A big question every new podcaster asks themselves is, “how to record a podcast remotely?” Not everyone has a studio to rent, and so most newbies have to make a home setup. Part of this includes using a reliable podcast host.
One host option is Zencastr, which offers several plans and features to its users. Here’s our full review of Zencastr and why it just might be the best way solution for your show.
Zencastr: After a Year of Using It
- Comprehensive Solution: Zencastr is an all-in-one platform for podcasters, streamlining recording, editing, distribution, and monetization.
- Reputable Affiliations: Zencastr has connections with major brands like Netflix, Spotify, The Guardian, CBS, and more.
- High-Quality Recording: Zencastr offers up to 4K video and 16-bit 48k WAV local audio recording, ensuring premium quality even with varying internet connections.
- Postproduction & Enhancement: The platform has postproduction capabilities, smart filters for cleaner recordings, and a live soundboard for inserting audio clips.
- Distribution Freedom: Users get unlimited audio distribution, video podcast RSS support, and easy migration from other platforms.
- Listener Analytics: Zencastr provides insights into listener demographics, behaviors, and preferences to optimize podcast reach and engagement.
- Monetization Opportunities: Users can connect to Zencastr’s Ad Marketplace, join the Ambassador Program, and manage ads with a dedicated suite of tools.
- Try Before Committing: Zencastr repeatedly encourages users to try their platform for free, showcasing confidence in their offerings.
How Do You Record High-Quality Podcasts with Zencastr?
To record a high-quality podcast, you need high-quality equipment. While microphones, headphones, and other equipment are helpful, the most important thing to make sure you have is an excellent podcast recording service, which is where Zencastr comes in.
Services like Zencastr are specifically designed to capture high-quality audio with as little background noise as possible. Zencastr records the audio of you and your guests in separate tracks so that you can edit together the final project to your exact specifications.
To be taken seriously in the world of podcasting, you need to use a service like Zencastr.
How Do You Use Zencastr?
Before you go to town using Zencastr, there are a few things you will need to set up before using Zencastr:
- Zencastr account – You will need an email address to set up your account.
- Computer (can be Mac or PC, but you may want to use a Mac if possible)
- Internet Connection
- Google Chrome Web Browser
- Microphone with a USB connection – As a note, guests may use iPhone earbud headphones and still get a high-quality audio recording, but for the best sound quality you will always want to use a USB microphone
- Stand for the microphone
- Microphone pop filter
The microphone equipment is technically optional, but if you want to make a podcast with the best audio quality possible, then you should consider investing in these products. A decent mic can make or break a podcast’s audio quality.
Now, let’s review how Zencastr works and get you well on your way to creating incredible audio.
Step by Step Instructions
One of the greatest things about Zencastr is that it is remarkably easy to use. Just follow these steps to get started:
- Once you set up your account, you will want to navigate to your dashboard and click Create New Episode.
- After you name your episode, it will take you to the recording screen.
- From this place, you will be able to adjust your settings and invite your guests.
- To invite, you merely need to send an invitation to your guest’s email address.
- Once your guests are on board, you can check their settings as well so that you will be ready to get started.
- Once all systems are go, you will hit the start recording button to begin your audio recording. As the recording transgresses, you will be able to see the sound wave formations as you speak. This feature serves as a great indication of whether your audio recording is proceeding as planned. Once you have captured all your audio, you need to hit stop recording.
- After recording, you will see your track and your guests’ tracks on the screen. You will be able to download these audio tracks from there to begin the post-production process.
Keep in mind that the Zencastr Pro affords you post-production tools. This plan allows you to access a live editing soundboard and 10 hours of automatic post-production per month to make the process from recording to release even easier. Live editing will save you plenty of time and will help you release your recording to the world even faster.
What Pros Does Zencastr Offer?
Zencastr offers a plethora of features that make it easy for budding podcasters to build up a following.
Let’s review some of the most prominent benefits of the product:
- One Track per Speaker – Each of your guests will be recorded on a separate track to streamline the editing process.
- Integration with Your Cloud Drive – Zencastr can synch up with your Dropbox and your Google drive making cloud drive integration a breeze.
- Chat Capabilities – If you want to communicate with your guests without disrupting your recording, you can easily do so with this feature.
- Mute – You won’t have to worry about muddying the audio quality if you are just on the call to produce with this feature.
- Lossless WAV recording – This file is a step above MP3s in terms of audio quality. Recording in WAV files in 16 bit 44.1k is always going to enhance your production value.
- Built-in VoIP – You don’t need to multi-task and also run Zoom or Skype. Voice chatting with your guests directly is possible through the system’s built-in VoIP.
- Web-based – In this format, Zencastr can be accessed by anyone with internet connections.
- Simple Guest Interface – The only thing your guest will have to do is click the link sent directly to their email, making the guest experience as simple as possible. You will not have to worry about onboarding your guests into a complicated system.
- Automatic Backups – The audio files download locally in addition to uploading to your cloud drive, so you always have your recordings even if there is an issue with internet access during the upload process. You will always have a backup just when you need it most. This connection fallback plan could save you quite a headache if you do run into issues.
- Hours of Recording Time – While you can theoretically record as long as your computer’s specs will allow, the system can confidently support up to three hours of recording time.
The newest feature Zencastr has to offer is a Hi-Fi video recording beta. If you want early access to this video beta, you can check out the website to sign up.
These positive features lead many people who review Zencastr to determine that it is a beneficial service. However, Zencastr even going a set further to provide a blog for customers to review to get even more useful information.
I recently gave Zencastr Mobile a shot on my iPhone and was genuinely impressed. It’s a game-changer for on-the-go podcast recording, delivering studio-like quality right from my device.
Key Highlights from My Experience:
- High-Quality Recording: Capturing in MP3, WAV, and dynamic MP4 directly from my phone was straightforward and effective. The local recordings added an extra layer of reliability.
- Connecting with Guests: The interface was user-friendly. Sending a quick link to my collaborators made remote sessions feel as though we were recording side-by-side.
- Postproduction Made Easy: The in-app tools sped up my editing process. Plus, turning my recordings into shareable content was seamless, especially with the direct YouTube integration.
- Ad Choices on My Terms: I appreciated the hands-on approach to selecting ad partners – a simple swipe left or right made the process smooth.
A Quick FAQ Insight:
- Zencastr Mobile’s Purpose: It’s a versatile tool that complements the desktop browser version of Zencastr. The aim? Effortless, high-quality audio and video recording from your iOS devices.
- Android Availability: As of now, it’s iOS-exclusive. But I’ve heard that an Android version is in the pipeline. Can’t wait for that update!
- 🔹 Upgrade your content marketing with AI.
- Ditch traditional content creation. Focus on growth without being tied to agencies or full-time dedication.
- Celeb Endorsements: @sarahkatesilverman, @zuck, @tonyhawk, @officiallymcconaughey
How It Works:
- Record & Upload: Either go solo or invite guests globally.
- AI-Powered Highlights: ZenAI handpicks your video’s best moments for platform-specific clips.
- Automated Social Boost: Link social accounts; ZenAI manages posting schedules.
30 mins a week = 60 posts monthly, 2000% rise in engagement, 1300% watch time boost.
- 🎥 Recording: 4K video, 48k WAV audio, local recording, no time cap.
- 📱 Versatility: Use on desktop or mobile. Record whenever, wherever.
- 💼 Efficiency: From long videos to engaging short clips & posts.
$299/month with tons of features (from recording quality, mobile apps, video-audio tools, sharing options, analytics, to cloud storage and team support).
Coming Soon: Audio to video conversion & more, releasing September 23.
The Zencastr website also features a blog, which is a fantastic way to get up to date information about Zencastr services and gain inspiration. Whether you are a podcast expert or a complete novice, you will likely find helpful information that will enhance your podcast making capabilities.
Sample article titles include “Podcast Launch Planning – 5 Steps to a Great Podcast” and “Gaining More Podcast Listeners.” If you want to learn even more about the company, you can check them out on social media on both Twitter and Facebook.
What are the Cons of Zencastr?
No technology is perfect, so now let’s review some downsides to Zencastr so that you can get a holistic view of this product.
- Lack of video – If you are a visual person who needs to make eye contact while podcast hosting, then this may not be the software for you.
- Inability to connect with a mobile device – Currently, all users must access Zencastr from a computer.
- Ineffective with a PC – Digital popping and audio drift are much more prevalent issues when working with a PC as opposed to a Mac.
- Lackluster support services – If you need help with the program, most often, you will not hear back from Zencastr support services until well after your recording session has finished. This help is often too little and too late to be of any real assistance. However, you can access the support page on the Zencastr page at any time, and the articles on this page may be able to help you solve your problems yourself.
- Audio drift – Sometimes, when recording multiple people with Zencastr, one audio track ends up being shorter than the other, which can be incredibly annoying during the editing process because the audio files will not match up.
While several of these setbacks are undoubtedly annoying, none are particularly dealbreakers for most podcasters. For most people, the benefits and exciting features far outweigh the negatives.
How much does Zencastr cost?
Zencastr offers four packages: The Hobbyist and Creator+ packages are both available for free. The Professional package is priced at $18/month or $216 when billed yearly, while the Growth package comes in at $45/month or $540 on an annual billing cycle.
|For Individuals||For Businesses|
|Professional||$18/month (or $216/year)||–|
|Growth||$45/month (or $540/year)||–|
|ZenAI||$275/month (or $3,300/year)||–|
Hobbyist – ($0)
Tailored for new podcasters, it includes 2 hours of both audio and video recording, unlimited audio uploads and hosting, recording with up to 12 participants, high-quality 192k MP3 recording, 720p video quality, and storage for 31 days.
Creator+ – ($0)
Aimed at members of the Creator Network, this package builds on the Hobbyist, offering unlimited audio/video recording, 1080p video quality, 90-day storage, postproduction credits, AI video layouts, and a cap on Zencastr video views with brand inclusion.
Professional – ($18/month or $216/year)
Designed for avid podcasters, it encompasses all Hobbyist features with additions like unlimited 16-bit 48k WAV recordings, storage, English transcriptions, postproduction credits, advanced analytics, smart filters, and syncing capabilities. The branding is customizable, and there’s a free 14-day trial.
Growth – ($45/month or $540/year)
An expansive package for those seeking more, it encompasses all Professional features and extends to 4K video quality, more postproduction credits, video views, shows hosting, team member inclusion, brand page impressions, and a comprehensive suite of analytics, management, and tracking tools. It also comes with a 14-day trial.
If you are not sure which version you would like to go with, Zencastr also offers a 14-day free trial of the Professional plan so you can give it a try without making a financial commitment. With this option, you can make sure you like all the advanced features before being roped into paying for them.
This trial is definitely the way to go if you want to be 100% sure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck with the professional version of Zencastr. As long as you cancel your trial before the 14 days are up, you will not owe a cent.
What other options exist besides Zencastr?
Several other programs allow you to capture audio remotely, but few even come close to the recording features that Zencastr provides.
Google Chat, Zoom, and Skype will enable you to speak with other people all over the world with just an internet connection, but they are not explicitly designed for podcast recording. These platforms might yield decent podcast interviews, but generally, they are prone to audio issues and disruptions from weak internet connections. You will be much better off going with a system that was specifically designed to capture audio for purposes such as podcasting.
Some other systems are similar to Zencast in their recording capabilities, but each of these alternatives falls short of Zencastr in certain areas. Cast podcasting does not allow podcast hosts to send the invite link to their guests ahead of time, which makes it difficult for a co-host to test their audio settings in advance of the recording session.
A plus of Ringr and Zencastr is that it does allow users to access it from a phone. However, in our review, we realized that this platform is full of bugs and overall not reliable.
Is Zencastr worth it?
Yes, Zencastr is worth it, especially if you’re looking for an all-in-one platform to record, edit, distribute, and monetize your podcasts efficiently.
Originally known for its remote recording capabilities, Zencastr has evolved into an all-in-one tool, making it better than ever before.
If you’re seeking a podcasting software that effortlessly facilitates conversations with global participants, Zencastr is your top pick. The bottom line remains: the recording quality is exceptional.