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 Version 1.2.6 is the latest stable version as is for the Windows 98/ME/2000/XP platforms.

Windows Vista and Windows 7 are not supported in Audacity 1.2.6. Please use Audacity Beta for these operating systems. All Audacity downloads can be found at
To export your completed audio project as an MP3 for uploading to webhosts, you will also need to download the LAME MP3 encoder. Full instructions can be found here and I will post a screencast in one of the upcoming posts.
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. 

Part 1: Introduction to Audacity and the Recording of Audio Tracks

Part 2: Simple Editing, Moving Tracks, Adding Music, and Exporting to MP3