Step 2: How Do I Listen to a Podcast?

Podcasts are everywhere these days, and there are a huge range of topics to choose from. In recent years the quality has risen dramatically, as more businesses get into the podcasting space and bring advertising budgets with them.

Many people still struggle to listen to Podcasts, though, whether it’s listening on their PC or accessing the audio on 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.

Really subscriptions are the way to go, so if  you want to skip this section on the more primitive listening methods, then click here to go to the subscriptions article.

listen to a podcastPlaying Podcasts on 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. First off, if you have a smartphone, you have an ideal podcast listening platform right in your pocket. Download a podcasting app, subscribe to a show, and away you go. Click here for a guide to doing this on each platform.

Next up, if your phone isn’t quite smart enough, MP3 players are very cheap these days, and normally quite easy to use. You can download podcast episodes and copy them onto any MP3 device for listening (see below). Alternatively, even the most dumb-phones often offer the option to listen to music, so chances are you already have something that will do the job of an MP3 player.

Getting Podcast Episodes onto Your MP3 Player or Not-so-Smartphone

If you’ve followed the first example above – 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:

  1. click the Download button on the podcast website
  2. save the podcast to your computer, perhaps in a special ‘Podcasting’ folder, created by you
  3. 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 via subscription. This lets you automate the entire activity. It’s actually surprisingly easy to set up podcast subscriptions, especially if you’re using an Apple device, but it’s just as 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 the next step for a guide to Subscribing to a Podcast.