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10 apps to level up your podcast

From planning, recording, editing and post-production, to marketing, SEO and social media, there’s a vast array of apps and services podcasters can take advantage of to help them do their best work, and increase their listenership.

In this list

  1. Headliner
  2. Pod1
  3. Podcast Guests
  4. PodInbox
  5. Podr
  6. ThatPart
  7. 4 more resources

Headliner

Headliner is an easy-to-use webapp that integrates with a number of podcast hosting platforms, for making audiograms out of episode clips for free, or full-length videos out of entire episodes, as part of a paid package.

Headliner can sync with a podcast’s RSS feed and automatically generate full-length videos for distribution to YouTube. It also supports visual soundbites through its Autovideo interface, so it can generate clips based on the timecodes you set in your podcast host’s interface.

  1. Mark’s thoughts
    5 months, 2 weeks ago

    Headliner is streets ahead of other audiogram generators in its flexibility and the quality of its videos. There are probably easier-to-use services, but I rarely find myself confused by the interface.

    I especially like the integration with certain hosting platforms, that allows me to transition from uploading an episode to my host, and then creating an audiogram without having to re-upload the audio to Headliner. Even if your broadband is fast, that saves a lot of clicking around, plus it’ll import metadata and artwork.

    The only real knock against it is that, although the AI-powered transcription accuracy is reasonable, the timings invariably need adjusting. I’m a bit of a stickler, and I like to make sure that the words on-screen exactly reflect the words being said (bar umms and ahhs), so I’m always having to re-adjust timings, or fix how sentences have been broken up. That adds 15-20 minutes to the process, for a fairly short video, especially if there are multiple speakers.

    That said, you can produce some great-looking videos with it, and their free plan is generous.

Pod1

Pod1 joins a small number of services that work like Linktree for podcasts, providing a single, mobile-optimised page you can direct listeners to, so they can easily follow your podcast or check out the latest episode, free from distractions and regardless of platform preference.

Everything starts with your RSS feed, so once you’ve added your podcast your show name, artwork, description and latest episodes are copied across, but can then be customised from the dashboard.

It lacks some of the features of established services, but users create an account which allows them to manage multiple podcasts at once.

At the time of writing, anyone can claim anyone else’s podcast – there’s no mechanism by which Pod1 checks that you’re authorised to act on that podcast’s behalf.

  1. Mark’s thoughts
    2 weeks, 4 days ago

    It’s early days for the app so it might be worth a revisit. It’s more heavily customisable than pod.link (currently the best in this category), but not as smart, as it doesn’t have tie-ins with podcast apps, meaning you have to go and gather links to your podcast in different apps yourself.

    There are some user interface bugs that will need to be worked out, too… just little things that aren’t show-stoppers but just make it a little untidy.

    That said, the customisability is a bonus. I like that I can use my own banner image and change the icon if I want (for my example I used my show’s social media assets, since the cover art works better in a large square format). Changing colours is a bit overcomplicated (a simple hex input box would have sufficed), but again this is useful as it lets me reflect my show’s brand. There are some other nice customisation touches too, like changing the types of buttons and even the show’s name (I especially like this since this example show has a search-engine-optimised name which is quite long).

    I think the issue with feed verification is just a little bit of nativity on the developers’ part, which shows in their press release and their eagerness to have their own chart… which is more distracting than it is helpful.

Podcast Guests

Podcasts Guests is a directory of people looking to speak on other people’s podcasts, and podcasts looking for new guests. Since its inception in 2016, it has grown to over 30,000 members.

Each week, the service will email its speakers a few handfuls of podcasts that might fit their expertise. If a speaker applies to be on a show, that podcaster is emailed with info about the speaker, so they can hook up a recording.

Speakers can sign up for a paid plan, for $15 or $39 per month.

  1. Mark’s thoughts
    5 months, 2 weeks ago

    It’s a 2009-ass website, and in my opinion, as with all of the services of this ilk, it’s typically populated by the type of people who want to use a scattergun approach to find opportunities to speak on others’ podcasts.

    I’ve yet to see any good opportunity come from a service like this that’s as good as one human being introduced to another.

    That said, it deserves an honest shake, so I’ve signed up for a premium account as an “expert”, and will update this review with more findings.

PodInbox

Competing with the likes of SpeakPipe, PodInbox is a simple solution for getting audio feedback from your listeners that you can integrate into your next episode.

If you have a podcast that benefits from listener-submitted questions, PodInbox could save you and your listeners time, by simplifying the process of recording and collecting audio messages.

  1. Mark’s thoughts
    4 months ago

    When you sign up, you can choose a podinbox.com page URL. You can add your square podcast artwork to your page, and customise the greeting listeners will see when they visit it. You can even record an introductory video, prompting visitors with your question.

    Listeners will visit your podinbox.com page and record their voicemail. Of course it works just as well on mobile as it does on the desktop, and visitors have the opportunity to review their recording before submitting it.

    The only sour note for me is the authentication flow. As a listener to a podcast, I don’t think I want to sign up for an account with a service to submit a one-time voicemail message. Some will see this as a barrier-to-entry, and be reluctant to give away their email address and create a password for a service they’re unlikely to use again any time soon I obviously see the need for authentication, but would prefer this be through social accounts like Twitter or Facebook.

    That said, there’s a semi-social aspect to the inbox: All new messages are displayed on your PodInbox page, and other visitors can hit a ♡ button to indicate they like a particular message. Given there’s no on-screen indication that messages are public, for now you might want to communicate this in your intro text or video, in case your listeners are prone to over-sharing. (Private messaging is an idea they’re exploring, as are more moderation features.)

    Once a listener has submitted their message, you as the podcaster get an email notification with a link to play, download, and archive the message. The download is in the form of a 128kbps MP3. There’s no metadata attached and the filename’s a string of numbers and letters, so if you’re downloading in bulk, be sure to rename files as you go (I’ve submitted this feedback to the developers).

    I’d love to see this implemented as a WordPress widget. The UI is minimal so lends itself well to that kind of aesthetic. It could even be implemented as a WordPress content block or shortcake, so a voicemail box can be directly added to an episode’s show notes on the web.

    Any service like this that makes it easier to solicit audible feedback from listeners gets a 👍 from me. PodInbox is a solid service already, and as a super-young product, it works far better than some that have launched with larger teams and seemingly bigger budgets. But to really make it worth $9 a month or $99 a year, I’d love to see just a few more features added, maybe even some podcast host integrations.

Podr

Podr is a tool that for tracking keywords within Apple Podcasts, to help you better understand your search ranking, and the competition you might be facing.

SEO within Apple Podcasts is limited, with the app only considering your podcast/episode titles and the author tag. This means there’s very little of the system to game, so if you want your show to appear for a given term, you have to include that term in your podcast or episode title.

Podr helps you keep track of where you sit in Apple Podcasts for a given number of terms, across different parts of the world (since Apple maintains separate internationalised copies of the iTunes directory that powers app search), ranks keywords in terms of their competitiveness, and shows you who else is appearing or who you might need to beat.

The site will also email you a regular digest of your position, so you can keep track of changes. It also indexes your reviews within Apple Podcasts, across numbers countries.

  1. Mark’s thoughts
    5 months, 2 weeks ago

    I ran this tool against two feeds: a hobby one, and a show I produce for a client. Straightaway it demonstrated the fundamental work both of us need to do on our respective podcasts’ SEO, if we want casual listeners to find us based on their interests.

    The interface is scrappy and buggy, and the English copy isn’t great. It doesn’t do anything you couldn’t do yourself, but if you value your podcast’s keyword ranking for apps like Apple Podcasts – and the many that still use the iTunes directory – it’s worth the $7 a month for the starter plan.

ThatPart

“You listen to a podcast. You hear something interesting. It’s lost forever”. That’s the problem ThatPart seeks to solve.

The free iPhone app scans the screenshot of the episode you’re playing in your podcast app of choice, and compares it against a set of known podcast players. It then looks for certain user-interface elements it knows to be in that app, like the podcast name and episode title, and the current playback position. With this info, it can then look the podcast up, seek to the position you were at in your player, and then show you an interface where you can make a clip out of the episode.

Overcast and Castro built a feature like this and added it to their apps in 2019, but almost no other podcast player has this capability – including Spotify and Apple Podcasts – so it allows listeners using those more-popular apps to share portions of episodes they’ve enjoyed. For podcasters, it can also be a quick-and-simple way to create an audiogram.

  1. Mark’s thoughts
    5 months, 4 weeks ago

    This is a really neat idea. I tried it with Castro using an episode of Connected, and Overcast where I’d been listening to Wine Dine and Storytime. It didn’t work with the Castro app, but worked a treat with Overcast.

    I reported the issue with Castro back to the developer. The app is said to be in beta, and is worth keeping an eye on.

And 4 more resources

Backup My Podcast

Protect your podcast from the ravages of time, host outages or content disputes. We’ll keep your podcast backed up automatically, so if the worst happens, you can easily retrieve your work.

Episode Check

Episode Check provides a simple interface for uploading an episode, if you want to send it to a client, guest, or co-host for approval before it’s released.

Comments can be left on the audio at a specific time, so you can make specific edits. The service also supports version control, so you can upload another version of the same episode, and let people comment on that version.

At less than $20 a year, it’s an affordable service that could save you time, especially if you work with people who aren’t entirely precise about the feedback they give.

Podcorn

Podcorn is a platform where podcasters and advertisers meet, to exchange offers. Whether you’re looking to monetise your show or spread the word via other podcasts, Podcorn aims to make the process simple and safe.

Any money that changes hands between advertisers and creators is put into escrow (which, for non-Americans means money purgatory), until both parties are satisfied.

Although, like other ad marketplaces, Podcorn utilises a tracking prefix, this is only used to verify the download numbers your podcast receives, so advertisers have more confidence in their reach. Importantly, Podcorn is a marketplace for host-read ads only, so the prefix doesn’t do anything to your MP3s (unlike other services), and ads that you record are designed to remain in the episode indefinitely.

That said, Podcorn doesn’t preclude you from using DAI and there’s no exclusivity contract.

Sonix

Sonix uses machine learning to transcribe audio. It supports over 40 languages, and pricing starts with a pay-as-you-go tier at $10 per hour (about $0.17 per minute).

The webapp has a text editor so you can edit the transcribed text, click on a word to hear it played back, labelling of speakers, collaboration tools and more.

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