It should come as no surprise that the question of how to listen to a podcast is one of the most common I get. It’s actually the number 1 reason people give for not listening to them. Go figure!
Before we get into how to listen to podcasts though let’s explain what one is. You can read my full explanation here or read on for the short version.
A podcast is an audio programme that can be listened to by anyone, at any time, over the internet.
Podcasts can be made by anyone, about anything, for anyone. Some are made by big name media companies (think BBC) while others are made by ordinary people in their kitchens and bedrooms.
So how do you listen to podcasts?
Thanks to the wonder of the internet, there are many ways you can listen to a podcast. You can often find them on the website dedicated to the podcast and there are loads of podcast players out there (known as podcast apps or catchers etc).
While there are ‘paid for’ versions of these apps, there are free ones readily available so don’t part with your money too easily. In fact, you’ve probably got one pre-installed on your phone
When you buy an iPhone or iPad, it comes with a selection of apps already installed on it. *One of these is the Apple Podcasts app - simply called Podcasts. It’s the podcasts version of iTunes and works in exactly the same way. Simply use the Search function to find your chosen podcast or hit Browse to take a look at what podcasts are currently trending.
*if the app is not pre-installed, you can get it for free from the App Store.
Android (phones & tablets)
As with the iPhone, most new Android mobile phones will have a podcast app pre-installed on them. Not sure if your phone runs on the Android operating system? If it is a Samsung, HTC, Huawei, Sony or Google Pixel it probably does. Just go to the Play Store to download Google Podcasts for free if it isn’t pre-installed.
Amazon Alexa/Google Home
One of my favourite ways to annoy my partner is to play Brexitcast through my smart speaker - she isn’t a lover of politics.
Simply ask your device to play a podcast. If that doesn’t work, shout at it.
While Apple are busy making changes to the much loved iTunes, you can currently still use it to listen to podcasts. On Mac’s though you’ll need the seperate Apple Podcasts application.
There are so many podcast apps and players it would be unwise to list them all but below are some of my favourites.
The most popular app is Spotify. Known firstly for music and created to rival Apple’s iTunes, Spotify entered the podcast scene with style in 2019. You can use the Spotify app or their web player to find, subscribe, stream and/or download podcasts.
I used to use TuneIn to listen to American radio stations. Again available as an app or a web player, TuneIn now includes podcasts.
My final option for you is Stitcher. Just like TuneIn, it is an on-demand internet radio service which focuses on news, information radio and podcasts.
Which podcast player you choose is completely down to personal preference. There are countless other apps out there for every mobile, tablet and computer but they all do the same thing - play podcasts.
That’s it. You are now able to listen to a podcast.
Get out there and start listening to find your favourite. With over 770,000* podcasts available right now it won’t take you long to find one you like!