There's never been a better medium than the internet for beaming our thoughts into homes and offices on the other side of the planet, and podcasting is fast becoming the most affordable means of earning international fame and notoriety.

X-oom's Podcast Studio appears to be perfectly placed, positioning itself as the easy route to creating your own podcasts and sharing them with the world. But is it? Not really.

The core of the package is the podcast manager and director programs. The podcast director is a good idea, but oversimplified, which can be misleading. There is a wizard to help novices, but while it points to which parts you need to fill in, it doesn't give clear advice on exactly what information you need.

The podcast manager is much easier to use. This works in a similar way to iTunes, giving you a means of storing different podcasts and allowing you to include broadcasts from different sources as well. As is the nature of podcasts, though, it's not easy to tell what's going to be in a podcast before you download it.

Once you have subscribed to a feed, you can then update it and select the nature of the download. Podcasts can be transferred to USB sticks, iPods, PDAs and similar units.

A number of extra utilities are included. One useful tool allows you to rip CDs directly on to your hard drive – as OGG Vorbis or MP3 files – while the audio editor can embellish songs with extra effects, such as fading in and out, or remove unwanted sections.

X-oom Podcast Studio: Specs

  • 700MHz Intel Pentium III or AMD Athlon CPU
  • Windows Me/2000/XP
  • 64MB RAM
  • 20MB hard disk space
  • 700MHz Intel Pentium III or AMD Athlon CPU
  • Windows Me/2000/XP
  • 64MB RAM
  • 20MB hard disk space

OUR VERDICT

X-oom Podcast Studio costs only £20, which is a very low price for something that could be genuinely useful for those who want to create podcasts. However, we don't recommended it for complete beginners, which means it misses out on a large potential audience.

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