Are Google Hangouts a Form of Podcast [and How to Turn to Audio, Video Podcast]

The word “Podcast” is a muddled one. There are many that use it as a general term – even though their show does not fall into the definition. Last week I got asked if Google Hangouts could be considered podcasts. Even yesterday I was asked that question again along with the question if any YouTube video falls under that term.

Definition of a Podcast defines a podcast as such:

pod·cast  [pod-kast, ‐kahst]  Show IPA Digital Technology .


1. A digital audio or video file or recording, usually part of a themed series, that can be downloaded from a web site to a media player or computer: Download or subscribe to daily, one-hour podcasts of our radio show.

A lot of people state a podcast needs an RSS feed, which YouTube doesn’t really provide.

Turning a Google Hangout into a Podcast

Turning a Google Hangout into a Podcast

Google+ Community: Their Answer

I polled people at Google+ Podcaster community. They had some great views on this subject. Here are some replies:

Jim CollisonIt is a means to podcasting for me. I pull down the video that is created after the hangout and create both audio only and video content that gets posted to my feeds.

Bjorn BehrendtI use it for the live stream and YouTube version, but I produce an MP3 that I use as my official podcast

Steve EasonI know of a podcast (Self Publishing Podcast) who record out of Google Hangouts and publish their podcast from that recording. I know that this isn’t exactly what you were talking about, but just thought it might be slightly relevant.

mark kelleherIn my opinion it is not a podcast, without RSS feed, it fails, in my mind to meet the very definition of a podcast. I think that it’s a useful tool for various get togethers, but in all respects, it certainly lacks the quality of a podcast. If a broadcaster chooses to use this as their medium, I’m sure that it can be fun and entertaining, primarily for those participating, but not for those listening later, but again, in my opinion, it does nothing to advance this medium and have people treat podcasts as a serious alternative to radio or TV in the case of video.

J.D. SutterI agree with +Bjorn Behrendt and +Jim Collison . Hangouts are a means to the end; without the RSS feed it’s not a podcast in my opinion.

Are Google Hangouts (or YouTube Videos) Considered a Podcast?

The answer is: Kinda, yes. Not much of a real answer, so lets break it down. YouTube uses embedding instead of RSS feeds to push their videos across. You can put a YouTube video into an RSS feed to publish.

A hangout has the option to be downloaded by the creator. You can then upload it to a server, put it in an RSS feed and send it out. You can even push the audio/video with your YouTube embed code for maximum punch.

A couple months ago I did a podcast called Goin SXSW. I ran it as a hangout, then downloaded the file, split it into an audio and video file, uploaded to my Amazon S3 account, then created the blog post – which ultimately became an RSS. I could then send my RSS to iTunes, mobile MP3 players and more.

How to Turn a Google Hangout into a Podcast Episode

  1. Record the initial Google Hangout onto your YouTube account. 
  2. Navigate to your Video Manager page
  3. Underneath the title of the video, choose the drop-down (which says Edit).
  4. Choose “Download MP4” and save to a location on your hard drive
  5. The video file is then ready to upload to a server as a video. If you want to convert to an audio podcast, you must import into a program that can convert to MP3.
  6. Add your video or audio location into your post and publish

There – you now have a Google Hangout in true podcast form! People can call it up on iTunes or another podcatcher, then download it to their mobile device.

Wirecast Logo

Wirecast Logo

Additional Ways to Turn Your Hangout into a Podcast

Before Hangouts on Air, I would set up two computers – one as the Hangout machine and the other as the recorder. Using Wirecast, I would push the video of the hangout to the secondary computer (with their companion program called Desktop Presenter). The audio would pass through my mixer to the secondary machine. When I was talking, I would switch to my camera, then switch to the hangout when others talked.

When the show was done, I could post up or do some post editing in Adobe Premiere before I post. I could do sound leveling, color correction or even cut out sections that make the show too long.

About a year and a half ago I did a show called The OTT in which I used this process:

Podcasting Getting Easier with Hangouts

There are great advantages to making a Google Hangout style podcast. Biggest advantage: you can get up to 9 people to come in and talk with you. Adam Sessler of Revision3 just started a podcast called Address the Sess. You can download via MP4, Theora or WebM.

There are other podcasts that are popping up using Hangouts as their primary medium. Langly’s show Robot Underpants is a weekly geek show, Music Manumit uses Hangouts but is an audio podcast. Many more exist and even more will be popping up in the future.  

Summary – Are Google Hangouts a Form of Podcast? [and How To turn into an Audio/Video Podcast]

Podcasting has gotten easier with tools like Google Hangouts. You can easily download and upload your YouTube video to another source (or post-produce it for volume leveling and color correction before you post). So is Google Hangout a form of Podcasting? What do you think? Let me know @RecordAPodcast

Can a Google Hangout Be a Podcast?

Can a Google Hangout Be a Podcast?

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