A lot of people ask me what kind of investment is needed to start a podcast… if you already own a computer and have an Internet connection, the answer is “anywhere from $0 to $10 on the low end.” The great part about modern computers, whether you run a PC, a Mac or even a Linux box, is that they can handle almost all of the audio recording and editing you need for a basic show. Check out Todd Cochrane’s excellent rundown from Podcasting: The Do It Yourself Guide for some of the great free and low cost software options for the beginner. If you have a built in microphone, a free recorder and editing program like Audacity plus a free FTP program to transfer your shows up to a server will make you a podcaster for no additonal investment. No microphone? For beginners, I suggest starting with a low-cost ($10 or so) USB microphone, then advancing to a better microphone later on.
For those of you interested in an advanced set up, remember that most podcasts are so compressed that getting a super high end set of gear is probably not going to make much difference in the audio quality of your show. For most people, spending about $250 is about as much as you need to get the gear for a high quality, professional sound. More on that in future posts!