Audio File Formats Used For Podcasts

When I download podcasts, they'll, of course, be in a certain format. The three formats that I've come across of, are MP3, WAV (waveform), and MP4. My favorite format would have to be MP3 because it's the smallest file of them, and downloads fast. The WAV file was created by Microsoft and IBM. It's meant for storing bigger files, but the format is huge, so it takes forever to download a file if it's WAV. Last of all is MP4, which I think is pretty nifty because you can hold audio, photos, and videos with it, which WAV and MP3 can't do. A few times I've had to use this one, but the one I most have to use is WAV. It would be nice if I could download more MP3s, but that's just how the podcast episodes get sent to me.

How To Make Your Podcast Sound Better

If you have a podcast, you want to make it sound as good as possible. The better the quality, the more listeners. So, I've made a list of things to make your podcast sound better:

  • Have a good microphone. If you have a cheap and low-quality mic, it'll pick up that annoying white noise that everyone knows and hates.
  • Have a short 1-3 minute intro to the podcast so that if someone's listening to the podcast for the first time, they can get to know you or what the podcast is about.
  • Have a podcast editor!!! You need someone to take out all that excess sounds, filler words, repeated sentences, etc.
  • Write down on a piece of paper about what you're going to talk about so that you don't forget in the middle of the podcast.
  • If you're interviewing, let your guest know what you're going to talk about and ask him/her beforehand.
  • Have an outro so that your listeners know where to go to find out about stuff on your blog, or find out more about the guest speaker.

The 6 Different Formats For Podcasts

There are six different types of podcast formats according to Charli Prangley:

  1. Interviews are podcasts where there's a host(s) interviewing their guest. Example podcast: Richer Soul
  2. Conversational podcasts are podcasts where the host(s) talks about certain topics. Example podcast: The Tolkien Road
  3. Educational podcasts normally have more than one host and center towards a certain topic that is educational. Example podcast: A Way With Words
  4. Solo-casts are podcasts that center towards the podcast host and their experiences. Example podcast: Einstein Blueprint
  5. Non-fiction storytelling are podcasts where the host(s) talk about real stories that have happened in the world around us.  
  6. Podcast Theatre podcasts are basically radio drama but in podcasts. It would have sound effects and voice actors to make it a TV show, but video.

Editing The Guest Without Editing The Host (or Vice Versa)

Some podcasts episodes are solo-casts, and others are interviews. It's a piece of cake to edit if it's solo, but interviews are a different story. Interviews are harder to edit because if one person needs editing, you don't want to edit the other person out. One of my clients is always interviewing, but thankfully, he always sends us the podcast episodes in a "Stereo" channel, which means that the host and guest are separated from left to right. How does this make it easier? Because in Audition (the program I use to edit podcasts) you can turn off either left or right. For example; if the host (who's on the left) has a phone call, and the guest (who's on the right) is speaking at that moment, I wouldn't want to cut out what the guest is saying, so I just silence the right side, and then I can get to business with the left side.

How To Take Out Something Without Disrupting The Sentence

If you're editing, and you hear an "um", then, of course, you'd want to take it out. But one of the things that can ruin the edit, is if the sentence still needs it's "break". What I mean is that normally when people say "um", it means that they're thinking of what next to say, so they just blurt out "um". But when you take out that space, the listeners can hear/tell that something was cut out. Think about how robots would speak; they just say the words with no expression and no break until they finish their sentence. That's how it can sound if you don't clean out the "um" right. What's the secret? Replacing it with a nice (not totally silent) piece of sound that has nothing except the sound of the quiet white noise in the background of the person who's talking. That way, it sounds like the speaker is thinking silently, instead of the annoying "um".