Marco Arment on making good podcasts:
Many podcasters still refuse to do basic editing, audio adjustments, and room treatment. Someone with a basic $50 microphone who puts even a bit of effort into these will sound much better than someone with a high-end microphone who’s doing none of them.
If you “don’t have time” (which really means “don’t want to spend the time”) to make your podcast minimally listenable, or you’re not willing to buy even the most basic, inexpensive equipment to record it acceptably, you’re not taking it seriously. You’re half-assing it. You don’t really want to be making a podcast. You probably don’t even like podcasts. Why bother? Why should listeners respect you if you don’t respect them?
Marco nails all of this. Podcasts with crappy audio quality are extremely frustrating. It get’s worse when these podcasts come from big companies like ESPN. When a podcast get’s lost in their feed, or someone has to use a hotel phone because of “technical difficulties” it shows that they aren’t really trying. Audio quality should never be an issue. It is far too easy to find a decent internet connection, and since the most basic USB headset provides better quality than a phone there is really no excuse.
Editing a podcast doesn’t have to be a meticulous process either. As Marco talks about, cutting out a few parts here or there shows that a level of caring and effort. Pausing to look up something up on the internet, or restarting a sentence so it flows better is perfectly OK, but the five minute of effort required to take it out of the final version.
Arment has lots of great tips, but there are plenty of websites out there with loads of tips as well. The amount of effort required to make a podcast sound halfway decent is pretty minimal. It’s a real shame more people don’t do it.