Hello, and welcome to the PolyInContent Digest Review of - Riverside.fm
This is a tool for recording, streaming, and editing your podcast. All in one!
One thing to keep in mind for this series is that it is for giving and overview and opinion on various content creating/repurposing tools out there. This tool however is more so in the lines of creation. It just has been so integrated into my tech stack, that I had to do a review on it! It was the first to do high quality and native video recording on all sides, the editor is growing on me more and more, and the team is fantastic at what they do.
The structure is the overview, pricing, pros, cons, and then any particular experience I may have with the tool good or bad. Finally, at the end I’ll wrap up any extra thoughts.
⭐ NOTE: This is not sponsored, but there are affiliate links in this post. All opinions shared are my own. I aim to keep it fair and just, but my intention is to keep it real and honest.
While other tools like Zencastr, Squadcast, and even Streamyard have the capabilities to record high quality audio. They all didn't have the FULLEST quality VIDEO until way after Riverside.fm, and while Streamyard is more of a livestream tool it has grown a lot. The other two were so late to the party, that Riverside grew exponentially because of it.
I came across it back in 2020, and started using it regularly at the tailend of that year, or perhaps closer to early 2021. Either way out of the 100+ interviews I've done on my show, at least 60% of them have been with Riverside (I did a lot on zoom before).
You start out at the dashboard:
Nice and minimalist, straight to the point with your studios in the middle.
From there you can see the recordings you have made in any particular studio:
Basically each one is a separate recording, even if you do them on the same day. For example when I was talking to Johnny he wanted to share a bonus story, which acted as it's own recording. Which honestly was way more helpful too in the end for making it easy to organize.
There is a lot more going on in the actual screen for each recording:
Choosing what file types, and framerates you want to download:
Do note that while 24fps is standard in the film industry, it is not nearly as good as 30fps or 60fps ideally (if your cameras have that option).
The cool thing is that Riverside will record at the HIGHEST quality that your camera and microphone can handle. It is all recorded locally on each person's machine, that way it doesn't get degraded by the compression of cloud based recording like Zoom/Skype/Hangouts.
There is a backup however in the cloud, which is an amazing feature because you never know what might happen to the recordings. I've only had an issue once with a guest's audio being really weird. The support was super helpful, and while there wasn't anything we could do to restore it, the cloud recording happened to be completely fine. With that episode I simply used slightly lower quality audio for my guest's side using that cloud recording.
Move over Resolve and Premiere, the Magic Editor is here!
I love the framing, the background is just an image you can replace, and you can add a logo to the top. Although in my experience the logo doesn't always work right, and that is something you'll have to play around with.
I also wished that you can have people's names at the bottom of their frames. Personal preference.
There is a cool AI speaker layout, where it switches between who is talking.
Finally then you export:
Generally hasn't taken very long for me, and the quality is always great.
Here is how it looks in the recording studio:
My camera was rotated btw.
I'll be honest here, this is something that will make or break the tool for you. However I've seen the price go down a ton over the last couple years, as the tool has grown.
Compared to any of the competitors they are usually about $20 a month, with the exception of Streamyard which is $25 a month. While Riverside.fm $19.
Now I am just looking at the basic plan, but the ratio stays the same across the board. If you are going to spend the cost, might as well go with option with the most features, longest history with native high quality video recording, and the likes of Gary Vee or Hillary Clinton using the platform. Not to mention yours truly!
Go ahead and get a taste with their free plan. ;)
Note: That this may be what I had happened, but your mileage may vary.
I joined up early on, and you would think with a beta or early tool experience; That I would've had a lot of tech problems like most tools.
Honestly no. There were a few interviews where the guest's internet connection was so poor that I chose to switch to Zoom for the lower latency. However that was more of a personal choice, and it has gotten better since then too (mainly was in 2021).
Besides that internet delay (that is worse on other platforms a lot too), and the one weird audio file for that particular interview. I've not had issues with the platform, and I think that is worth exclaiming. Anytime I feel like something is off I can easily reach out to support, and they're always helpful.
While I do get access as a creator, this is a tool that is worth the cost to upgrade the quality of your show. I only mention this because of transparency, and it has nothing to do with how I conduct this review. I just simply really like the platform, and I am curious what they are gonna come out with next.
Not much to say, but this tool does make me excited.
- Native recording on both sides for utmost quality.
- Uses the highest quality your mic and cam can handle.
- Super helpful support team (I even reached out DURING an interview because of an early on technical problem, and they got back to me)
- Tons of educational materials on blog and YT.
- Raw video OR consistent framerate video options.
- Magic editor has a lot of features, including transcription and clips.
- They're always coming out with more features.
- Can be costly if you are just starting out (worth it in the end, but it comes out of pocket)
- Doesn't work in Firefox!! 😤
- Magic editor doesn't do everything... yet, and so you still may have to use another editing tool to finish if you have a certain need.
- No pausing feature, so you can't just do a bathroom break if you need to during recording. (I just hold an X up with my arms for me to know to cut it out later)
Honestly it is a bit weighted towards the positive, the cons can be ignored for the most part.
I can't tell you want to use when you record your video podcast, or even audio only, but I can tell you that the other tools just aren't as good.
I've been on 60+ shows other than my own, and used basically everything under the sun as a guest. Some of them would be clunky, wouldn't work with my mic right/camera too, and honestly they weren't as asthetically pleasing either IMO.
Professional podcast and video creation, simplified
Riverside records you and your guests locally, bypassing poor or unstable internet connections, and giving you studio-quality audio and video.
Easily record guests, transcribe sessions, and edit your content in your very own virtual studio.