Podcasting. Podcasting. All anyone talks about is podcasting. Bit of a minefield, eh?
So what is a podcast?
Technically, it’s a series of audio files available to stream or download on your phone and computer.
But in reality, a good podcast is a little bit of heaven. A well written and produced series will take you on a journey, through whatever subject matter you’ve chosen, revealing the ugly truth, the weird insights, the light hearted moments or simply the facts of that subject. It opens up this vast world to us in the most intimate of ways. And what’s better? You can pick and choose what to listen to, whenever suits you.
Want to get going? Check out a few recommendations on my blog to start you off.
But wait, how exactly do I do this?
Well, look no further for your simple guide on how to get your podcasting down.
It’s pretty straightforward. On a computer you simply go to the website of your favourite or newly discovered show, select the episode you would like to listen to et voila! Away you go!
On a mobile device, the key step is making sure you have a podcast streaming app on your phone. (The following is for iPhones. I’ll provide a list of apps for Android at the bottom and write a more detailed post for Android in a few days). Also remember, to play a podcast you need either Wifi or 3G. However, you can also download an episode and save it to your phone to listen to it later when you’re out of wifi. See below for tips on how to do that.
On the iPhone, there’s already an app installed called Podcasts. Simply click it open, select the search function at the very bottom of your screen and type in the name of your podcast. Sometimes, a podcast won’t show up here. If that happens, go to the iTunes store on your phone and you can search there as well.
Once the show you want pops up, you have two options.
- Click on an episode to just listen to that particular one.
- Or click on the name to subscribe to the whole series.
I would advise the latter option. This means you’ll be linked to the series in your app and won’t have to go searching to listen to future or past episodes. But be sure to hit the subscribe button on the show’s page.
Once you’ve subscribed, I would suggest doing the following (if the show does not consist of standalone episodes, like This American Life and/or you’d like to hear every episode):
- Select My Podcasts at the bottom of your screen.
- Select the podcast you’ve just subscribed to. (If it’s not here, then you have not hit the subscribe button).
- Click the little wheel, usually near the top of the page.
- Change the play settings to ‘oldest to newest’.
- Change the sort order to ‘oldest to newest’.
- Then hit Done.
This way if you want to listen to the show from the start it’ll play in order and you won’t have to keep going back to change it. If one episode is only showing up under the Unplayed button, then click Feed and you should find the rest of the episodes.
Some other good tips:
Still within settings, make sure the ‘Download Episodes’ function is off. Unless you’d like to download an episode to listen to it later, this will eat into your storage. To download a particular episode, go back to the list of the episodes, select the three little dots to the right of the episode, and it will give you lots of options, including scheduling when you want to hear this episode and the chance to download it.
Back in settings, it’s handy to keep the ‘Delete Played Episodes’ on. They will still be available in your feed but it helps to get rid of them from your unplayed list.
To remove a podcast from your list:
- Go to My Podcasts within the app.
- Press on the name and slide it to the left.
- A delete option will appear on the right.
- Press delete.
Podcasting apps for Android:
Castbox seems to be the popular app of choice. It’s also free
Pocket Cast is quite popular as well and can be used on Android and iPhone.
There’s also Stitcher Radio, which I wasn’t the biggest fan of but seems quite popular. It is also free.
Happy Listening x
Thanks to Wu Yi & Unsplash for the image.