Podcasts are everywhere these days, and there are a huge range of topics to choose from. In recent years the quality has risen dramatically, with many commercial radio stations offering up their shows for download and listening at a later time.
Many people still struggle to listen to Podcasts, though, whether it’s getting them working on their PC or downloading to a MP3 player or mobile device. Here we look at the different ways that you can listen to a podcast, and finish off with an introduction to subscriptions.
Downloading Podcasts to your Computer
The easiest way to listen to a podcast is normally to play it directly through that podcast’s website. Many Podcasting websites offer a play function directly on the podcasting page. Simply navigate to the podcast page, look for the play button, and listen. Easy!
This method just requires access to a computer, whether it’s PC or Mac, and an internet connection for that computer.
Of course, the disadvantage to this is that you’re restricted to sitting in front of your computer when listening to podcasts, which can be a bit of a chore when it’s an hour long show. But, if it’s a short episode, or you can play the podcast through your PC speakers while doing something else around the house, then it can be a quick, reliable and, most of all, EASY solution.
Accessing Podcasts on Your Mobile Devices
The most convenient way to listen to a podcast is through a mobile device of some sort, and there are a variety of devices that can do this. MP3 players are very cheap these days, and normally quite easy to use. Alternatively, most mobile phones now offer the option to listen to music, so chances are you already have something that will do the job! Now, to get the MP3 onto your mobile device, phone or MP3 player, we need to first download the podcast.
If you’ve followed the previous step, just to try listening to a podcast on your computer, then you might have noticed a Download link very near the play button. Very often Podcasting sites offer this download option right alongside the play function, making it very easy to get hold of the podcast and save it straight to your mobile device.
When you download a podcast, it will be stored as an MP3 file. The best method is to:
- click the Download button on the podcast website
- save the podcast to your computer, perhaps in a special ‘Podcasting’ folder, created by you
- Copy the podcast from the ‘Podcasting’ folder to your mobile device
And that’s it – you’re all ready!
To accomplish this you need a computer, access to the internet and a digital mp3 player (mobile phone, iPod, etc)
Podcast Automation: Setting up a Subscription
Definitely the most powerful and most convenient way to listen to podcasts is to take advantage of the powers of the RSS feed which allows you to automate the entire activity. It’s actually surprisingly easy to set up podcast subscriptions, especially if you’re using iTunes and an Apple device, but it’s easily possible with any PC and mobile device. If you listen to a few podcasts regularly, then it’s definitely worth the effort.
Have a look at our Next Article for more information on Subscribing to Podcasts.