The first platform that I want to discuss for recording podcasts is Audacity. This easy to use, free, open source software is available for download at http://audacity.sourceforge.net/. Version 1.2.6 is the latest stable version as is for the Windows 98/ME/2000/XP platforms.
The following video is my introduction to Audacity for you, using a Blue Snowball Snowball Microphone. This example demonstrates the laying down of three voice tracks with one audio track, some effects, simple editing, and the exporting of the file to the .mp3 format needed to upload to most web hosts.