November 1, 2023

The best AI tools for podcast show notes, reviewed

There are a lot of AI tools for podcast show notes, and it’s hard to know how they’re different without taking the time to test each one. So that’s what I did.
November 1, 2023

The best AI tools for podcast show notes, reviewed

There are a lot of AI tools for podcast show notes, and it’s hard to know how they’re different without taking the time to test each one. So that’s what I did.
November 1, 2023
Ashley Hamer
In this article
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Transcriptions

Every creative task comes with a certain amount of gruntwork. Painters need to prep their canvases, poets need to consult their thesauruses, musicians have to pretend they didn’t hear the crowd say “Wagon Wheel.” Podcasting is no different: once you’ve crafted the perfect narrative and placed the music beds just-so, it’s time to — ugh — write the show notes. 

This is a really important part of the process, since it gives listeners a way to find you when they hit “search.” But it’s not that fun in my opinion, and to be honest, most podcasters aren’t that good at it. That’s what makes it the perfect task for AI.

There are a lot of AI tools for podcast show notes (more than 10, by my count), and it’s hard to know how they’re different without taking the time to test each one. So that’s what I did. I took an old podcast episode and ran it through the seven AI tools I’d heard the most about to see how each one fares — and which ones are worth spending money on.

The original show notes

The episode I used is from my podcast Taboo Science. It's about 40 minutes long. For comparison, here are the show notes I wrote when the episode originally aired:

Obesity (with Yoni Freedhoff)

What do we get wrong about weight? Where did BMI even come from? And is there really an obesity "epidemic"?

Today's guest is Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, an Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Ottawa and Medical Director of Ottawa's Bariatric Medical Institute who's known as Canada's most outspoken obesity expert. He's also the author of "The Diet Fix: Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work."

Click here to see citations for this episode!

Follow Taboo Science on Twitter and Instagram.

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

Suggest a taboo topic via [email redacted].

Visit tabooscience.show for more.

Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.

It’s not exactly genius marketing copy — I could have written a better hook, rather than just listing the questions answered in the episode, and I could have used more keywords that related to the topic of the show. Some podcasts also provide timestamps to particular topics in the episode so listeners can jump right to what they’re interested in. I also don’t have a link to a transcript, which is ultra important (this was before I was using Descript, which creates the transcript for you automatically). But I do list all the other ways you can connect to the show, and the show notes are snappy and easy to read.

Let’s see if AI can do better.

Descript

AI actions included with all subscription types (for now); free version includes 1 hour/month transcription time, with paid plans starting at $12/month

Descript's show notes:

Taboo Science: Unraveling The Stigma and Science Behind Obesity

Ashley Hamer from Taboo Science delves into the complex and stigmatized issue of obesity, tracing its historical viewpoint, cultural changes, medical definitions, and misconceptions. She interviews Dr. Yoni Friedhoff, an obesity medical expert, who explains the fallacies associated with defining obesity using Body Mass Index (BMI). They discuss the damaging societal assumptions about obesity, the outdated notions of 'willpower' and 'dieting', and the role of privilege in implementing lifestyle changes. They highlight how obesity stigma can harm health, challenging the 'one-size-fits-all' solution approach and underscoring the need for a more compassionate and informed understanding of the condition.

00:01 Introduction to the Fear of Fat
00:23 Historical Perspective on Body Weight
01:08 Cultural Shift in Perception of Body Weight
01:42 The Aesthetic vs Medical Concerns of Obesity
02:26 Introduction to the Podcast and Guest
04:27 Understanding Obesity: A Doctor's Perspective
08:32 The Problem with BMI as a Measure of Obesity
12:06 The History and Flaws of BMI
17:18 The Global Increase in Average Weights
19:46 The Complexity of Obesity Causes
20:12 The Role of Genes and Hormones in Weight Management
23:22 The Myths and Realities of Dieting
31:40 The Impact of Weight Stigma on Health
34:41 The Role of Privilege in Weight Management
38:43 Conclusion and Acknowledgements

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Generating show notes for a video podcast with Descript

Descript recently joined the fray and added a whole suite of AI actions to its audio and video editing app, including AI podcast show notes.

For Descript users, the biggest benefit is that it's all built in — the tool can read your podcast transcript and automatically generate show notes, no uploading or cutting and pasting required. It's also technically free: if you already pay for Descript (or use the free version, at least for now), you can use it for no extra charge.

Descript's AI show notes tool is essentially a ChatGPT window for your podcast, which means that you can easily ask it for revisions: say, to take on a more conversational or formal tone, or focus on one particular part of the episode, or refer to you as "Captain Podcast." But as someone who has tested a lot of AI show notes tools (see: this article), I was pleasantly surprised by how well it did out of the box. It hit all the important points and used fairly neutral language that would be easy for me to adjust to my liking. And I always have to adjust AI show notes to my liking, so they might as well make that easy.

I also loved that it provided chapter markers with timestamps, which is a great way to get people to listen if they're just looking for one particular topic. Other tools do this too, but I liked the choices this tool made — not too many markers, just the ones that are important to include, with descriptive labels that let you know exactly what you're getting.

Pros: Included with your Descript plan, endlessly customizable, includes chapter markers

Cons: Shorter show notes than some other tools, spelling is only as good as your corrected transcript

Capsho

First episode is free; $29 for four episodes a month at the "podcaster" level

Capsho’s show notes:

Unpacking the Science of Obesity with Dr. Yoni Freedhoff: From Ancient Greece to Life Insurance Tables

A compelling exploration of the subjectivity and complexities of obesity, Yoni Freedhoff, an associate professor of family medicine and Medical Director of Ottawa's Bariatric Medical Institute, seeks to challenge the notion that obesity is solely a product of willpower and individual responsibility, while highlighting the unfair expectations of perfection placed on those who struggle with weight.

You will learn about the groundbreaking science behind the causes and treatments of obesity.

"If simple desire were sufficient, we wouldn't have this issue in society right now. If trying was sufficient, we wouldn't have this issue, because there's no question that the vast majority of people who struggle with weight try to lose often dozens of times over the course of their lifetime, marshaling more willpower towards weight management than anything else, perhaps in their lives."

Yoni Freedhoff is an Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Ottawa and Medical Director of Ottawa's Bariatric Medical Institute. He is renowned for his no-nonsense views on obesity and has been widely quoted in articles discussing the science of obesity.

Yoni Freedhoff, an associate professor of family medicine, was determined to learn the true definition of obesity and its causes. He discovered that the stigma of obesity was linked to a one-size-fits-all BMI measure, and that weight does not always equal health. He realized that the world is facing an issue with obesity due to changes in food culture, environment, and advertising, making it difficult for individuals to live a healthy life. Yoni recognized that the language used to discuss obesity is important and that there needs to be room for imperfection as people struggle to make healthy changes.

In this episode, you will learn the following:

1. What is the best way to measure obesity and why is it so difficult to accurately assess?
2. How has the global food environment changed in the past 60-70 years and what impact has it had on obesity?
3. What is the best way to approach weight management and why is it important to allow room for imperfection?

Resources:

[Insert links to any other lead magnets or Calls to Action from Guest here]

Other episodes you'll enjoy:

[Insert 3 past episodes with links]

Connect with me: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tabooscience/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@tabooscience

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/tabooscience

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/

Website: https://www.tabooscience.show/

Loved this episode? Leave us a review and rating here: {LINK}

image
Capsho's show dashboard

When you start the process, Capsho first asks you a few questions about your podcast: the name, the host’s name, links to your show’s social profiles, and any standard CTA wording you like to use. When you upload an episode, it also asks you whether that episode has a guest, and if so, how to spell their name. You can even exclude a certain amount of time at the beginning and end of the episode in case you’d rather the AI skip over any boilerplate intro and outro language you use.

In addition to episode titles and show notes, Capsho will give you a transcript, email newsletter copy, a blog post, a LinkedIn article, a YouTube description, and key quotes from the episode. (This is for the trial; the $29/month plan only gives you titles, descriptions, show notes, and a transcript — it's $90/month for the additional sections.) You can also adjust anything the AI generates, either by hitting “refresh” for regenerated copy or by editing manually. 

In general, I thought the results were really impressive for an AI tool. I loved that it included a spot for me to add links to recent episodes and a link to review the show, though the latter seems like something I should be able to enter with my social links and have it appear automatically. 

I would definitely make some edits — I couldn’t get that first sentence of the episode description to be grammatically correct no matter how many times I hit refresh (Yoni Freedhoff is not “a compelling explanation”), and the blog post hilariously ended by saying “I’d love to hear how you apply Obesity Epidemic to get health and wellness.” It also writes in a more dramatic tone than I’d like, so I’d tweak the voice and style. But all in all, this tool would save me a lot of time when publishing new podcast episodes.

Note: The day before writing this article, Capsho updated its platform to a block-style editor where you can mix and match the sections you want to include in your show notes. Several of its features still say “coming soon,” which is why I didn’t review the new version quite yet — and anyway, you can still use the original version. We’ll update this post when Capsho 2.0 has had a little more time to develop.

Pros: Gives you a ton of material, asks for specifics to avoid mis-transcribing important details, includes social links

Cons: Had a few classic AI screwups

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Dubb

Free for the first 30 minutes of audio; paid plans start at $24.99 for 10 hours of audio a month

Dubb’s show notes:

Fat's In The Eye of The Beholder: Exposing the Uncomfortable Truths About Obesity and Privilege

Taboo Science delves into the science behind obesity and exposes the myths and misconceptions about this condition. Host Ashley Hamer and Dr. Yoni Freedhoff discuss how much of what we think we know about obesity is wrong, from how it is defined to the widely accepted measures of it. From BMI to stigma and willpower, they uncover the complex causes of the obesity epidemic and encourage listeners to find a diet that best suits them. With an open and frank discussion, they provide a comprehensive overview of the condition, which is sure to challenge everything you thought you knew about obesity.

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Dubb's results page

Dubb asked for less than Capsho did — I just needed to fill out the host name, the guest name, and the tone of voice I wanted. That showed, since the show notes were pretty bare and didn’t include social links or any calls to action. It did give me three options for each piece of copy, but nothing was editable.

Dubb was pretty creative in its other offerings, though. In addition to a full transcript and a blog post, it generated animated vertical videos with captioned sound clips to use on TikTok, Instagram Reels, or YouTube shorts, though the animations were completely unrelated to the sound clips and I don’t see myself using them. It gave me a paragraph to post on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Reddit, and it wrote up a Twitter thread. It also picked out key quotes from the transcript and even provided audio clips of each one. 

The nicest addition, though, was its personalized posts for the host and each guest. Giving a guest prewritten copy to post on their social media profiles can often be the trigger that gets them to share the episode, so this was a great feature. 

I liked Dubb for its overall offerings, but I don’t think I’d use it if all I needed were show notes. 

Pros: Gives you a lot for your money, one of the few platforms that wrote custom social posts for the host and guest

Cons: Show notes were painfully short, didn’t include social links or other resources, some of the additional offerings are questionably useful

Podcast Marketing AI

First episode is free; paid plans run $9 for one episode, $16 for two episodes, and $30 for four episodes a month

Podcast Marketing AI’s show notes:

In this thought-provoking episode of Taboo Science, Ashley is joined by guest Dr. Yoni Freedhoff to delve deep into the intricacies surrounding obesity. Despite common misconceptions, obesity is not always solely due to personal habits or lack of willpower. The reality is far more nuanced, with unique circumstances, genetics, and environment all contributing to an individual's struggle with obesity. So, why not challenge your assumptions as we explore the problematic nature of using BMI as a sole indicator for obesity and how different ethnicities face varying risks at different weights?

Throughout this engaging conversation, we uncover the origin and flaws of BMI, improper weight loss advice, acknowledging the complex nature of individual weight loss journeys, and how shame and stigma around obesity only perpetuate the problem. With the guidance and insights from experts like Dr. Freedhoff, we can develop a better understanding and approach to addressing obesity's challenges effectively.

Topics Discussed:
- The historical view on body size
- The evolution of obesity perspectives
- Problematic nature of BMI
- Basing obesity solely on BMI
- Racial factors in BMI inaccuracies
- Global increase in weight
- Complex causes of weight gain
- Misconceptions and conflicting advice about weight loss
- Defining success in weight loss
- Shame and stigma surrounding obesity
- Obesity as a chronic disease

Entities Mentioned:
- Dr. Yoni Freedhoff
- Adolf Kele
- Ansel Keys
- National Institutes of Health
- Look Ahead Study
- BMC Medicine
- The Diet Fix (book)

Join us for an insightful conversation, and challenge your own misconceptions about obesity by tuning into this episode of Taboo Science.

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Podcast Marketing AI

Right off the bat, Podcast Marketing AI sets itself apart with its pricing plan. Not every podcaster records a weekly show, so it’s nice that people who publish less often can save a little money. Another cool feature is that you can import your episode directly from Apple Podcasts — not all that useful if the episode is new, but this is a great feature if you’re trying to revamp the SEO on old episodes. 

The process of creating my show notes was kind of a grind: once you upload or import your episode, you have to wait for it to finish the transcript before you can tell it to produce the show notes, which itself has to finish before you generate the episode description, which has to finish before you generate the title options. There was a lot of waiting. It also didn’t ask for the guest’s name and misspelled it in the transcript. 

But I loved its show notes. The tone was just right, and while it didn’t list links to social profiles or additional resources, it did list the topics discussed and “entities mentioned.” That’s a huge SEO boost, since someone can easily search for the book “The Diet Fix,” for instance, and land on this episode. 

In all, it gave me a transcript, show notes, a promotional episode description, episode title options, key quotes, and social media posts (which you can fine-tune with a ChatGPT-style chatbot). It didn’t give me a blog post, vertical videos, or other nice-to-haves, but the quality of what it did generate was enough to make me consider using this tool regularly. 

Pros: Great, SEO-friendly show notes, intuitive interface

Cons: Takes a long time and many clicks to generate everything

Listener.fm

Free for one upload; $19/month for unlimited monthly uploads

Listener.fm’s show notes:

The Complexity of Obesity and BMI

Obesity is a complex issue with many factors involved, and BMI is an inaccurate measure of obesity. Language matters when discussing obesity, and shame, blame, guilt, and fear are not effective tools for behavior change. Doctor Freedenhof explains that the goal posts for weight management should be set to maintain weight loss that is sufficient to improve health. Weight stigma can lead to an increased risk of death, independent of BMI, and it is important to recognize that there is no one true answer to the causes of obesity. We need to accept imperfection and struggle when it comes to weight management, and understand that there is a wide range of how much obesity affects an individual.

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Listener.fm's episode summaries

Listener.fm doesn’t really generate complete show notes as much as it generates episode summaries — you’ll need to add additional links and resources yourself. It also gives you timestamps for when certain topics are discussed, quotes from the episode, and LinkedIn and Twitter posts. 

When you upload, Listener.fm asks for the episode name, host name, and guest name. But as you can see in the show notes it generated (“Freedhoff” spelled “Freedenhof”), those don’t seem to make a difference to the AI. I also wasn’t very impressed with the episode summaries; they seemed to take a random guess at the important points of the episode and string them all together. 

One cool thing that sets this tool apart is the ability to add an AI prompt when you generate any of these pieces; for example, you could tell it to include a fact about history in your summary or find a quote where the guest mentions marathon running. 

Pros: You can specify a prompt to generate any piece of copy

Cons: Quality was lacking, it misspelled my guest’s name

Swell AI

Free for one upload a month; paid plans start at $29 for five uploads a month or pay as you go for $8.99 an upload

Swell AI’s show notes:

The History of Fat-Shaming and Body Standards.

In this episode, the host discusses the history of societal views on body weight and the rise of the cultural fear of fat. While historically, a curvy body was a sign of wealth and prosperity, in the West, the desire for thinness became more prominent in the 1800s. The host explores various theories behind this shift, including religious influences, scientific understanding of nutrition, and societal motivations. The episode concludes by questioning whether our culture's fear of fat is more aesthetic than medical.

[00:00:00] The history of fat.
[00:05:09] Definition of obesity.
[00:09:08] BMI and its limitations.
[00:13:01] Life insurance and weight measurements.
[00:17:10] The obesity epidemic.
[00:20:22] Food environment and genes.
[00:27:23] Maintaining weight loss.
[00:28:09] Success in weight loss.
[00:31:53] Weight Stigma.
[00:35:52] Privilege in health change.

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Swell AI's "Swell Ask" feature

Once I logged in, the first thing I noticed was the platform’s import options: in addition to uploading from your device, you can import your episode from Apple Podcasts, Google Drive, Dropbox, YouTube, your RSS feed, or their API. That’s a lot of flexibility. 

Once you import your episode, Swell AI gives you a transcript, a surprisingly good blog post, two versions of show notes, episode summaries, and episode title options. It also has some very cool AI bells and whistles I didn’t see in other tools, namely “Swell Chat,” a ChatGPT-like chatbox that can create any sort of copy from your episode, and “Swell Ask,” which lets you ask any question from your episode. It even gives you an embed code to put on your website so listeners can ask their own questions. This is extremely cool.

There were some less cool things, though. The transcript produced a new timestamped line every six seconds, which I think is way too much. The show notes referred to me as “the host” a bunch of times instead of asking for my name. The show notes also have periods in weird places (the title and timestamps don’t need them). I reached out to Swell AI about these issues and they’re working on them. They say that if the host’s name is mentioned at the beginning of the episode, the AI should catch it; I don’t mention my name until 2.5 minutes in, which is likely why it didn’t. 

Swell AI also told me that they’re working on the ability to insert blocks of content from AI prompts — for example, if you want an important quote from the episode at the top of your show notes, you can ask Swell Chat to find it, then automatically use that prompt in every episode going forward.

Overall, Swell AI has some very cool features and a lot of potential. 

Pros: Incredibly cool AI features, high-quality blog posts, intuitive interface

Cons: Free account requires a credit card, transcript and show notes had weird quirks

Melville

The first hour is free; after that, it's 30 cents per minute of your episode.

Melville’s show notes:

New breakthrough in obesity science may help solve the global epidemic

Summary

If you're interested in learning more about obesity, be sure to check out the episode "Obesity science and misconceptions" on the Taboo Science podcast. In this episode, Ashley Hamer interviews Dr. Yoni Friedhoff about obesity and its causes. Dr. Friedhoff dispel some of the myths surrounding obesity, and explains how it is a complex issue with many different contributing factors. This episode is a must-listen for anyone who wants to learn more about this important topic

-The cultural taste for thinness coming before any medical concerns about obesity
-How the fear of fat is more aesthetic than medical
-How fat shaming does not work to motivate people to lose weight
-How BMI is not an accurate measure of health
-How the success rate for people trying to lose weight is not as low as people think
-How there is no one best way to lose weight
-How weight stigma is harmful and does not work to motivate people

Notable Quotes
"Whatever health effects do or don't result from excess weight. You could argue that our culture's fear of fat is more aesthetic than medical."

Keywords
health, obesity, Quetelet's Law, misconceptions, Adolphe Quetelet, Belgian statistician

Episode Outline

The Science Behind Fat [00:01:20]
Interview with Dr. Yoni Freedhoff [00:03:53]
Causes of Obesity [00:04:34]
The Silliness of the 95-99% Statistic [00:04:34]
What Are Waterfall Graphs? [00:04:34]
Personal Responsibility and Obesity [00:06:35]
Confusion Around Diet Advice [00:15:14]
The Problem with Physician Definition of Obesity [00:15:45]
Understanding BMI [00:26:52]
Understanding the Science Behind Weight Management [00:26:52]
Racial Differences in BMI [00:28:52]
Diet Success Rate [00:29:18]
We Haven't Always Been Afraid of Fat [00:30:30]
The Effects of Weight Stigma [00:33:44]
The Obesity Epidemic [00:37:55]

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Melville's show notes page

Melville was one of the most intuitive tools I tried. When you upload your file, it asks you the timestamp of the starting point (after your boilerplate intro), the topic of the episode, and the guest’s name and LinkedIn profile. Like other tools on this list, the guest details didn’t achieve much: Yoni’s name was still misspelled in the episode summary, and I didn’t see his LinkedIn profile used anywhere. 

While the episode title was way off the mark (there were no breakthroughs in obesity science discussed, and the other title options made similar mistakes), the episode summary was actually pretty good. I also liked the bulleted list of topics covered, since it’s easy for a listener to skim when deciding whether to hit play. The tool also gave me three quotes from the episode and a timestamped episode outline — no blog posts or TikToks or Tweet threads, but solid material regardless. 

Finally, Melville gets bonus points for being the only tool that correctly spelled "Adolphe Quetelet." I can barely do that.

Pros: Intuitive interface, good quality copy

Cons: Not as many features as other tools on this list, guest name was misspelled, title was off the mark

Podium

First three hours are free; paid plans start at $16 for six hours/month

Podium’s show notes:

Unraveling the Complexities: Obesity, BMI, and Challenging Stereotypes

In this episode, we dive into the complex world of obesity and its misconceptions. We discuss the cultural shift towards thinness and how fat shaming is not only morally wrong but also ineffective. We then examine the problematic nature of BMI measurement and its limitations. We also explore the global weight gain problem, questioning whether it's a measurement issue or a genuine increase in weight. Furthermore, we delve into the truth behind the statistic that 95% of diets fail and discuss the importance of recognizing the privilege involved in intentional behavior change for health. Finally, we take a lighthearted look at how I create cartoons related to the podcast's themes. Join us as we unravel the complexities surrounding obesity and challenge the stereotypes that often perpetuate it.

Chapters:

(0:00:02) - The Misconceptions of Obesity
(0:06:36) - The Problematic Nature of BMI Measurement
(0:17:07) - The Global Weight Gain Problem
(0:23:46) - Diet Failure and Health
(0:39:18) - Drawings and Cannibalism

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Podium

Podium has a lot of things going for it that I love. First of all, it gives you more time for less money than many tools on this list, which is a huge plus. And more importantly, its AI seemed to really understand what this episode was about and explain it clearly. I wouldn’t have to do much editing to this episode description for it to be ready for primetime. 

This platform does things a little differently than the other tools — basically, it just packages your results in text files in a zipped folder instead of listing them out on the website. That leaves less flexibility for regenerating sections you don’t like, but depending on your workflow, having a simple file you can keep in your project folder could also be better than needing to log into the platform every time you want to use your show notes. 

Podium was the only tool that incorporated my “housekeeping” banter at the end into the actual content of the podcast (“Finally, we take a lighthearted look at how I create cartoons related to the podcast's themes” is literally just me saying that you should check out the cartoons I draw on Instagram.) Other tools let you delineate a timestamp where the AI should stop listening to your episode; that would have solved this problem, but there’s no ability to do that with Podium.

Podium also has an AI chatbot that lets you generate other pieces of content — think Facebook posts, tweet threads, blog posts, etc. I wasn’t totally satisfied with the title it gave me originally, and asking it to simply generate more titles didn’t get me anywhere. But when I got more specific (“Suggest some titles for this episode that start with ‘Obesity:’ and then ask a question answered in the episode”) it got me exactly what I wanted. It’s a really powerful feature. 

Pros: Probably the best written show notes of the bunch, powerful AI chatbot, least expensive tool here

Cons: Read “housekeeping” notes as regular episode content without the ability to prevent that

The verdict

If you're already a Descript user, Descript's AI show notes tool is a no-brainer: it works right from your transcript and is endlessly customizable, so you can get exactly what you want as a part of your existing workflow. Before, I had been waiting to generate show notes until I had my final episode exported so I could upload the file to a third-party tool, and now I can do it the moment I finish the rough cut. The quality is comparable to other tools on this list, so there's now no reason I would use anything else.

But beyond that, many of these AI podcast show notes tools might be just what you need depending on your situation. If anything, seeing how many different ways my show notes could appear was a great way to shake up my old patterns and come up with something new. Whichever tool you choose, it will certainly save you time — and time is something no podcaster has to spare. 

Ashley Hamer
Managing Editor at Descript. Musician, podcaster, writer, science nerd.
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The best AI tools for podcast show notes, reviewed

Podcast microphone lying next to the letters "ABC" on a teal background

Every creative task comes with a certain amount of gruntwork. Painters need to prep their canvases, poets need to consult their thesauruses, musicians have to pretend they didn’t hear the crowd say “Wagon Wheel.” Podcasting is no different: once you’ve crafted the perfect narrative and placed the music beds just-so, it’s time to — ugh — write the show notes. 

This is a really important part of the process, since it gives listeners a way to find you when they hit “search.” But it’s not that fun in my opinion, and to be honest, most podcasters aren’t that good at it. That’s what makes it the perfect task for AI.

There are a lot of AI tools for podcast show notes (more than 10, by my count), and it’s hard to know how they’re different without taking the time to test each one. So that’s what I did. I took an old podcast episode and ran it through the seven AI tools I’d heard the most about to see how each one fares — and which ones are worth spending money on.

Record or import audio, make edits, add fades, music, and sound effects, then publish online, export the audio in the format of your choice or send it directly to your hosting service.
Create your podcast from start to finish with Descript.

The original show notes

The episode I used is from my podcast Taboo Science. It's about 40 minutes long. For comparison, here are the show notes I wrote when the episode originally aired:

Obesity (with Yoni Freedhoff)

What do we get wrong about weight? Where did BMI even come from? And is there really an obesity "epidemic"?

Today's guest is Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, an Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Ottawa and Medical Director of Ottawa's Bariatric Medical Institute who's known as Canada's most outspoken obesity expert. He's also the author of "The Diet Fix: Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work."

Click here to see citations for this episode!

Follow Taboo Science on Twitter and Instagram.

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

Suggest a taboo topic via [email redacted].

Visit tabooscience.show for more.

Taboo Science is written and produced by Ashley Hamer. Theme music by Danny Lopatka of DLC Music.

It’s not exactly genius marketing copy — I could have written a better hook, rather than just listing the questions answered in the episode, and I could have used more keywords that related to the topic of the show. Some podcasts also provide timestamps to particular topics in the episode so listeners can jump right to what they’re interested in. I also don’t have a link to a transcript, which is ultra important (this was before I was using Descript, which creates the transcript for you automatically). But I do list all the other ways you can connect to the show, and the show notes are snappy and easy to read.

Let’s see if AI can do better.

Descript

AI actions included with all subscription types (for now); free version includes 1 hour/month transcription time, with paid plans starting at $12/month

Descript's show notes:

Taboo Science: Unraveling The Stigma and Science Behind Obesity

Ashley Hamer from Taboo Science delves into the complex and stigmatized issue of obesity, tracing its historical viewpoint, cultural changes, medical definitions, and misconceptions. She interviews Dr. Yoni Friedhoff, an obesity medical expert, who explains the fallacies associated with defining obesity using Body Mass Index (BMI). They discuss the damaging societal assumptions about obesity, the outdated notions of 'willpower' and 'dieting', and the role of privilege in implementing lifestyle changes. They highlight how obesity stigma can harm health, challenging the 'one-size-fits-all' solution approach and underscoring the need for a more compassionate and informed understanding of the condition.

00:01 Introduction to the Fear of Fat
00:23 Historical Perspective on Body Weight
01:08 Cultural Shift in Perception of Body Weight
01:42 The Aesthetic vs Medical Concerns of Obesity
02:26 Introduction to the Podcast and Guest
04:27 Understanding Obesity: A Doctor's Perspective
08:32 The Problem with BMI as a Measure of Obesity
12:06 The History and Flaws of BMI
17:18 The Global Increase in Average Weights
19:46 The Complexity of Obesity Causes
20:12 The Role of Genes and Hormones in Weight Management
23:22 The Myths and Realities of Dieting
31:40 The Impact of Weight Stigma on Health
34:41 The Role of Privilege in Weight Management
38:43 Conclusion and Acknowledgements

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Generating show notes for a video podcast with Descript

Descript recently joined the fray and added a whole suite of AI actions to its audio and video editing app, including AI podcast show notes.

For Descript users, the biggest benefit is that it's all built in — the tool can read your podcast transcript and automatically generate show notes, no uploading or cutting and pasting required. It's also technically free: if you already pay for Descript (or use the free version, at least for now), you can use it for no extra charge.

Descript's AI show notes tool is essentially a ChatGPT window for your podcast, which means that you can easily ask it for revisions: say, to take on a more conversational or formal tone, or focus on one particular part of the episode, or refer to you as "Captain Podcast." But as someone who has tested a lot of AI show notes tools (see: this article), I was pleasantly surprised by how well it did out of the box. It hit all the important points and used fairly neutral language that would be easy for me to adjust to my liking. And I always have to adjust AI show notes to my liking, so they might as well make that easy.

I also loved that it provided chapter markers with timestamps, which is a great way to get people to listen if they're just looking for one particular topic. Other tools do this too, but I liked the choices this tool made — not too many markers, just the ones that are important to include, with descriptive labels that let you know exactly what you're getting.

Pros: Included with your Descript plan, endlessly customizable, includes chapter markers

Cons: Shorter show notes than some other tools, spelling is only as good as your corrected transcript

Capsho

First episode is free; $29 for four episodes a month at the "podcaster" level

Capsho’s show notes:

Unpacking the Science of Obesity with Dr. Yoni Freedhoff: From Ancient Greece to Life Insurance Tables

A compelling exploration of the subjectivity and complexities of obesity, Yoni Freedhoff, an associate professor of family medicine and Medical Director of Ottawa's Bariatric Medical Institute, seeks to challenge the notion that obesity is solely a product of willpower and individual responsibility, while highlighting the unfair expectations of perfection placed on those who struggle with weight.

You will learn about the groundbreaking science behind the causes and treatments of obesity.

"If simple desire were sufficient, we wouldn't have this issue in society right now. If trying was sufficient, we wouldn't have this issue, because there's no question that the vast majority of people who struggle with weight try to lose often dozens of times over the course of their lifetime, marshaling more willpower towards weight management than anything else, perhaps in their lives."

Yoni Freedhoff is an Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Ottawa and Medical Director of Ottawa's Bariatric Medical Institute. He is renowned for his no-nonsense views on obesity and has been widely quoted in articles discussing the science of obesity.

Yoni Freedhoff, an associate professor of family medicine, was determined to learn the true definition of obesity and its causes. He discovered that the stigma of obesity was linked to a one-size-fits-all BMI measure, and that weight does not always equal health. He realized that the world is facing an issue with obesity due to changes in food culture, environment, and advertising, making it difficult for individuals to live a healthy life. Yoni recognized that the language used to discuss obesity is important and that there needs to be room for imperfection as people struggle to make healthy changes.

In this episode, you will learn the following:

1. What is the best way to measure obesity and why is it so difficult to accurately assess?
2. How has the global food environment changed in the past 60-70 years and what impact has it had on obesity?
3. What is the best way to approach weight management and why is it important to allow room for imperfection?

Resources:

[Insert links to any other lead magnets or Calls to Action from Guest here]

Other episodes you'll enjoy:

[Insert 3 past episodes with links]

Connect with me: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tabooscience/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@tabooscience

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/tabooscience

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/

Website: https://www.tabooscience.show/

Loved this episode? Leave us a review and rating here: {LINK}

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Capsho's show dashboard

When you start the process, Capsho first asks you a few questions about your podcast: the name, the host’s name, links to your show’s social profiles, and any standard CTA wording you like to use. When you upload an episode, it also asks you whether that episode has a guest, and if so, how to spell their name. You can even exclude a certain amount of time at the beginning and end of the episode in case you’d rather the AI skip over any boilerplate intro and outro language you use.

In addition to episode titles and show notes, Capsho will give you a transcript, email newsletter copy, a blog post, a LinkedIn article, a YouTube description, and key quotes from the episode. (This is for the trial; the $29/month plan only gives you titles, descriptions, show notes, and a transcript — it's $90/month for the additional sections.) You can also adjust anything the AI generates, either by hitting “refresh” for regenerated copy or by editing manually. 

In general, I thought the results were really impressive for an AI tool. I loved that it included a spot for me to add links to recent episodes and a link to review the show, though the latter seems like something I should be able to enter with my social links and have it appear automatically. 

I would definitely make some edits — I couldn’t get that first sentence of the episode description to be grammatically correct no matter how many times I hit refresh (Yoni Freedhoff is not “a compelling explanation”), and the blog post hilariously ended by saying “I’d love to hear how you apply Obesity Epidemic to get health and wellness.” It also writes in a more dramatic tone than I’d like, so I’d tweak the voice and style. But all in all, this tool would save me a lot of time when publishing new podcast episodes.

Note: The day before writing this article, Capsho updated its platform to a block-style editor where you can mix and match the sections you want to include in your show notes. Several of its features still say “coming soon,” which is why I didn’t review the new version quite yet — and anyway, you can still use the original version. We’ll update this post when Capsho 2.0 has had a little more time to develop.

Pros: Gives you a ton of material, asks for specifics to avoid mis-transcribing important details, includes social links

Cons: Had a few classic AI screwups

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Dubb

Free for the first 30 minutes of audio; paid plans start at $24.99 for 10 hours of audio a month

Dubb’s show notes:

Fat's In The Eye of The Beholder: Exposing the Uncomfortable Truths About Obesity and Privilege

Taboo Science delves into the science behind obesity and exposes the myths and misconceptions about this condition. Host Ashley Hamer and Dr. Yoni Freedhoff discuss how much of what we think we know about obesity is wrong, from how it is defined to the widely accepted measures of it. From BMI to stigma and willpower, they uncover the complex causes of the obesity epidemic and encourage listeners to find a diet that best suits them. With an open and frank discussion, they provide a comprehensive overview of the condition, which is sure to challenge everything you thought you knew about obesity.

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Dubb's results page

Dubb asked for less than Capsho did — I just needed to fill out the host name, the guest name, and the tone of voice I wanted. That showed, since the show notes were pretty bare and didn’t include social links or any calls to action. It did give me three options for each piece of copy, but nothing was editable.

Dubb was pretty creative in its other offerings, though. In addition to a full transcript and a blog post, it generated animated vertical videos with captioned sound clips to use on TikTok, Instagram Reels, or YouTube shorts, though the animations were completely unrelated to the sound clips and I don’t see myself using them. It gave me a paragraph to post on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Reddit, and it wrote up a Twitter thread. It also picked out key quotes from the transcript and even provided audio clips of each one. 

The nicest addition, though, was its personalized posts for the host and each guest. Giving a guest prewritten copy to post on their social media profiles can often be the trigger that gets them to share the episode, so this was a great feature. 

I liked Dubb for its overall offerings, but I don’t think I’d use it if all I needed were show notes. 

Pros: Gives you a lot for your money, one of the few platforms that wrote custom social posts for the host and guest

Cons: Show notes were painfully short, didn’t include social links or other resources, some of the additional offerings are questionably useful

Podcast Marketing AI

First episode is free; paid plans run $9 for one episode, $16 for two episodes, and $30 for four episodes a month

Podcast Marketing AI’s show notes:

In this thought-provoking episode of Taboo Science, Ashley is joined by guest Dr. Yoni Freedhoff to delve deep into the intricacies surrounding obesity. Despite common misconceptions, obesity is not always solely due to personal habits or lack of willpower. The reality is far more nuanced, with unique circumstances, genetics, and environment all contributing to an individual's struggle with obesity. So, why not challenge your assumptions as we explore the problematic nature of using BMI as a sole indicator for obesity and how different ethnicities face varying risks at different weights?

Throughout this engaging conversation, we uncover the origin and flaws of BMI, improper weight loss advice, acknowledging the complex nature of individual weight loss journeys, and how shame and stigma around obesity only perpetuate the problem. With the guidance and insights from experts like Dr. Freedhoff, we can develop a better understanding and approach to addressing obesity's challenges effectively.

Topics Discussed:
- The historical view on body size
- The evolution of obesity perspectives
- Problematic nature of BMI
- Basing obesity solely on BMI
- Racial factors in BMI inaccuracies
- Global increase in weight
- Complex causes of weight gain
- Misconceptions and conflicting advice about weight loss
- Defining success in weight loss
- Shame and stigma surrounding obesity
- Obesity as a chronic disease

Entities Mentioned:
- Dr. Yoni Freedhoff
- Adolf Kele
- Ansel Keys
- National Institutes of Health
- Look Ahead Study
- BMC Medicine
- The Diet Fix (book)

Join us for an insightful conversation, and challenge your own misconceptions about obesity by tuning into this episode of Taboo Science.

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Podcast Marketing AI

Right off the bat, Podcast Marketing AI sets itself apart with its pricing plan. Not every podcaster records a weekly show, so it’s nice that people who publish less often can save a little money. Another cool feature is that you can import your episode directly from Apple Podcasts — not all that useful if the episode is new, but this is a great feature if you’re trying to revamp the SEO on old episodes. 

The process of creating my show notes was kind of a grind: once you upload or import your episode, you have to wait for it to finish the transcript before you can tell it to produce the show notes, which itself has to finish before you generate the episode description, which has to finish before you generate the title options. There was a lot of waiting. It also didn’t ask for the guest’s name and misspelled it in the transcript. 

But I loved its show notes. The tone was just right, and while it didn’t list links to social profiles or additional resources, it did list the topics discussed and “entities mentioned.” That’s a huge SEO boost, since someone can easily search for the book “The Diet Fix,” for instance, and land on this episode. 

In all, it gave me a transcript, show notes, a promotional episode description, episode title options, key quotes, and social media posts (which you can fine-tune with a ChatGPT-style chatbot). It didn’t give me a blog post, vertical videos, or other nice-to-haves, but the quality of what it did generate was enough to make me consider using this tool regularly. 

Pros: Great, SEO-friendly show notes, intuitive interface

Cons: Takes a long time and many clicks to generate everything

Listener.fm

Free for one upload; $19/month for unlimited monthly uploads

Listener.fm’s show notes:

The Complexity of Obesity and BMI

Obesity is a complex issue with many factors involved, and BMI is an inaccurate measure of obesity. Language matters when discussing obesity, and shame, blame, guilt, and fear are not effective tools for behavior change. Doctor Freedenhof explains that the goal posts for weight management should be set to maintain weight loss that is sufficient to improve health. Weight stigma can lead to an increased risk of death, independent of BMI, and it is important to recognize that there is no one true answer to the causes of obesity. We need to accept imperfection and struggle when it comes to weight management, and understand that there is a wide range of how much obesity affects an individual.

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Listener.fm's episode summaries

Listener.fm doesn’t really generate complete show notes as much as it generates episode summaries — you’ll need to add additional links and resources yourself. It also gives you timestamps for when certain topics are discussed, quotes from the episode, and LinkedIn and Twitter posts. 

When you upload, Listener.fm asks for the episode name, host name, and guest name. But as you can see in the show notes it generated (“Freedhoff” spelled “Freedenhof”), those don’t seem to make a difference to the AI. I also wasn’t very impressed with the episode summaries; they seemed to take a random guess at the important points of the episode and string them all together. 

One cool thing that sets this tool apart is the ability to add an AI prompt when you generate any of these pieces; for example, you could tell it to include a fact about history in your summary or find a quote where the guest mentions marathon running. 

Pros: You can specify a prompt to generate any piece of copy

Cons: Quality was lacking, it misspelled my guest’s name

Swell AI

Free for one upload a month; paid plans start at $29 for five uploads a month or pay as you go for $8.99 an upload

Swell AI’s show notes:

The History of Fat-Shaming and Body Standards.

In this episode, the host discusses the history of societal views on body weight and the rise of the cultural fear of fat. While historically, a curvy body was a sign of wealth and prosperity, in the West, the desire for thinness became more prominent in the 1800s. The host explores various theories behind this shift, including religious influences, scientific understanding of nutrition, and societal motivations. The episode concludes by questioning whether our culture's fear of fat is more aesthetic than medical.

[00:00:00] The history of fat.
[00:05:09] Definition of obesity.
[00:09:08] BMI and its limitations.
[00:13:01] Life insurance and weight measurements.
[00:17:10] The obesity epidemic.
[00:20:22] Food environment and genes.
[00:27:23] Maintaining weight loss.
[00:28:09] Success in weight loss.
[00:31:53] Weight Stigma.
[00:35:52] Privilege in health change.

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Swell AI's "Swell Ask" feature

Once I logged in, the first thing I noticed was the platform’s import options: in addition to uploading from your device, you can import your episode from Apple Podcasts, Google Drive, Dropbox, YouTube, your RSS feed, or their API. That’s a lot of flexibility. 

Once you import your episode, Swell AI gives you a transcript, a surprisingly good blog post, two versions of show notes, episode summaries, and episode title options. It also has some very cool AI bells and whistles I didn’t see in other tools, namely “Swell Chat,” a ChatGPT-like chatbox that can create any sort of copy from your episode, and “Swell Ask,” which lets you ask any question from your episode. It even gives you an embed code to put on your website so listeners can ask their own questions. This is extremely cool.

There were some less cool things, though. The transcript produced a new timestamped line every six seconds, which I think is way too much. The show notes referred to me as “the host” a bunch of times instead of asking for my name. The show notes also have periods in weird places (the title and timestamps don’t need them). I reached out to Swell AI about these issues and they’re working on them. They say that if the host’s name is mentioned at the beginning of the episode, the AI should catch it; I don’t mention my name until 2.5 minutes in, which is likely why it didn’t. 

Swell AI also told me that they’re working on the ability to insert blocks of content from AI prompts — for example, if you want an important quote from the episode at the top of your show notes, you can ask Swell Chat to find it, then automatically use that prompt in every episode going forward.

Overall, Swell AI has some very cool features and a lot of potential. 

Pros: Incredibly cool AI features, high-quality blog posts, intuitive interface

Cons: Free account requires a credit card, transcript and show notes had weird quirks

Melville

The first hour is free; after that, it's 30 cents per minute of your episode.

Melville’s show notes:

New breakthrough in obesity science may help solve the global epidemic

Summary

If you're interested in learning more about obesity, be sure to check out the episode "Obesity science and misconceptions" on the Taboo Science podcast. In this episode, Ashley Hamer interviews Dr. Yoni Friedhoff about obesity and its causes. Dr. Friedhoff dispel some of the myths surrounding obesity, and explains how it is a complex issue with many different contributing factors. This episode is a must-listen for anyone who wants to learn more about this important topic

-The cultural taste for thinness coming before any medical concerns about obesity
-How the fear of fat is more aesthetic than medical
-How fat shaming does not work to motivate people to lose weight
-How BMI is not an accurate measure of health
-How the success rate for people trying to lose weight is not as low as people think
-How there is no one best way to lose weight
-How weight stigma is harmful and does not work to motivate people

Notable Quotes
"Whatever health effects do or don't result from excess weight. You could argue that our culture's fear of fat is more aesthetic than medical."

Keywords
health, obesity, Quetelet's Law, misconceptions, Adolphe Quetelet, Belgian statistician

Episode Outline

The Science Behind Fat [00:01:20]
Interview with Dr. Yoni Freedhoff [00:03:53]
Causes of Obesity [00:04:34]
The Silliness of the 95-99% Statistic [00:04:34]
What Are Waterfall Graphs? [00:04:34]
Personal Responsibility and Obesity [00:06:35]
Confusion Around Diet Advice [00:15:14]
The Problem with Physician Definition of Obesity [00:15:45]
Understanding BMI [00:26:52]
Understanding the Science Behind Weight Management [00:26:52]
Racial Differences in BMI [00:28:52]
Diet Success Rate [00:29:18]
We Haven't Always Been Afraid of Fat [00:30:30]
The Effects of Weight Stigma [00:33:44]
The Obesity Epidemic [00:37:55]

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Melville's show notes page

Melville was one of the most intuitive tools I tried. When you upload your file, it asks you the timestamp of the starting point (after your boilerplate intro), the topic of the episode, and the guest’s name and LinkedIn profile. Like other tools on this list, the guest details didn’t achieve much: Yoni’s name was still misspelled in the episode summary, and I didn’t see his LinkedIn profile used anywhere. 

While the episode title was way off the mark (there were no breakthroughs in obesity science discussed, and the other title options made similar mistakes), the episode summary was actually pretty good. I also liked the bulleted list of topics covered, since it’s easy for a listener to skim when deciding whether to hit play. The tool also gave me three quotes from the episode and a timestamped episode outline — no blog posts or TikToks or Tweet threads, but solid material regardless. 

Finally, Melville gets bonus points for being the only tool that correctly spelled "Adolphe Quetelet." I can barely do that.

Pros: Intuitive interface, good quality copy

Cons: Not as many features as other tools on this list, guest name was misspelled, title was off the mark

Podium

First three hours are free; paid plans start at $16 for six hours/month

Podium’s show notes:

Unraveling the Complexities: Obesity, BMI, and Challenging Stereotypes

In this episode, we dive into the complex world of obesity and its misconceptions. We discuss the cultural shift towards thinness and how fat shaming is not only morally wrong but also ineffective. We then examine the problematic nature of BMI measurement and its limitations. We also explore the global weight gain problem, questioning whether it's a measurement issue or a genuine increase in weight. Furthermore, we delve into the truth behind the statistic that 95% of diets fail and discuss the importance of recognizing the privilege involved in intentional behavior change for health. Finally, we take a lighthearted look at how I create cartoons related to the podcast's themes. Join us as we unravel the complexities surrounding obesity and challenge the stereotypes that often perpetuate it.

Chapters:

(0:00:02) - The Misconceptions of Obesity
(0:06:36) - The Problematic Nature of BMI Measurement
(0:17:07) - The Global Weight Gain Problem
(0:23:46) - Diet Failure and Health
(0:39:18) - Drawings and Cannibalism

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Podium

Podium has a lot of things going for it that I love. First of all, it gives you more time for less money than many tools on this list, which is a huge plus. And more importantly, its AI seemed to really understand what this episode was about and explain it clearly. I wouldn’t have to do much editing to this episode description for it to be ready for primetime. 

This platform does things a little differently than the other tools — basically, it just packages your results in text files in a zipped folder instead of listing them out on the website. That leaves less flexibility for regenerating sections you don’t like, but depending on your workflow, having a simple file you can keep in your project folder could also be better than needing to log into the platform every time you want to use your show notes. 

Podium was the only tool that incorporated my “housekeeping” banter at the end into the actual content of the podcast (“Finally, we take a lighthearted look at how I create cartoons related to the podcast's themes” is literally just me saying that you should check out the cartoons I draw on Instagram.) Other tools let you delineate a timestamp where the AI should stop listening to your episode; that would have solved this problem, but there’s no ability to do that with Podium.

Podium also has an AI chatbot that lets you generate other pieces of content — think Facebook posts, tweet threads, blog posts, etc. I wasn’t totally satisfied with the title it gave me originally, and asking it to simply generate more titles didn’t get me anywhere. But when I got more specific (“Suggest some titles for this episode that start with ‘Obesity:’ and then ask a question answered in the episode”) it got me exactly what I wanted. It’s a really powerful feature. 

Pros: Probably the best written show notes of the bunch, powerful AI chatbot, least expensive tool here

Cons: Read “housekeeping” notes as regular episode content without the ability to prevent that

The verdict

If you're already a Descript user, Descript's AI show notes tool is a no-brainer: it works right from your transcript and is endlessly customizable, so you can get exactly what you want as a part of your existing workflow. Before, I had been waiting to generate show notes until I had my final episode exported so I could upload the file to a third-party tool, and now I can do it the moment I finish the rough cut. The quality is comparable to other tools on this list, so there's now no reason I would use anything else.

But beyond that, many of these AI podcast show notes tools might be just what you need depending on your situation. If anything, seeing how many different ways my show notes could appear was a great way to shake up my old patterns and come up with something new. Whichever tool you choose, it will certainly save you time — and time is something no podcaster has to spare. 

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