Geek Chic: Gcast Podcasting Service

Want to be a radio star? This free service isn't flawless, by any means, but it's easy to use and allows anyone with a telephone to try out basic podcasting.

April 5, 2006

2 Min Read
Network Computing logo

Originally published online in another form

GarageBand Records Gcast Want to try podcasting on the cheap? Gcast offers the chance to try basic podcasting free, by letting you record your podcast over the phone.

Gcast's service is not flawless by any means, but it is easy to use.

You start by establishing an account and creating a PIN for your phone number on the Gcast Web site. You call Gcast's toll-free number, enter your PIN, listen to the instructions and record your podcast. You can then rerecord, save to your Gcast account for further review, or broadcast the podcast directly to your podcast channel--automatically created along with your account--without ever touching a computer.

There are trade-offs, however. You have no power to edit the recording, not a trivial limitation if you are concerned about quality. Furthermore, when you play back the recording on the Gcast Web site, you may find electronic noise in the recording or a distinct sound when the recording ends. And the interface is sometimes confusing.Once you record voice-based podcasts, you can use Gcast's Playlist Manager to mix your recordings with music from Gcast's sister site,, which promotes independent music by offering free MP3 downloads of music samples.

However, Gcast could be more smoothly integrated with its sister site. The two have dramatically different looks, which may confuse users moving between the two. But the functions of features such as the MasterPlaylist and the Publish page are identical, letting you publish your podcast from Gcast or In either case, when you move your creation to the Publish page, you can give your podcast a title and add descriptive text.

Click the Publish button, and Gcast moves your podcast to your Channel page, which you can then listen to manually. If you have subscribers, the podcast is distributed automatically, a process that can be confusing for many potential podcasters. Gcast relieves the pain by handling the entire process seamlessly, without user intervention.

The Channel page also offers an RSS feed for the page, and HTML source code you can copy to put a player for your podcasts on your blog or Web site.Gcast may not give you the quality of NPR, but users wanting to dabble in podcasting--and afraid of the technical complexity around podcast production--will find a lot to like about this service. --

Free, GarageBand Records,

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like

More Insights