Lionhardt Technologies has been around the block a few times in the podcasting world. Their latest development, WebPod Studio, earns the popularity for podcast software.
Advances in digital technology have given rise to cheap and easy ways to create and publish views and opinions in a wide variety of formats. Blogs provide an outlet for the written word to millions of would-be columnists and pundits. YouTube and other video sharing sites give amateur videographers a place to showcase their work. Podcast software provides the amateur radio show host an avenue for self-expression.
As with most things in the digital age, finding a decent podcast to listen to is a challenging task. The ratio of signal to noise in this field skews heavily in favor of noise. Therefore, if you want your podcast to succeed, you need to pick a podcast software solution that won???t hinder your ability to create.
Upon installation, WebPod Studio gives you the option to run a configuration wizard. Not only does this allow you to customize the software???s options to your specific needs but also optimizes the program settings to fit the precise hardware you chose for recording your podcast.
After you???ve run the configuration wizard, the software serves up WebPod Studio???s main interface. One of the first things you???ll notice about this podcast software is that it offers a rarity in the products we reviewed ??? video podcasting. Granted, producing a video podcast requires a lot more time, energy and equipment than your normal audio podcast, but it???s good to know that it???s there in case you ever want to branch out into the visual podcasting field.
Of course, WebPod Studio also offers a top-notch sound capturing option. This podcast software divides the recording process into four steps. Input device, RSS options, record podcast and finalize. Each step does exactly what their names indicate.
The Record PodCast screen is where you???ll be spending most of your creative time. The control interface is simple; you get four buttons ??? Record, Pause, Stop and Playback. It is just as easy to use as any DVD player.
Additionally, the Record PodCast screen gives you three basic slide bars: Master, Record and Wave. These tools give you the ability to fine-tune exactly how your recording will sound. To the right of the sidebars is a recording VU-meter. This tool allows you to monitor the signal strength and volume levels captured from your audio input device.
The Finalize tab is where you mix-down and finalize your sound file. Just click on Finish and the podcast software will automatically create your sound file and prepare it for publishing.
The rest of the options in the Audio dropdown menu provide you with some basic editing tools. The audio tuner wizard allows you to select the right audio channels for podcast recording. The podcast software gives you the option to have the program auto-detect the best settings for you, or you can pick your system mixer, mixer control and control line yourself.
The Audio File Analyzer tool houses other basic tools such as an equalizer and visual displays of sound files. However, this podcast software lacks other basic audio editing features such as the ability to splice sound files and lay down multiple tracks. If you require this functionality, we recommend downloading some free audio editing software such as Audacity.
What this podcast software lacks in audio editing features it makes up for in video editing features. The software contains a basic storyboard-based video editor. It only takes a few minutes to figure out and allows you to cut and splice a single track of video. Why the developers decided to include this feature for video but not audio is a bit perplexing.
The publish button on WebPod Studio???s interface walks you through a four-step publish wizard. Most of the steps only take a couple of seconds and only require you to pick the file you want to publish and the server you want to host them. The podcast software walks you through the steps and then automatically sends your file off to be heard by your loyal listeners.
The podcast software???s interface is quite simple. All of the application???s main features are easily accessible right from the main screen. Tabs are intuitive and self-explanatory. The control palate along the top reads (from left to right) Video, Audio, Skype, Composer, TelePrompt, Publish, Options, Manager, Capture and Burn CD.
Ease of Use
When you first launch WebPod Studio, the program greets you with a tip that gives you a bit of insight to a particular feature in the software. These are good because it allows you to get to know the software and points out features and functionality you might not have known existed before.
In addition, Lionhardt provides several support addresses you can email if you have problems with the software.
Simplicity, usability and the ability to create video podcasts were the compelling factors in awarding WebPod Studio the popularity. We especially like the inclusion of video podcast support. We also liked the program???s intuitive sound recording process. We generally like to see features that are more robust in the audio editing department. Otherwise, we feel that this product is a solid choice for podcast software.
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