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How to listen to Podcasts


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Let's start small with the definition. If you know about podcasts already you can skip ahead.  


What is a podcast?  There is no set definition but in general a podcast is a voice recording on a subject that you can usually listen to however and whenever you want.  Let's break these down a little bit and that will also help define the term for you.


We're talking about audio


A podcast can be a voice recording, a video, or even a live broadcast but more often than not it is a audio recording much like a radio talk show.  It is recorded and published for you to download and listen to at your leisure and most of the time it is free.  There are some "pay to listen" podcasts but for the most part you can enjoy your favorites for free. 


What can you listen to?


What are your interests? List them and I bet there is someone out there talking about it!  Hobbies, sports, travel, news, politics, religion, communities, technology, to name a few.  It's all out there.  The hidden gem of podcasting is even if you are just getting started, you haven't missed a thing! You can browse past shows and listen as far back as you want.  Want to start listening to a podcast about "The Walking Dead" tv show? You can start at the beginning if you want or you can simply start at the past season.


How to listen to podcasts


Driving, exercising, yard work, and chores are all good moments to listen to podcasts.  Podcast listening is as varied as the subject matter and is unique to each listener.  Most prefer to do it with their phone but you can use a web browser, TV apps, and even via a Google Home or Amazon Alexa device.  I'll be talking about mobile platforms for this article.


If you use a mobile phone and a podcast app, you can have your favorite podcasts delivered to you automatically.  There isn't much to it and I'll show you how.


Whether you are using an iPhone or an Android phone there is a quick and easy way for you to get started.  On the iPhone look for this icon or download it here: https://fave.co/2DxGFkb

Screen Shot 2019-04-27 at 3.10.31 PM.png


Your app experience with Apple Podcasts will start by presenting you some of the larger market podcasts in the "Browse" tab.  By large market I mean, large production companies, studios, and news outlets.  Think ESPN, CBS, and such. 


The real jewel of podcasting is when you get off into the weeds and find shows that are dialed into your interests and not produced just for numbers and revenue but for passion about the topic.







Let's get off into those weeds and tap that search icon!  Browse for whatever you like or let me show you a few podcasts to get you started.  


Type in:  the way i heard it   

or: Mike Rowe


You know Mike Rowe right?  Dirty Jobs, narrator of Discovery Channel shows like Deadliest Catch?  He has a real neat show where he tells a short story about a random topic.  They are usually 10 to 12 minutes long and are very entertaining.  It has a, Paul Harvey: The rest of the story, type feel to it.




Now tap the first image you see to browse the podcast in general.  This will take you to the podcast and you can browse through the past episodes. It is here where you will "Subscribe."  When you subscribe to a podcast the latest episode will be delivered to your app and you will get a notification about it. Otherwise, you would have to continue to search for it and check daily for new episodes.  Subscribing makes it easy to enjoy.


Now, go ahead and search for more.  We'll finish up this article on some more of my favorites.  If you are on Android lets take a look at your app.


Google Podcasts


Google also makes a podcast that you can use free of charge to subscribe and download your favorite podcasts.  

Screen Shot 2019-04-27 at 3.34.05 PM.png


Look for this icon on your Android phone.  It is very much the same process.  Search for your interests or browse some of the recommended shows.





Advance Podcast Apps


If you are really getting into this you might want to look into a different podcast app.  Apple and Google make fine apps to get started but there are a ton of features out there you should take a look at!


If you are on iPhone take a look at Overcast.  This app has a lot of cool features and podcast discovery is helpful.

Screen Shot 2019-04-27 at 3.40.40 PM.png


I also enjoy PocketCasts on both iPhone and Android.


You can use iTunes and more often than not a web browser. If you are at your desk you can use the website for your favorite show or Overcast and Pocket Casts even have web portals for your content.


Tracking and Stats


What about privacy?  What does the podcaster know about me?


Big media companies have tried to come in and change the way podcast delivery and stats are measured but for the most part have failed to make any of that happen. The podcaster gets a limited set of stats from you when you download a podcast. Think of it much like when you visit a website.  That website owner knows some basics about you just from your visit.


  • Time and Date of the download
  • What platform or app you are using
  • What OS you are using
  • Where the download came from. Country, State, etc.


Screen Shot 2019-04-27 at 3.52.10 PM.png


For the most part the podcaster just want's to know how many times the episode was downloaded.  


The podcaster doesn't know how long you listened, if you skipped the intro, skipped the ads, or simply deleted the file after downloading. Big media REALLY wants to know if you listened to their ads!  Podcasters have fought to keep that type of granularity out of the podcast ecosystem for fear of changing its home grown roots. Create, publish, enjoy.




What else to listen to?


If you are just getting started I highly recommend searching around and trying a few podcasts.  If you don't like them you can always unsubscribe.  It's a good practice to listen to a few episodes of that podcast before deciding though. Sometimes you can't get a good taste for a show with just one listen.  If you truly don't like it or stumble into something not of interest just unsubscribe to it.  The podcaster will never know. 



Serial (go back to season 1 for sure!)

This American Life


I tend to listen to a lot of technology podcasts.  Here are a few of my favorites:


Home: On

Home Gadget Geeks

Internet of Things

Accidental Tech Podcast

Windows Weekly


You may have seen RESET podcast sprinkled in these screen shots. That's my podcast and I highly recommend it!  https://fave.co/2DAp6ju 


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