What Are Podcast Chapters?
You know that giant blob of text where you pile all the things you talked about during your show? What if you could place the link to that crazy Tik-Tok video during your podcast and show it to your listeners as you talk about it? Podcast chapters will let you do exactly that and more!
You may have seen podcast chapters in your podcast app already, different apps surface this content differently, but we think HyperCatcher’s approach brings out podcast content in a special way.
You can use podcast chapters the same way you use your podcast show notes now, to include pictures, text or website links during your podcast at exactly the right time. This can bring important context to your podcast and bring content front and center instead of buried in your show notes.
This can be a kind of super power for your podcast as not many podcasts are currently using podcast chapter content in this way yet. Here at HyperCatcher we think that there is massive potential to improve the medium of podcasting through the use of podcast chapters.
Which Podcasts Use Podcast Chapters Well?
There are a few podcasts that really use podcast chapters to truly enhance their podcast. The example we’re using in the GIF on the left here is from the Stratechery Daily Update Podcast.
This podcast updates users on an in-depth topic at the intersection of business and technology everyday. Because the podcast is relatively short and the topics can be relatively deep one of the best things about the podcast is that the author, Ben Thompson, provides links to additional content that he used when forming his thoughts about the day’s topic. So not only do you get to hear Ben’s thoughts during the podcast, but you can read deeper into parts of the podcast that interested you most and even follow along with the podcast through the sources and links in real time.
Alternatively, podcast chapters can provide jumping on points during a podcast where you can find content you’re really interested in quickly. One of our favorite podcasts here at HyperCatcher is Stacktrace. Stacktrace is a MacOS and iOS developer podcast with lots of extra topics and discussions sprinkled throughout. The podcasters do a great job of breaking the show up into different segments that are easy to navigate via chapters.
In addition to breaking out podcasts into interesting segments, Stacktrace also includes content through the podcast at just the right time. So instead of digging through show notes to find a tweet they reference you can see that tweet in the podcast chapter content immediately by checking your podcast player.
These are just a few examples of the awesome ways podcasters are already using podcast chapters to enhance their listeners podcast experience. Every podcast is different so we at HyperCatcher are super excited to see what you do with podcast chapters to enhance your podcast!
How Do I Use Podcast Chapters For My Podcast?
So, you’ve got your own podcast and you want to be able to bring podcast chapter content to your listeners.
The first thing you should understand is that unlike the show notes for your podcast, podcast chapters are part of the .mp3 file you upload to your podcast host, not part of the Podcast RSS feed.
Because your podcast audio file is where you’ll add your chapter content, any tool you use will be very tightly coupled with your podcast audio. Because of this fact you might want to choose your tool you use to include podcast chapter content differently depending on how you currently record your podcast.
Podcast Chapters During Audio Recording
So you’re getting ready to record your new podcast and you want to include podcast chapter content while recording (or directly after) right in the audio editor.
The best app we’ve found for recording podcasts and editing podcast chapter content is conveniently contained in this very useful app called Ferrite Recording Studio.
Ferrite is an all in one and surprisingly full featured recording studio for iPhone and iPad. If you’d like to be able to record, edit and mix audio all in one place then Ferrite is a great choice. Ferrite also allows you to include chapter text, web URLs and images throughout the podcast.
Ferrite is an all in one enhanced podcast recording studio for a very reasonable price of $30. There is a very good free trial that you can use to record and edit audio, but you’ll need to purchase the the pro version to add chapter content to your recorded .mp3 files.
Podcast Chapters After Audio Recording
Regardless of when or where you record your podcast you can always add podcast chapter content into the .mp3 file later.
If you have a backlog of podcasts that you’d like to update with enhanced content or if the audio recording app you’re using now doesn’t support editing podcast chapter content then this next app will be very useful for your workflow.
The Podcast Chapters App is a great way to see podcast chapter content for an existing podcast or to edit and export podcast content for a new podcast. The app is extremely easy to use and doesn’t require lengthy tutorials to get started. However, you can find a quick video tutorial for adding podcast chapter content to mp3 files here. You can simply import your mp3 file and add and edit chapters directly in the app. When you’ve finished all that’s left is to upload the updated and enhanced mp3 file to your podcast host. You can find the Podcast Chapters App for $20 on the Apple Mac OS App Store.
If you don’t mind a browser based solution and you’re looking for a price tag of… free, then you might want to check out backtracks.fm ‘s online tool for editing MP3 chapter content: https://backtracks.fm/tools/free-online-podcast-chapter-editor
I haven’t actually used it entirely end to end yet for a podcast release yet, but it looks like a pretty solid solution for a great price.
We hope that you’ll check out your newly enhance podcast with the HyperCatcher podcast app and tell your listeners about us!