Podcasting certainly isn’t for everybody, but it has grown in popularity over the years and for good reason.

Whether you’re a passionate Manchester United fan looking to start an online conversation about your favorite team, or a growing business interested in demonstrating your expertise to the world, podcasting does have utility and appeal for many.

Here are several cool podcasting tools worth checking out if you’re looking to start your own podcast.

  • Audacity is an open-source sound editor that can be used to record podcasts. For a free piece of software, it is quite feature rich, offering advanced editing tools and features such as background noise removal.
  • LAME is an MP3 encoder that enables you to encode your Audacity recordings into the MP3 format. For instructions on how to install LAME for use with Audacity, click here.
  • Since a podcast is technically only an MP3 file “distributed” via an RSS feed, you’ll need a way to produce that RSS feed. FeedForAll is a low-cost RSS feed creation tool that has features tailored specifically for podcast feeds. Alternatively, if you have a WordPress blog, check out the PodPress WordPress plugin.
  • iTunes is not only great for purchasing music – it’s one of your best friends when it comes to distributing your podcasts. Apple even provides a detailed explanation on how to get your podcast onto iTunes.
  • You’ll probably want to track the success of your podcasting efforts so be sure to consider Podalyzer. It’s a free Perl script that analyzes your server logs for podcast downloads and generates reports on them.

With the tools above, you’ll be a podcasting expert in no time.