We get it. When you’re just starting out it can be tempting to use a conference call platform like Zoom to record your independent podcast. It’s familiar, it’s immediately available, and it’s free.
But here’s the thing: Zoom isn’t designed for podcasting.
Using the wrong tools is never a good idea. But especially in the world of podcasting, you want to ensure you are implementing the right solutions from the start in order to save yourself a lot of frustration down the road.
Here are the biggest reasons why using Zoom to record your podcast is a bad idea.
Stop Using Zoom for Your Podcasts
Poor Audio and Video Quality
How many conference calls have you been on in the last few years where one or multiple participants are garbled, frozen, or choppy?
Too many to count.
That’s because call recorders like Zoom, GoToMeeting, and even Google Meet rely on the network speeds of each participant. If your guests’ internet speeds are slow or they’re on a patchy connection, the audio and video quality will reflect that.
For the most part, choppy or grainy audio and video are okay. You can forgive a dropped word, sentence, or even a whole thought every once in a while. When you are on a conference call, you have the luxury of asking a participant to repeat what they just said.
When you are recording a podcast, clean audio and video is essential. Sure, you can “fix it in post,” but if you are constantly having to cut out dropped words and re-record sections, you are going to end up with an inferior product. The hours you will need to dedicate to editing will add up quickly, and your podcast will suffer as a result.
Additionally, if you are recording video as well, you want to make sure that it is high quality.
These days, no one wants to watch a pixelated or low-resolution video, even if the content is great. One of the quickest ways to lose a potential fan is with poor-quality video. With so many options for content available, you need to prove that you are worth someone’s time by putting your best foot forward with every episode.
A better solution is to use a tool that records each participant locally. This means that even if your internet connection is poor, the recording will still be high quality because it’s not relying on each person’s connection speed.
Multiple Audio Tracks
When you are on a Zoom call, you are sharing a single audio stream with everyone on the call.
That’s not ideal for podcasting, where each person needs their own audio track that can be edited independently. Having the flexibility to turn one person up or down in editing is essential for creating a polished final product.
Some podcast hosts try to get around this limitation by asking each participant to record their own audio and then importing those tracks into their audio editing software. The result is a mix of quality depending on the microphone and solution of each guest.
Having a solution that records locally and uploads each track to the cloud in real-time solves this problem. By using one holistic platform for your podcast, you can be sure that everyone will sound consistent from episode to episode.
For independent podcasters, your first impression is everything.
You don’t have the big budget or name recognition of a large company or media outlet, so it’s important that you make a good first impression with your potential listeners.
Your podcast logo, cover art, and website all play a role in this. But one of the most important elements is your recording interface.
When you are using Zoom (or any other conference call platform), your listeners will see the interface that you are using. If the overlay is recognizable – they most likely use it for their own work calls – it can cheapen the experience.
A podcast recording solution should allow you to customize your interface with your branding so that your listeners see your podcast’s logo and colors when they tune in. This addition of custom branding creates a cohesive experience for your guests, and listeners and will elevate the perceived value of your podcast.
Podcasts are a Conversation Not a Presentation
Don’t get us wrong, Zoom and other conferencing platforms are extremely powerful in certain situations. They are wonderful for one-sided presentations where each participant waits their turn to speak.
But podcasts aren’t presentations or webinars. They are a conversation between people who are passionate about a topic – and that requires a different type of solution.
When you are using a conference call platform for your podcast, you are sacrificing the intimacy that makes podcasts so special. These platforms weren’t designed for podcasting, and it shows in the final product.
If you want to create a high-quality podcast that sounds professional and engages your audience, you need to use a tool that was designed specifically for podcasts.
There are many options available on the market, so make sure to do your research before settling on one. The investment will be worth it in the long run when you see the impact it has on your show.