Start Listening to Podcasts

Why, what, how? Let’s get you started on listening to podcasts!

I like the idea of having my brain working while doing mundane tasks like driving, cleaning or other mechanical activities. Perhaps you like the idea of this as well. The issue of course is that we need our eyes to perform these tasks so it’s best to not be distracted by video. Thus, audio only. Now, where would we find great, varied, audio-only, not-necessarily-music content?

Welcome to the World of Podcasts

Podcasts are audio series that can be listened to in your browser or automatically downloaded onto mobile apps for playback. Numerous genres of podcasts are out there, from 5 minute daily news podcasts to multi-hour monthly discussion podcasts. It’s not just people speaking though, there are many music podcasts out there too. The content out there is extremely varied so there’s probably a podcast you’d want to listen to!

For me, it’s ideal to listen to podcasts on my phone through an app since it  automatically downloads new episodes and is always in my pocket. Thus, this is the use case I’ll be describing today.

If, however, you just want to listen to a few in your browser to decide if you’re keen on the concept first, jump to the What Podcasts do I Listen to? section to get some links to specific episodes I’ve enjoyed. That out the way, let’s begin!

Photo by Juja Han on Unsplash

What You’ll Need

  • iOS or Android Phone
    • You probably already have one of these!
  • Podcast App – Install one of the following:
    • iOS
      • Apple PodcastsFree – Being pre-installed into most (if not all) iOS devices, this is the default option.
      • OvercastFree with Adsmy preferred podcast player on iOS, works great with CarPlay and on my Apple Watch.
    •  Android
    • Multi-platform
      • SpotifyPaid/Free – You can listen to and download podcasts for offline playback even without Premium but note these caveats.

I won’t vouch for any specific app except for Overcast but i’d assume they all have feature parity by now. Now that you’ve installed an app..

Individual App Guides

Each app has subtle differences in their interfaces so here are specific guides for each:

You’ll be using these guides to navigate the interfaces, add and listen to podcasts you’ll find in the next section…

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

What Podcasts should you Listen to?

Finding podcasts that really click with you is really going to make or break your experience. As mentioned above, the world of podcasts is incredibly varied so I’d never be able to cover all the niches in a single post or recommend one directly for you. However, we have a great method of podcast discovery in Google. Just search your topic of learning or area of entertainment and “podcast” and go from there.

Examples of searches:

And once you have found a podcast you’re interested in, you can either add them directly to your app via links (eg. Add to Apple Podcasts) or just search in your app for the podcast name! If you want some idea of what’s good out there..

What do I listen to?

Some of my favourite podcasts, with links to specific episodes:

And a special shout out to the Podcast version of a Lotus FM Radio Drama called Your Pride Aside by Derosha Moodley, an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice set in Durban. Link to the first episode here.

Summary

So, hopefully by now you’ve set up your app and are listening to something you find interesting. Your next instalment of dishwashing, driving, exercise or cooking will surely be enhanced by the educational, entertaining or just plain fun podcasts that will be playing!

The Future

As the youth (and me, I’m still young right?) leave radio behind for streaming services, it’s going to become more and more important for our local radio stations to find ways to make their content available digitally and build sustainable business models around episodic ad-supported content. I already listen to some of these and it’s great that I can give them my streams. With the business of podcasting really taking off (eg. Spotify making money moves) I hope that this brings even better and higher quality local content to our podcast players. After listening to a few, maybe you should even start one!

If you have any questions/would like to share the podcasts you listen to, please leave a reply below. Thanks for reading!

Me listening to Podcasts

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

(Featured image remixed from this one by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash)

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