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Opinion - A New iPhone App Aiming To Make Podcasting Easy For Everyone

How can podcast creation be made even easier on the iPhone? I recently stumbled upon a new iPhone app called simply "Opinion" that is aimed at making podcasting no longer just "a medium reserved for tech geeks and media corporations" but rather a medium available to everyone.

Given that it's audio, it may be best to listen... so I recorded a "The Dan York Report" podcast today using the app and you can hear my thoughts in the recording:

Opinion main screen

UPDATE: One quick production note - I recorded this podcast on my iPhone 5s just using the internal microphone of the 5s. I did not attach a headset or any other kind of external mic. (People have asked about this.) I was sitting in a quiet room, but it was just with the raw iPhone 5s microphone. Nothing else.

If you are interested in trying it out yourself, you can download Opinion in the AppStore for the iPhone. As I note in the recording, it will install onto the iPad, but in doing so it just behaves as an iPhone app (i.e. it doesn't make use of the iPhone's screen and just looks like a huge iPhone app).

You can find more info, too, at www.opinionpodcasting.com.

A quick summary of some of my thoughts:

  • The app was extremely easy to use.
  • I liked how you could stop and start the recording, generating new tracks within the same session. You can then easily move tracks around if you wanted to. For instance, I realized that I had left something out that I wanted to include earlier, so I recorded another track and then moved that back into the earlier flow.
  • The editing tool nicely lets you split tracks so, for instance, I could split an existing track to insert a new track.
  • I also used the editing tool to remove / trim the ends of tracks. I would cut the track which would create a new track with the audio I wanted to delete - and then I would just delete the track.
  • The workflow right now involves having a single "session" inside of the app. When you are done with the recording you upload it to some site or service. When you want to record again you are doing so in the same session, i.e. you need to delete some or all tracks in order to record again. This is in contrast to another app I use, Hindenburg Field Recorder, that lets you save your recording sessions inside the app. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing, as most of the time I wind up simply deleting the older recording sessions in Hindenburg Field Recorder because they take up space. This "one session" approach has its merits.
  • One thing I like about it is that I could use this workflow to make a simple "intro" and "outro" for my TDYR podcasts. It could go like this:
    • Record an intro track.
    • Record an outro track.
    • Record a main episode track and then move it between the intro and outro.
    • Upload the finished episode to SoundCloud.
    • The next time... delete the main episode track.
    • Record a new main episode track.
    • Move it between the intro / outro tracks.
    • Upload the new finished episode to SoundCloud.
    • Repeat....

    This could be quite cool!

  • I haven't tried it yet, but the app has the ability to import music from your iPhone's Music library. You could then bring in songs or other audio. In my case, I could record my intro or outro on my regular computer, complete with music, then upload it to my iPhone via iTunes... and then have it available in Opinion.
  • The app worked really well from a usage perspective with having very nice touch gesture support.
  • Recording up to 10 minutes of audio is free - after that it is $5 for unlimited recording space. Definitely a reasonable price.
  • I'm not a big fan of the name as it's really generic... but I can see what they are getting at.

Let me end my just pointing out that Opinion has some nice export options. SoundCloud has a dedicated export function, but you can also send it via email or, more usefully, the "More" button lets up export to DropBox, Evernote or other apps and services you have on your iPhone:

UPDATE: Sadly, the Opinion app does NOT let you upload to DropBox yet. I asked the developers on Twitter about this, and they said they are considering this for a future version. (So I would encourage you to ask them on Twitter about this, too, to let them know you want it.)

UPDATE #2 Yea! The developers have implemented DropBox support and it will apparently be out in the next version.

Opinion export

All in all I found it a rather impressive app!

What do you think? Will you give it a try?

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