I decided to review Squadcast.fm because it is what so many are talking about ATM in the podcasting world. My days of recording remote guests the old fashioned way has come to an end I'm afraid. An Iphone, a lightning adapter to a quarter inch cable, into an interface, into a computer, onto a digital audio workstation isn't as complicated as it sounds. But? The editing process to get the guest's vocals to NOT sound like complete trash is getting tired. My workflow is suffering and I get ear fatigue in a major way. Also? I constantly have to ask my guests "Can you please repeat that?" and "I'm sorry, I missed that" because I have no visual and facial cues to pick up on the context and emotion behind the guest's speech. Squadcast aims to solve many of these problems.
One problem Squadcast aims to solve is quality. Squadcast produces lossless audio in a 16 bit WAVE, 48kHz sample rate, which is amazing quality for podcasting. There is no need for a "double ender" where the guest records on their end, you on yours, then you as the producer has to blend the two vocals and sync them up, eq, etc. All of which is crazy time consuming and a royal pain. It actually live records as you go and even produces a backup in case there is some kind of tech/connection problem mid-interview. No external device is needed. It records you and your guest right on the desktop or android on your end (Sorry Iphone users, Squadcast is working on it right now for you ; )
Problem B that Squadcast aims to solve is being able to see your guests in real time. There is a plan that includes video. The one downside for now about the video, is that you can't record it. It's just for you and your guest's benefit. (EDIT, I just read that there IS a beta version of video recording available now, but more research needs to be done on my end). Another limitation, is that there's a 4 person maximum. I would actually like to listen to a podcast once in a while with 9 or 10 people. This is possible with Zoom, but the audio there is very glitchy and wonky almost always, on someone's end at least. At the end of the day, podcasting IS and WILL ALWAYS BE primarily an audio form of "edutainment" where people can multitask or drive or perform open heart surgery (just kidding) while listening. And for audio quality/space reasons, 16 bit WAVE sounds pretty dang good to me. It's a breath of fresh air for the people that host their RSS feeds with platforms that support great and lossless audio quality (Some hosting platforms have very small space limitations and that means MP3's at 128 kbps, which makes interviews and especially your favorite royalty free music sound not so great).
A slick and neat feature of Squadcast is the ability to import your RSS feed right into the app so the guests know they are in the right place when they see your shiny show art and podcast name/description right in the app. With a 7 day free trial, I figure I'll give Squadcast a shot at least. The smallest plan is $20 bucks a month and that gets you 5 hours of recording time. Considering my podcast is one hour long and once a week, that suits me just fine, even if I run over a little. You can check out the different pricing plans HERE. The audio has been really clear and detailed in the few tests that were run. Looking forward to recording my first episode with Squadcast next week because I want my guests to sound great and to not have to think about audio technicalities. In 2021, with remote podcast recording becoming the norm, that doesn't mean it has to SOUND like a podcast recorded remotely. It should always be a free flowing and engaging conversation free from technical snags and worries. With superior audio quality and less work involved for your rad guests, I believe Squadcast.fm can help us all keep podcasting wild and free the way it was meant to be.
- Rob Endo