Posted on by Tycho Smith

International Podcast Day – What are Your Favorite Podcasts and How to Start One?


It seems that there’s a day set aside for everything nowadays, National Friends’ Day, National Dog Day, and this Sunday, 9/30 is International Podcast Day!

I remembered just a few years ago, podcasting was still a new thing and there were only a handful of choices. Today that has all changed.

Now, there are countless podcast programs. People are connected worldwide through podcasts to learn new skills, share different points of view, discover diversity in cultures, and make friends along the way.

To celebrate the special anniversary of podcasting, we at MOVO Photo decided to put together an article exploring the best podcasts and to share our industry-secret list of tools to help kickstart a new podcast program, if you wish to start one.

Favorite Podcasts

Just like our iTunes playlist, everyone has their own favorite podcasts. Also similar to music, there is a popular list of podcasts that almost everyone loves:

The Best of the Best:

Ask your friend or ask Google “what are the best podcasts to listen to?” and you will hear some of the names below:

  • This American Life: Stories fitting a timely theme every week
  • Serial: Explores the hidden truth behind real stories
  • Radiolab: Intriguing stories blended with science, creativity, philosophy, and human experience – you have to listen to find out
  • Reply All: Everything you ever wondered about the Internet
  • Invisibilia: Stories about human behaviors
  • Planet Money: Explaining everything from the perspective of economists – much more interesting than it sounds
  • Freakonomics: Learn random knowledge and learn cool ideas
  • How I Built This: Stories behind entrepreneurs, innovators, and idealists
  • The Ellen DeGeneres Show: Just like the Ellen Show

The list goes on and on, as there are many more fantastic podcasts and new ones keep popping up too. If you have a unique story and are planning to start a podcast, this guide below will answer some of the tech questions to get your equipment set up.

How to Start a Podcast – What Equipment Do I Need?

Let’s say you have already done your homework about the topic and style of your podcast. Now you need to figure out what equipment you need to get started.

The Essential List of Podcast Tools

  • Microphones – a must have
  • Recorders
  • Mixers

Quality Microphone(s): We hear this question all the time: “Can I just use my iPhone?”. The truth is that the audio quality of the built-in mics is abysmal – they are not designed for podcasts, period.  

If you are serious about creating a quality podcast and building an audience, you should shop around for a pro microphone. For beginners, you will need to decide on two things:

1. USB microphone or XLR microphone

2. Condenser mic or Stereo/Dynamic mic

USB vs. XLR microphones: USB microphones are a great choice for beginners, as you can easily plug-and-use it with almost any laptop/desktop.

Microphones with an XLR output mean they work with a variety of audio equipment, such as a mixer or a camcorder, and are known for better audio quality than most of the USB microphones. The XLR microphones work well with a podcast that includes multiple people. It also provides more flexibility and control on the sound quality.

Condenser vs. Stereo/Omnidirectional microphones: Depending on the setup of your podcast and the number of people involved, you may choose a condenser (or directional) microphone for a single-person show recording, or a stereo/omnidirectional microphone for multiple-people podcast recording.

If you want your podcast to sound more “natural” with some background audio, choose a stereo microphone. If you wish to get super crisp audio from one single sound source, a directional microphone is the best choice.

One of our most popular professional microphones is the VXR10 shotgun mic – a highly rated directional mic on the market. During October, there will be a Pink Limited Edition VXR10 for sale to support Breast Cancer Awareness, so be sure to check it out!

Digital Recorders: You may also need a digital recorder for an interview or recording outside of your studio. Our favorite brand for digital recorders is Zoom. Depending on the channels and options, recorders range between $100 and $600.

Combining powerful recording capability with elegance and simplicity, the H1n Handy Recorder is Zoom's smallest, most affordable recorder ever.

Brilliant Four-Track advanced X/Y microphones, incredibly natural-sounding preamps, and a super-low noise floor.

Great for live recording as well as studio-quality music production, the H6 offers six tracks of simultaneous recording and four mic/line inputs.

Mixers: We decided to put the mixer on this essential list as most podcasts have guests and other hosts in their programs. A mixer provides you with controls over inputs, outputs, individual levels, and more. For podcast beginners who are new to the audio equipment, this can be an optional item to add on later.

An alternative to mixers for audio control of a multiple-people podcast recording is an audio interface, which can be cheaper than mixers, but also has fewer control options.


Conclusion

That should do it! If you already have a professional microphone, make sure you practice to get comfortable talking into a microphone and listen to the recording before starting your podcast.

For any questions about the equipment mentioned in this article, don’t hesitate to call us at 800-354-1739 or email us support@movophoto.com.

If you plan to start your podcast, please let us know your podcast idea on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Have a happy International Podcast Day!