Buzzsprout makes podcasting easy. A great example of this is the built-in episode optimization. You never have to worry about getting the optimization exactly right because Buzzsprout will always ensure your audio is in the correct format.
When you are finished recording and editing your podcast episode, simply export a high-quality audio file and upload it to Buzzsprout. The Buzzsprout system will then convert your file to an MP3 (if it isn't already), encode it at 96k mono (the industry best practice for spoken word podcasts), and add ID3 tags based on the information you enter into Buzzsprout (including artwork).
Almost any standard audio file will work, but we suggest WAV as your first choice. The only downside to uploading WAV files is that they are very large. This means the upload can take a long time if you don't have a very fast Internet connection. If you don't want to wait as long or have a slower connection, then a high-quality MP3 is great as well. Buzzsprout will also accept OGG, AAC, M4A, AIFF, and many others.
The vast majority of podcasts are spoken word. When you record voices into a microphone, that is a single-track recording. Even if you have multiple speakers, and each person records to their own track, the end result is a single channel mixdown.
In podcasting, we use constant bitrate encoding (CBR). That means a two-channel (stereo) file will be twice as large as a single-channel (mono) file. Some people believe a 128k stereo file is better than a 96k mono file; that's not typically true. A 128k stereo file is really just two 64k mono files, each one containing its own version of the recording. The 96k mono file is actually higher-fidelity and will result in a more pure representation of your master recording.
There is no real benefit of publishing spoken word recordings in stereo, but there is a big downside; the file size is twice as large. That means it will take your listeners longer to download your episodes and they will take up more space on their devices. Even if you have intro/outro music on your episodes, we would still strongly recommend 96k mono for the benefit of your listeners.
Yes. A mono encoding simply tells the playback device to play the same audio channel out of all available speakers. So if your listener has 1 speaker or 20, your audio will play at the same loudness out of every speaker (headphone, earbud, etc.).
Yes. It's not common in the podcasting world, but there are some podcasts where stereo encoding is the right choice. Stereo is important when listening to music podcasts and some specific types of podcasts take advantage of the two separate channels to pan the audio and/or enhance certain instruments on one channel. Audio drama podcasts often use these techniques to enhance their episodes.
Since stereo files are twice as large (to store and distribute) there is a small add-on fee to publish in 192k stereo. You can enable this option by turning on Magic Mastering and selecting the "Mostly Music" option. You will then also have the option of using our Magic Mastering feature, but you can turn that off if you don't want it.
That's not a problem at all. You simply upload an MP3 encoded at 96k or less, mono (1 channel). Buzzsprout will NOT re-encode these files.
If you have Magic Mastering enabled, you would simply switch the slider to Mostly Music (192k stereo) and uncheck the Automatic Podcast Mastering box. Now when you upload an MP3 encoded at 192k (or less) stereo, Buzzsprout will NOT re-encode these files.