That’s the usual question when people hear the term podcast. For some, it kinda evokes some techie stuff that can induce nosebleed.
But don’t worry. The short answer is that a podcast is an audio program broadcasted not on the radio, but on the Web.
FM Stations broadcast different programs. In the morning, 93.1 RX has The Morning Rush, Jam 88.3 has the Morning Breath, and 90.7 Love Radio has the Tambalang Chris Tsuper & Nicole Hyala (not sure of the spelling. ugh).
Here’s the long answer from Wikipedia:
Podcasting is both a converged medium bringing together audio, the web and portable media player, and a disruptive technology that has caused some in the radio business to reconsider some of the established practices and preconceptions about audiences, consumption, production and distribution. This idea of disruptiveness is largely because no one person owns the technology; it is free to listen and create content, which departs from the traditional model of ‘gate-kept’ media and production tools. It is very much a horizontal media form: producers are consumers and consumers become producers and engage in conversations with each other.
I’m a newcomer when it comes to listening to podcasts. But once I started, I got hooked. So far, I listen to 10 podcasts regularly. I mention some of them below.
So why do you need to listen to podcasts? Here’s my five reasons.
5. Freedom to choose what you want to listen to.
As jeepneys or FX waddle through the morning traffic, they have the radio on. Blaring music or the crisp laughter of the hosts invade your eardrums. Sometimes, you hate the music or talk show that’s playing. And you don’t have a choice in the matter at all. It’s like the driver is imposing his music or talk show tastes on you.
But with a podcast, you can choose what you listen to. Granted, you can download hundreds of songs from YouTube, but podcasts are an entirely different species. Most podcasts are talk shows meant to inform or entertain you.
Just download podcasts online, load them to your smartphone or mp3 player, and you’re all set. If you don’t know where to look for ’em, I’ll write about my recommended podcasts in a separate post.
4. Totally free. No commercials.
Excellently crafted commercials are rare. Especially on the radio. Sometimes, radio stations play 3 songs in a row. Lots of talking. Then lots and lots of commercials, too.
Understandably, that’s how they keep broadcasting. But if you listen to podcasts, they are totally free and there are no commercials. Sometimes, there are promotional stuff from the host, but that’s it.
Most podcasts also last for about 20-30 minutes. So, there’s no overkill.
3. Accessible to your mobile device – smartphone, mp3 player, or tablet.
You can easily load podcasts in your smartphone, mp3 player or tablet. It’s still kinda weird to see a big tablet as an mp3 player, though, at least to me. Whether you’re using Apple or Android devices, you can choose from hundreds of apps on how to subscribe to podcasts.
The beauty of it, is that once you subscribe to a podcast, new episodes are delivered automatically to your device if you are connected to the Internet.
If you want to learn how to listen, subscribe, and manage your podcasts, here’s a good guide to podcasts.
2. Help you survive the morning and afternoon commute.
In Metro Manila and nearby towns and cities, traffic is so bad, we all want the ability to teleport. Whether you ride the MRT, bus, jeepney, or FX, most commuters have to go through this friggin traffic!
Other people bring out their devices and play games. Others stare out into the sea of commuters and just pray hard for traffic to part like Moses’ trip in the Red Sea.
But if you’re listening to a podcast, you can rise above the boredom and be taken in by the content you’re listening to.
1. You will learn new things.
Of course, this is the best reason why I listen to podcasts and why you should, too! Through the podcasts I listen to, I learned a lot of things about entrepreneurship, productivity, managing my priorities, and heard hundreds of stories of ordinary people like you and me. What’s amazing is that I can relate to a lot of the stories I listen to.
If you want to improve your English language skills, or learn how to launch your business, improve your career, or learn how to maximize your personal finance, there’s a podcast for that!
Speaking of podcasts, don’t forget to subscribe to the Happy Yuppie Podcast here.