I’ve recently launched an awesome (if I do say so myself) podcast with my good friend Lynnae McCoy. What’s a podcast? Well I’m glad you asked!
What is a podcast?
A podcast is a recorded online talk radio show that can be listened to on the internet or downloaded to your phone, tablet or computer to listen to “off line”.
Why should you listen to a podcast?
If you are hear reading this post then you probably enjoy reading articles and blogs online. Why bother with a podcast?
Well, to read a blog post you have to be in a position to read. Yeah–I know that sounds goofy, but think about it for a moment. There are probably multiple times during your day when you are doing repetitive tasks where your hands are busy but your mind is not engaged. . . but that you can’t read. For example while you are driving to work, washing the dishes, folding laundry, mowing the lawn or taking a walk. Although I’ve been known to try to read while taking a walk. . .
I like the versatility of listening to a podcast in those kinds of situations. Sometimes I’ll just let my mind wander, or pray, or even think through the days problems. Many times I’ll just queue up my favorite podcasts and use those times as an opportunity to be entertained or educated.
There are podcasts out there on all kinds of topics. You can find current events, fan shows, politics, sports, history, fiction (think the old radio shows from the 20’s-50’s). There is even an awesome new lifestyle podcast called A Prioritized Life out there with two fabulous co-hosts (hint hint)
Best thing of all about podcasts? They are usually free!
How do you listen to a podcast?
So I’ve got you convinced that podcasts might be interesting–now what? How do you actually listen to a podcast? If you are reading this, then you are on a computer of some sort attached to the internet some how and you can listen to podcasts! There are several ways to do this:
- On your computer via the podcast website
- On your smartphone/tablet via the podcast website
- On your computer via iTunes
- On your iPod/iPhone/iPad via iTunes
- On your android smartphone/tablet via a podcast player.
Let’s cover these one by one.
1. On your computer via the podcast website.
Most podcasts also have an associated blog/website where the podcast and some show notes are posted. You just go to the blog, find the episode you are interested in listening to (typically there is a separate blog post for each episode) and there will be a player embedded right in the post. Just click on the play button and listen. Of course this method means you must be sitting at your computer.
note: There may be an easy way right on that page to subscribe to a podcast in iTunes or to sign up for email updates.
2. On your smartphone/tablet via the podcast website.
Since your smartphone/tablet is a portable computer this works exactly the same way that accessing a podcast on your computer does. All you have to do is open your internet browser on the phone/tablet, go to the podcast blog/website, find the episode and click play. Now you are mobile and as long as you have an internet connection (wifi or cell phone data network) you can continue listening to the podcast. Remember–using a data network will charge you for minutes at whatever rate your cell phone normally charges.
3. On your computer via iTunes.
iTunes is a free digital media organizing and purchasing program. You can download and use it on any computer (it does not have to be an Apple). iTunes is one of the most widely used platforms for podcasts, so you will find a wide variety of things to listen to there (including A Prioritized Life). You can “subscribe” to podcasts in iTunes, and then it will download new episodes of those podcasts automatically to your library whenever you connect. If you have an Apple device (iPod, iPad, iPhone) then you can “sync” your devices so you have the same stuff on both your mobile and your desktop versions of iTunes. The iTunes program is NOT compatible with non-Apple devices.
note: There is a screen shot and walk through of using iTunes on your computer at the bottom of this post.
4. On your iPod/iPhone/iPad via iTunes
With an Apple device it is very easy to access iTunes, subscribe and listen to podcasts. It used to be that all of it was done through the iTunes app on your device, but now there is a separate “podcast” app (free) that is used. It’s pretty self explanatory to use. When you “sync” your devices it will download the podcast episodes to the device and then you can listen to them “offline” without using any of your data minutes or worrying about a cell/data/wifi connection.
5. On your android smartphone/tablet via a podcast player.
So if you don’t have an Apple device and you find having to head over to the podcast blog/website inconvenient you do have another option: Look for a podcast player app! An app will typically be set up so that you can search for and listen to new podcasts, as well as subscribe to podcasts you listen to on a regular basis (like A Prioritized Life of course) so that it will automatically pull new episodes and have them available to listen to both on and offline.
Although I haven’t used it yet myself, Podcast Republic (purchased through the Google Play Store) is one such app that seems very popular and well rated. There is a free version (small ads on the bottom). It can connect to iTunes and pull the podcasts from there–so you should have all the same variety you would with an Apple product. There are also a lot of other podcast apps out there–in whatever app store you have just search for “podcast” and see what comes up. Pay attention to reviews and make your choice. Then make sure you subscribe to A Prioritized Life!
How do you subscribe to a podcast?
It’s pretty easy–when you use iTunes or an app to access the podcast, there is usually a “home” type page for that particular podcast that lists the name, a blurb about the show, and then a list of episodes. Somewhere on there, usually near the top, there is something that says “subscribe”. In iTunes it’s a pretty obvious button right under the show logo.
I hope all of this has helped to de-mystify podcasts for you!
Now head on over and listen to my new podcast–A Prioritized Life!
A Mini Walk Through of Using iTunes on your Desktop to listen to Podcasts
- When you get into iTunes use the search bar on the upper right to search for the podcast. In this case type in “A prioritized life”. In the search results click on the podcast.
- In the center of the screen you will see a list of the episodes. As you scroll over the episode number it will give you a small “play” arrow instead of a number.
- If you click the play arrow it will start playing the episode. The icon will turn to a square “stop” button.
- The bar at the top center of the screen will now display information that has to do with the episode you are listening to including the name of the episode and a status bar that shows you how far through the show you are. On the left of the status bar you will see a time for how far into the show you are, and on the right hand side you will see a number for how much time is left in the episode.
- On the top left of the screen are you basic controls–play, pause, skip. The bar with the round slider is a volume control (although you can also just use your computer’s regular volume control)
- The subscribe button is right under the show graphic. We hope you subscribe to A Prioritized Life so you don’t miss an episode!
- Finally, there is a tab for “Ratings and Reviews” — it is super helpful to us for you to review the show and say you like it, or even just to rate the show without writing a full review.