What counts as a podcast?

You can look at all the hi-tech recording equipment you like, but if you can’t bear the sound of your own voice, it’s not an idea to try to make a podcast.


Well, I put my sandwich down over lunch and spoke a few words into my iPhone to test a theory. The blather is over on SoundCloud and pasted in below:


I actually just created an audio note in Evernote on the phone, then synced it with the desktop app, dragged the resulting MPEG4 file into the SoundCloud browser and…there you have it. A podcast!

No. Not really. It’s about a minute of nonsense. But I frequently wonder if it would be easier to share the “very important thoughts” that exist in my brain with a wider audience by simply speaking them into a microphone.

But there’s the rub. I hate the sound of my own voice. A flurry of unexpected media appearances on the BBC and elsewhere in January did nothing to take away the deep, deep bowel-disturbing shudders I feel when I hear my own voice once it’s been recorded.

Maybe I’ll get used to it.

Or maybe this is the last time I put a sound file featuring my voice on the internet.

A question for anyone else who uses SoundCloud this way – is there a better app to use on your iPhone? Looks like you can’t upload from SoundCloud on iOS, just via the browser. Not very helpful when you’re away from a desktop computer.

10 comments on “What counts as a podcast?

  1. stevemorton

    ‘So that’s what he sounds like’ !!! Your voice sounds very good Richard, you shouldn’t be too self conscience about it.

    If you have been listening to the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Plannerverse podcast featuring my good self and Karine, we are getting used to listening to ourselves again afterwards!

    As far as apps are concerned on iOS I’ve used Voice Memos to record myself or to interview someone. Although I need to look out for a suitable external mix for the iPhone to improve the quality.

    On the Mac we both use the audio sound recording facility built in to Quick Time player. We chat via Skype, but we both record our own audio on QT, Karine drops her file in to Dropbox, and then I import both audio files in to Audacity on the Mac to sync them together and we have the basis of the podcast without the quirks of Skype audio. I did briefly look at Garageband but I failed miserably at understanding how to use it properly. I might revisit that sometime soon!

    But Podcasting is fun, getting it on to iTunes is a little long winded but we got there in the end with all episodes now available there.

    We haven’t set ourselves a target of how often we publish, but we do aim to keep below 30 minutes for each episode.

    I had outlined what a ‘Philofaxy’ podcast would be like about 3-4 years ago on paper, but I just needed a suitable person to do it with and then along came Karine who lives in the USA, but it works fine.

    I look forward to more podcasts and reviews etc from you.


    • MacPsych

      Thanks Steve – I’ve been enjoying your podcasts and am impressed at how professional they sound. Well done to you both. I’ll check out those apps you’ve recommended and will give it another go this weekend. Maybe.


      • stevemorton

        Thank you. We don’t rehearse them or write down detailed notes it’s all done ad-lib to an extent. One of us will keep an eye on time and we use hand signals to indicate to each other when to come in and when we are getting close to the end to wind things down a bit!!

        We had a few trial runs before Episode One came out and a few mishaps with Episode 2 and 3. But since then things have got better!

        In our set up, we both use the same make and model of headset so that the audio from each other is isolated from the mic, that way if one of us coughs or there is a background noise whilst the other person is speaking, it’s very easy to silence the unintended noise!

        The main thing is to enjoy doing the recordings and to pick topics you naturally feel relaxed discussing, your audience will really enjoy them then.


        • stevemorton

          I use Mixcloud, similar to Soundcloud but unlimited uploads on a free account. Not sure if it is any better or not. But I also host the files on Philofaxy.com and they appear on iTunes from there. Sort of Work in Progress as I discover new things with each one!


  2. You sound good. It’s very hard to judge oneself, plus — you probably know — physically, ones voice sounds differently in ones ear-head due to it having reverberations within bones and no (very little) air waves to have to travel along.

    Whether that makes sense (as I explained it poorly) or not, we all lknow recordings ‘sound different.’

    I’ve downloaded off and on the SC app for listening. I’ve used the onboard iOS app for practising music so I can hear where I’m lagging, etc.

    I love EN and never thought to use it for its audionotes since I’ll use iOS’s voicememos…

    Interesting to follow your experimenting and learning process just for this!


  3. ethnicolor

    Your voice sounds great – don’t worry about it at all. I likewise hate the sound of my voice, and I think I’ve read articles before where there may be a physiological reason for this.


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