Podcasting 101: What you need to get started on Mac

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Chris Ward's podcasting setup
My Podcasting setup
Photo: Chris Ward

Podcasting is undergoing a renaissance with listeners consuming on-demand shows at unprecedented levels, and creators enjoying surprising levels of success with their work. One thing that sets apart the amateurs from the professionals is good content, but the other is production values.

I have been running my own small podcast for about a year, trying different ideas and formats to see what works. While I’m an amateur podcaster, I create tutorial videos for a living and I used to be a professional musician, so I know a thing or two about sound, music, and music production. I have also been using a Mac since 1997, and have recorded audio with just about every port that Apple has released. For me, the podcast is a great outlet to cover topics I don’t get to cover in my paid writing work. And of course, like many other podcasters, I like the sound of my own voice.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned, along with recommendations on the hardware, software and techniques to get you started podcasting using your Mac.

Time tracking is made painless and easy with Timing 2 app [Review]

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Timing 2 time tracking Mac app
Timing 2 makes time tracking on your Mac easy, not a chore.
Photo: Screenshot: Timing / Daniel Alm

I recently switched back to freelancing full-time, and whilst I am lucky enough to have clients who don’t ask for precise hourly breakdowns, I have always been intrigued to know how much time I was spending on work tasks, especially those tasks that I didn’t directly bill for.

Many time trackers rely on you explicitly setting the task you are tracking and remembering to switch to another task when it’s time to track that. This is easy to forget, and for someone like me who switches tasks frequently, it’s hard to always know when one task finishes and another begins.

Timing 2 takes a different perspective. Instead of tracking by task, it tracks by application usage and uses a set of rules to assign activities in those applications to certain projects and tasks. The premise is that after a learning process, you can leave the application running behind the scenes and it’ll track everything for you automatically. You only need audit the results.

The Mac App Store is rubbish! Rent apps instead with Setapp [Reviews]

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The Setapp folder full of applications
Setapp currently offers more than 60 apps, with plans to expand.
Image: Setapp

Apple’s Mac App Store is broken. For developers and Mac users alike, the online store just isn’t working.

It’s too hard for buyers to find good software. And, thanks to Apple’s picky restrictions, the Mac App Store can make life difficult for developers.

Setapp, a Netflix-style subscription service for Mac apps, offers an innovative alternative. Instead of buying apps individually, you rent a bunch of them for $9.99 a month.

While it might sound unnerving to anyone accustomed to the idea of buying Mac apps outright, after using the service for two months, I found it liberating. Setup is dead-easy. And the selection is fantastic. Setapp serves up more than 60 Mac apps, all handpicked by MacPaw, the Mac development company that dreamed up the service.