromise your audio. Record and host an unlimited amount of media for nothing at all.
However, its recording features are much better than the choppy editing interface. Truthfully, you’re better off with a different editor.
As the host, you can upload separate audio files and publish your podcast from the app. Anchor distributes each episode to separate places (Spotify, Google Podcasts, etc.) for you.
- Record Anywhere: Your podcast recordings can happen on the go with this platform.
- Sound Quality: If your episode recordings are produced in 256 kps, podcasts stay that way.
- Poor Editing Interface: The mobile editor is not optimal for studio edits.
- 250MB Upload Limit: For WAV files over 15 minutes long, you’ll have to compress to an MP3 file or split your tracks.
- Not for Branding: If podcasts are a hobby, this is more than enough. If you’re building your brand, opt for something else.
8) Google Hangouts
Want to record a video podcast? Google Hangouts is an option without cost. But you will need to create a Google and YouTube account to get started.
You won’t get studio quality with Google Hangouts, but you’ll get a reliable platform that’s easy for your guests to call on. If you’d like to give listeners better quality, you and your guests should record locally.
- Live: Conduct remote interviews live, streaming your podcast straight to YouTube.
- Guest friendly: Call your guests by simply inviting them to your hangout.
- Glitches/Potential lag: Since you’re live streaming, there’s a possibility your content quality will dip.
- One track: Everything is recorded on a single track, making it easy for speakers to overlap, disrupting quality for your listeners.
Skype is still popular for recording podcast interviews. However, you’ll need additional hardware and software to do it.
And while there’s a mobile app available, guests should record locally with a dedicated mic.
- No cost
- Accessibility: Most people already have and are familiar with the Skype interface.
- Outside spending: You need outside recording equipment to record and edit.
- Comprised quality: Your podcast won’t sound the best.
Zoom is great for video calls and meetings. You have the option to use it for a podcast, but that’s not recommended – especially when recording remote interviews. Quality is super clipped, and even recording locally doesn’t change much. You can get more bang for your buck elsewhere.
- Planning: You can use the tool to bounce ideas off your guests or co-contributors.
- Testing: Zoom calls can help you figure out your podcast flow before investing in something better.
- Mostly Everything: You probably don’t want to use this for your podcast.
TL;DR – Zencastr Alternative Best Of List
Look, we don’t blame you for wanting us to get straight to the point. We definitely encourage you to check out our full reviews. But, we’ll play nice and give a quick “best of” breakdown.
Best Zencastr Audio and Video Alternative
Give Riverside.fm a try. It has tons of great features and has very fair pricing tiers for its capabilities.
Best Zencastr Studio Quality Sound Alternative
Judging on that alone, we recommend Cleanfeed.
Best Zencastr Price Per Month/Hours of Recording Alternative
Cast gives the most bang for its buck.
Best Zencastr Free Alternative
Thanks to all its editing capabilities – Audacity.
Conclusion – Start A Podcast Already!
How long have you’ve been researching the “perfect podcast” platform now? Maybe it is Zencastr, but maybe it’s one of the stellar platforms above. Only you know what’s best for yourself – we’re just laying out our opinions.
We have no doubt something in our list above made your heart flutter. So, listen to your instincts and create your podcast with that! If you’re truly still unsure, those trial periods exist for a reason.