What is a Podcast?

Image result for podcastsYou’re about to see how you can find a huge variety of new and interesting content from the internet to fill your smartphone, tablet or PC for free. You can listen to what you want, when you want, and how you want.

Imagine getting new “radio”-style talk and music shows to listen to on your smartphone every day. You wake up and automatically have new shows ready to listen to while you exercise, commute to work or just while relaxing around the house. This is the podcast listening experience.

Let’s face it. Broadcast radio is getting old. The same songs get played over and over until you’re sick of them. A few large companies have control of the formats and what gets played. There is very little variety.

With podcasts you don’t have to wait to hear something that interests you. You choose what you want to listen to. There are now thousands & thousands of podcasts and the number is growing rapidly.

What is a Podcast?

The word podcast is a play on the word broadcast combined with the word iPod (one of the most popular portable MP3 players at the time podcasting became popular).

At the core a podcast is an audio file that is automatically received from the internet and then synced to your smartphone, tablet or computer. The files are received by subscribing through a podcast player app.

You do not have to have an iPod to listen to a podcast. The best podcast player is right there on your smartphone, which makes it very convenient.

What Are Podcasts So Popular?

What sets podcasts apart is that they can be automatically downloaded to your computer or smartphone and synced without you needing to do anything. You can wake up each morning with new shows (that interest you) on your smartphone, tablet or computer ready to listen to.

The ease and convenience of this automatic delivery in addition to the endless content makes it so popular.

Content! No matter what you are interested in, science, politics, technology, history and much more is all there waiting for you. Also many of the popular networks such as NPR, ESPN, CNN, BBC and many more make their on-the-air content available via podcasts as well!

Finding Content and a Podcast Player

The first thing you want to do is pick a podcast player app. I have 2 recommendations depending on what smartphone you have. There are many others – these are just my personal favorites.

Once you have a podcast player on your smartphone or tablet you can begin to search for content that interests you.

Enjoy…. and welcome to the 21st century!

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Podcasts 101

One of the best innovations to arrive with mobile technology has been the emergence of Podcasts. I have been listening to podcasts for many years now and I am always surprised at just how few people really are aware of what these are.

I wanted to take some time to share with all of you, my dedicated readers just what podcasts are and how they can really help you learn more and immerse yourself in the topics you enjoy.

If you live in our new technological era and you’ve been online, then you must know something about podcasts. It’s not just me. Podcasts are becoming very popular. According to a study performed in 2014 by Edison Research, 39 million Americans listen to podcasts every month. These figures have most surely increased since then, especially considering the fact that almost all podcasts are available for free.

What Are Podcasts Anyway?

Podcasts are a direct result of the new technological development and have been around for a while. So, a podcast is a downloadable/ streamable file that contains the recording of a discussion/show. Usually podcasts can be listened to so they come in MP3 format, but they can also be videos. In terms of content, everyone can find something interesting; people who make them cover every imaginable topic and then some more.

If you want a comparison, a podcast usually sounds like a radio show. The creator invites several guests and they discuss a certain topic. Some podcasts also allow interactive interactions with listeners like direct conversations, comments, etc. One of the most important features of a podcast is its serial characteristic – just like a radio show, the podcast can have daily/weekly/monthly series.

Who Are the Podcasters?

Celebrities, comedians, scientists, blogger, regular people, and the list could go on. Actually, everyone with a decent smartphone and an online connection can create their own podcast.

Finding Podcasts

While many radio celebrities or comedians launched their career with a podcast, not everyone has something interesting to say. So how do you find the best podcasts?

Well, podcasts are usually listened on-the-go (while driving, walking, working out etc.) So, both Android and Apple devices have access to apps specially created to bring podcasts to you. Simply browse and try until you find interesting topics and people.

My Podcast app, Overcast. With a Podcast App on your SmartPhone your mind will expand as you are exposed to topics of all kinds.

My Favorite Podcast Apps

iPhone Users – Overcast offers a great combination of clean design, powerful audio and podcast management features. Overcast deftly handles episode playbacks and downloads, sends notifications of new episodes, and can play offline or through streaming if you need to save some space; plus it has some nice audio features. Voice Boost normalizes the sound levels of speech, automatically raising quiet voices and lowering loud ones. Smart Speed automatically cuts away at gaps and silence in the podcast, speeding up play without distorting audio. The most recent update adds interface enhancements, an iOS 10 widget and a new action tray that makes it easier to manage episodes of your favorite podcasts.

Android Users – Pocket Casts (Android, iOS) neatly combines style and function with an attractive design that showcases subscribed podcasts in tile format. Tap on a square to bring up an episode list and download options. A smart playlisting feature helps you sort and categorize your downloaded content for easy listening. Pocket Casts also includes video podcast support, auto-downloading and automatic cleanup of downloaded episodes to save storage space. Other helpful playback features include quick skip forward and back buttons with configurable time intervals, and a sleep timer. What may be its most important feature is its cross-platform nature that allows it to sync between devices and OS’s, which is great if you’ve got an iOS and Android device.

So there you go – if you were unaware of podcasts are did not think that taking the time to learn about them was just not worth it.

Give it a try – your mind will thank you.

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Podcast Review – History Has Never Been So Much Fun

From time to time I am going to recommend a Podcast that I think you should check out. Of course as with any podcast the listener must at first have an interest in the topic. Sometimes however, even if you have a interest in the narrative, the hosts can turn you off which is certainly not the situation with the hosts of “Stuff You Missed In History Class“.

Hosted on HowStuffWorks.com, this podcast is usually posted in a 30 or 50 minute segment (depending on the subject matter) and features two hosts (Holly and Tracy) as they attempt to separate truth from fiction about certain historical stories and personas. Sometimes, depending on how much information exists, it’s more narrative, and if it’s vague or mysterious, more speculative, but for somebody who loves reading historical fiction, biographies and history books in general, I was hooked from the start.

Check out their blog at www.missedinhistory.com and take the time to subscribe to their podcast, especially if you have a curious mind.

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