Podcast recording recommendations
  • 21 Nov 2023
  • 2 Minutes to read
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Podcast recording recommendations

  • Dark
  • PDF

Article summary

When recording and publishing podcasts every producer has different needs, tools and goals.

How long should podcast episodes be?

The short answer is "It depends" - long enough to cover the topic at hand but short enough not to lose listeners.

Start with the listeners. Who are they ? What they are looking for and how they will listen to the podcasts. Are they doing a short commute or are they busy with a long chore? Do they want a punchy update or to get really invested in a deep topic?

Most podcasts do well in the 15 to 30 minutes range but quick news updates can be as short as 5 minutes. More in-depth podcasts tend to be longer, often around 40 minutes or even more. While a number of long-form podcasts are extremely popular, one needs to be exceptionally talented to keep an audience engaged for 3 hours or longer like Joe Rogan or Dan Carlin. When in doubt, shorter is often better.

Shorter podcasts are easier to get into, provide more time to produce more episodes and publish episodes more frequently and also allow more ad slots for monetization. (Breaking up longer content into short segments can also improve the experience for listeners.)

Longer podcasts give you the opportunity to discuss topics in much more detail, better explore multiple topics and finish the conversation with experts and special guests and gain trust as an expert. Some cases, like publishing recordings of meetings or seminars, also lend themselves to long audio files.

General recommendations

We can make some generalised requirements for getting the best quality out of your podcast audio for online distribution:

  • Always record and edit audio in a lossless format like WAV.
  • Record and edit in 24-bit samples at a 48kHz sample rate.
  • Do not use this format for distribution, rather create a final mix to 16-bit / 44kHz.
  • Keep peaks below -1 dBFS to leave headroom for different normalise and compression operations.
  • Avoid applying heavy limiting and dynamic compression effects when creating your master.
  • Don't up sample to a higher rate than the original.

iono.fm Import process

  • Use a lossless format only if you are publishing music podcasts.
  • When uploading lossless audio, use FLAC instead of raw WAV files.
  • Almost all podcast content should rather use lossy compression.
  • We recommend uploading files to our platform encoded with AAC-LC codec with 44.1kHz sample rate and 160kbps bitrate.
  • We distribute all files as stereo. For mono input we duplicate the audio channel to create stereo output.
  • We perform EBU R128 perceptual loudness normalisation at a Integrated Loudness target of -16 LUFS, a loudness range of 11 LUFS and True Peak limiting to -1.5 LUFS.
  • This is the standard loudness level recommended by Apple and Google.
  • Low quality output formats downsample to 32kHz sample rates, while high quality output uses 44.1khz.