How to listen to podcasts

Do you have a fondness for the old-school radio serial? It’s understandable – there’s something compelling and intimate about listening to stories, and a well-executed audio program can keep you tuning in, week after week. Thanks to the emergence of podcasts, you can choose when and how you hear them.

What are podcasts?
You may have heard the term floating around for a while – podcasts are essentially audio shows that can be accessed on the internet, meaning they are available to listen to at any time. And the options are extensive, with more than 100,000 shows covering everything from history, entertainment, sport, science, politics and philosophy. The best part? They are generally free.

How do you find them?
Podcasts can be accessed on just about any digital device that plays audio. You have two options to tune in: either by ‘streaming’ through the show creator’s website or YouTube, or downloading episodes via a source such as iTunes. However, the easiest way to find and listen to podcasts is through a smartphone – your iPhone or iPad has a built-in podcast app on the home screen, which provides a simple introduction to the concept, including top-rated lists and a category search. If you’re using an Android or PC, or want to access more programs, try an app such as Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast or Pocket Casts.

What should you listen to?
Take a look at the app or iTunes charts and see if anything takes your fancy. If the choice seems overwhelming, you can filter the options by genre or topic and sample a few episodes. When you find a program you enjoy, hit ‘subscribe’ to receive new instalments.

Do you already listen to podcasts? What are some of your favourites?  

Written by Louise Baxter

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