Podcasts are an awesome way to learn and be entertained. They could keep you company on a long drive, or when you’re stuck in traffic.
For the uninitiated, according to Wikipedia: “A podcast is an episodic series of digital media files which a user can set up so that new episodes are automatically downloaded via web syndication to the user’s own local computer or portable media player. The word arose as a portmanteau of “iPod” (a brand of media player) and “broadcast”. Thus, the files distributed are typically in audio or video formats…”
If that still sounds Greek to you, here’s (hopefully) a simpler definition. A podcast is like a radio program broadcasted over the web. You can listen to it on a website, or download the episodes to your smartphone or mp3 player.
How to subscribe to podcasts
If you are already listening to podcasts, awesome! But if you’re not, then you’re missing out on a whole lot of things.
Listen directly on the Podcast Page.
This approach to listening and subscribing to podcasts is ideal for people who are glued to their seats in front of the computer for long periods of time.
Most podcasts have a website and a podcast page. For example, one of the podcasts I listen to is the Tim Ferriss Show. Tim Ferriss is the author of the bestselling book “Four Hour Workweek,” and is considered as one of the best podcasters in the planet today. He has been referred to as “the Oprah of Audio.” If you want to listen to his podcast, you can visit the Tim Ferriss Show’s podcast page and listen to the episodes there.
But I wouldn’t recommend this. Unless you want to be staring at your computer for around 40-100 minutes at a time. Most podcasts tend to be about 20 minutes long. At least that’s about the average length of the shows I listen to. But there are really good podcast whose episodes run for about 45 minutes to 2 hours! Yes, there are some really good podcast episodes that run for that length of time!
Download the mp3 files manually and save it to your mp3 player or device.
This approach works for those people who do not own a Smartphone; has limited internet access; and usually goes to a computer shop just to check email and go online.
Go visit the page of the podcast you want to listen to, click on the specific episode you want to listen to and download the mp3 files manually. Then copy that file and transfer it to your mp3 player or device. This sounds clunky and manual but a lot of people did this in the early days of podcasting.
Subscribe through Apple iTunes.
If you own an iPhone, iPod, or iPad, then subscribing to podcasts via iTunes is your best bet. You should download iTunes on your PC or Mac. If you haven’t done so yet, create a user account and login to your account on the iTunes software. Then go to the Apple Store and search for podcast topics that you might be interested in. For example, if you are looking for a podcast about the Philippines, type “Philippines podcast” on the search bar of iTunes. Choose the “Podcasts” as filter on the right hand side of iTunes and it will show you all the podcast shows and episodes about the Philippines.
Here’s a video that shows how you can subscribe to podcasts via iTunes:
Player.fm is currently my favorite Android podcast catcher (or podcatcher). It is easy to use and it lets me load the podcasts I listen to. Stitcher, another Android app, used to be my go-to podcatcher. I still like it, too. But I just prefer using Player.fm now. The search feature of this podcatcher is easy to use and has helped me discover some shows that I listen to. It also lets me set the playback speed. And most of the time, I set the playback speed to 1.5X.
Here’s a screenshot of the Player.FM app on my phone
I hope you get to discover podcasts that helps you learn and keep you entertained. If you have any question, just leave a comment and I will try hard to help you.