How To

Everything you’ve wanted to know about podcasts

Written by Tiana Cline

There’s a good chance you’ve heard about (or, even better, heard) Serial. This true-crime podcast series by Sarah Koenig really made everyone start talking about podcasts. If you’re new to this form of addictive audio, you’ve probably also had a lot of questions, such as what podcasts actually are and how to start listening. Well, here you go.

A podcast is best described as a downloadable audio series. It’s like a radio show that you can get on the internet, so you can listen any time you want. There are many, many topics to choose from. So, whether you enjoy interviews, fiction, sports talk, political debate, comedy or something more niche, such as food and design, someone will be talking about it somewhere.

Any digital device that can play audio can play a podcast. I often listen to podcasts using my iPhone or iPod through my car speakers via Bluetooth or with my AirPods. When podcasts are downloaded to a device, you don’t need an Internet connection to listen.

I’ve also used a number of different (free) apps. Audible, Podcasts or Overcast all work well if you’re an Apple fanatic; on Android, Stitcher comes highly recommended. You can also search for new podcasts to listen to via these apps.

Many podcasts can be streamed directly off a website – if you’re connected to the Internet, it’s as easy as pressing “play”. Other podcasts I’ve found in the iTunes Store (such as Serial) and listened to on my computer – this has been the easiest option for me, because when it’s a series I’m really enjoying, I can subscribe. (This means, as soon as new episodes become available, they’ll be automatically downloaded to iTunes.)

Once you get into a podcast, making time to listen is as easy as turning on a radio. Driving to work, going for a run, working out at the gym, making supper, short flights… when you’re on the go, podcasts make great background listening.

The best bit? For the most part, podcasts are free. Sure, there are a handful with premium pricing and downloads, but mostly the content is created purely for the love of it. Download, listen, enjoy.


Tiana Cline

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