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Why you have to listen back to your podcast episodes

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Why it’s important to do a podcast quality check

You’ve spent all this time recording and editing your episode and now it’s time to press publish and breathe a sigh of relief, right?  Unfortunately, when your episode is “live” there’s one more thing you need to do to make sure the quality of your podcast is up to scratch.

iTunes Google Podcasts Stitcher Spotify

But whyyyyyyy?

I know adding another step to an already long process is boring but there are things that can go wrong or things you can forget to do when you publish your episode.  You don’t want to have put all that effort into an episode only to find out that the quality of your podcast isn’t up to scratch.

Listening to it in Apple Podcasts, or any other directory is your final chance to run your ears over the audio of the show to make sure it’s exactly as you intended it to be.

How to submit your podcast to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify

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So, what can go wrong?

The upload can be glitchy

That’s a very untechnical way of saying the episode jumps around between time codes when you listen to it.  I don’t know what crazy codey magic goes on behind the scenes to make that happen but what you end up with is an episode that randomly jumps forward or back so it sounds like it’s been really badly edited.  Not the sign of a quality podcast.

This happened to me with my podcast, You’ve Gotta Start Somewhere.  Luckily, re-uploading the MP3 file was all it took to fix the problem but I wouldn’t have known it sounded so god awful if I hadn’t cast my ear over the final product.

Unfortunately, if there is a problem and you have to replace the file that means you have to listen to it AGAIN to make sure the new MP3 is working.

You also need to listen to the WHOLE episode.  In one of my episodes, the glitches didn’t appear until 55 minutes into the episode, so if I’d just checked the first ten minutes and thought “this is fine” I would have missed the problem.

Do you need to edit your podcast?

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Production in between segments can go missing

This used to happen with my old podcast, Paul and Rach.  We used segments in our show and in between each break of content we’d play a short musical interlude.

Sometimes, in the finished product, those bits of production (or ‘stings’ as we call them in the biz) wouldn’t be there which means instead of a break finishing with a nice musical end, there was stone cold silence.  Not quite the effect we were going for nor the measure of surpreme podcast quality.

Again uploading the episode usually fixed the problem, unless it was human error and the problem was me forgetting to place one of the stings into the edit…nobody’s perfect 😉

How to improve your podcast with segments

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Missing intros

Instead of hearing your carefully crafted introduction that perfectly sets the tone for your show, your audience hears (insert how long your intro is) seconds of silence and then your random voice appearing out of nowhere.

Again, I’ve had this happen in my previous podcasts and sometimes it can be audio hocus pocus, other times it’s been because I’ve accidentally knocked the ‘mute track’ button in Adobe Audition.  A problem that’s easily fixed once you know it’s there (but you have to listen to find out).

Do you need a podcast intro and outro?

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You’ve uploaded the wrong episode

Having a different episode to the one you’ve promised your audience in the title is definitely a sign of a poor quality podcast.  It can also be a problem if you release content that is not supposed to be out for a while.

I’ve done this with an episode I didn’t have scheduled for another three weeks…not ideal.  Luckily it wasn’t sitting there for long before I noticed because I listened back to the episode.

When you’re pre-recording interviews ahead of time this can easily happen when you’re switching between audio files.

The steps to release a podcast episode

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Creating a quality podcast should be your number one priority

I share all these tales of technology working against you and my own incompetence to show you that even when you think you’ve crossed all the t’s and dotted all the i’s, it’s still possible for things to go wrong.

Sometimes it’s your fault, sometimes it’s completely out of your control but it will affect the quality of your podcast.

Taking a little bit of time to listen to the finished product can make sure the show your listeners get in their ears is the one you intended them to.

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

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GET MY FREE PODCAST GUIDE

WANT TO START A PODCAST BUT HAVE NO IDEA HOW? THIS GUIDE TAKES YOU THROUGH ALL THE TOOLS AND TECH YOU NEED TO GET GOING!

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