Headliner app review: Is it the best podcasting tool?
Matthew James Oxlade
When you make an audio podcast, it’s important to maximise your reach. To do that, you need to be on every platform possible so you have flexibility for your listeners. But making video content in addition to your audio content is time consuming. That’s where Headliner app comes in. It makes it so much easier.
You should know that Headliner did not pay me, or even ask me to make this review. This is totally unbiased.
What is Headliner app?
Headliner is an app for podcasting, except it’s not really an app. It’s a podcasting tool.
Is Headliner app any good?
Headliner offers a range of features to make the app suitable to a range of podcasters.
You can easily add a waveform over the top of your image, meaning you can put your podcast artwork underneath a moving waveform that automatically moves as it registers sound. Like your old hi-fi system did back in the day.
You can also publish either full-length episodes (to to 2 hours in length) or shorter snippets of a longer episode. The full-length episode option is perfect for YouTube, and the shorter length is perfect for Instagram and Facebook (and others, of course).
Headliner often updates the sizing options of the content, meaning you don’t need to know how
It’s easy to snip parts of a longer episode, too, using their audio clipper. The exported content comes out at 1080p too, which means the created content is super clear.
Sometimes I found the audio clipper to be a little difficult to use, but I’m not sure if that was because I’m a frequent user of more professional-grade tools like Adobe Audition. Professional-grade tools allow super-precise snipping, but it does just that – audio only. Headliner generates content, so they aren’t really comparable. I’m just not sure how much of an issue this finneckey audio snipping is for the everyday user of Headliner app.
Headliner is great for the user, but I don’t feel they really sell how great the tool is just looking at their website.
The Headliner website shows off a lot of information about what the tool can do, but this is 2020, and I think Headliner can do a better job at presenting the content in a way that shows off how great their tool is. I’m talking about font-choice, black header bars that go into plain white and so on. It’s not the end of the world, but I was surprised how great the tool is after getting past the website.
How far does Headliner push the subgenre of podcasting tools forward? Not far, but it does increase the height of the bar for standards when it comes to podcast audiograms.
Headliner is one of, if not the, easiest tools for creating video content from audio files. You start off by choosing what kind of content you’re looking to create.
I’m using a 48-minute podcast episode I did as part of my photography podcast as an example and cutting it down to a one-minute piece ready for social media distribution.
I drag and dropped my file onto the Headliner app and now I’m ready to choose my segment I want to create.
I listened through to this one part I think sits well on its own (it’s a demo, so don’t shoot me if you find it boring), and clicked to drag the start and end parts. There’s also a time limit selector if you want to make sure the content fits within social platform limitations, so that’s a handy bonus. In this case I knew I wanted to fit it within a minute, so I just made sure it was less than a minute in the ‘Clip Duration’ panel.
Use landscape for YouTube and Twitter, square for Facebook and Instagram, and vertical for Instagram Stories and TikTok.
Next is where Headliner app really shines. You can use the ‘Templates’ feature to choose something already made, or make and save your own.
I’ll choose this simple art that I think shows off Headliner app nicely. Clicking the text allows you to change the text boxes easily. Same with the image.
And we’re done with a super simple, but great-looking, piece of video content using Headliner.
Flashback to my chat with @apriljosie_ on the Filter Photography Podcast. pic.twitter.com/qe3b3MsdEb— Matthew James Oxlade (@mattsimplified) September 26, 2020
That is just a very simple template use, but the advanced editor lets you do so much that Headliner doesn’t tell you about. You can use royalty free video backgrounds and more. It’s a really, really impressive set of hidden features.
Here’s what Marc Maron does with Headliner:
David Mamet on his writing process, with video courtesy of @SpareMin.— WTF with Marc Maron (@WTFpod) March 21, 2018
Check out the full episode here https://t.co/NUp3aPnX2A
Or on @ApplePodcasts https://t.co/2Yo5z4LKhM
And let us know if you like seeing little snippets like this. pic.twitter.com/rkxEzFEvGh
If you’re still stuck on how to use it, there’s a whole learning hub available.
Headliner app’s pricing
There are three tiers for using Headliner, but they only really give you two options when you sign up.
You probably don’t need the third tier, but here’s their full pricing offering.
I’m always doubtful of things that say ‘forever free’, because you can never say forever. But here we are, and here’s what you get:
- Unlimited watermarked videos
- Ten videos a month (it says five but you get ten for some reason)
- 1080p resolution export
- Video transcription
- Auto-sharing to social media
Similar to the free version, but you get:
- Unlimited videos
- No Headliner watermarks
- Custom intro and outro videos
- Better support from Headliner
- The ability to make branded templates
The enterprise model is unknown, but it looks like you get access to their API if you churn out massive amounts of content. I’m not sure why you would need that, but hey, it’s there if you want it.
The only downside with their pricing model is that there isn’t any free trial for the Headliner Pro option. It’s not that big of an issue, because the free version is fairly generous as it is as long as the watermark doesn’t bother you.
Headliner allows you to share directly to social media without downloading the video, and as mentioned, you can limit the time your video can run for so you don’t go over any limits. This is handy if you want to only publish one Instagram Story (for example), and don’t want sentences cut off midway through.
Headliner also has mobile apps, but it can be a little troublesome to get your content in there in the first instance. I would recommend the Headliner app for editing clips if you need to, but not to create anything new.
Headliner app alternatives
If Headliner app doesn’t suit your needs, similar apps to Headliner are: