As a person who has always enjoyed listening to audio books and radio news programs, I’ve lately become a big fan of podcasts. It was an easy transition to make–you can listen to them right on your smartphone! It’s a wonderful blend of old and new—the nostalgic fun of the heyday of radio programs from the 1940’s and 50’s, delivered in 21st century style.
What is a podcast? Originally called “audio blogging,” podcasts are free audio programs distributed over the Internet. You can download them and listen to them at your leisure, essentially creating a radio station focused entirely on the topics you want to hear about. You can choose programs that match your interests, swap programs in and out as you wish, and take them with you wherever you go.
There are podcasts out there for every imaginable subject, and in every imaginable style. Politics, sports, comedy, cooking, home improvement, travel–chances are, you’ll find a podcast on anything you find interesting. They range from slick, professionally produced programs from big name media companies to freewheeling, unrestrained conversation from Average Joe’s with opinions and a microphone. Most podcast episodes run anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes.
You can search the huge variety that’s available to find one (or more) you like. For Android smartphone users, launch the Google Play Music app from your Home screen, then tap the menu button on the top left of the screen (it’s three horizontal lines). Next, tap Podcasts, and you’ll be able to checkout either top rated podcasts or search them by categories.
If you’re an iPhone user, click the Podcasts tab at the top of the iTunes Store page. The iTunes Store displays the podcast page, with advertisements for popular podcasts. You can click the down-arrow button next to the Podcasts tab to choose specific categories.
Once you’ve given them a try, I’m confident you’ll quickly join me in becoming a podcast enthusiast. There’s a seemingly infinite choice of fresh and interesting programs to choose from, plus they’re so convenient—I listen at home, when I’m walking, when I’m driving, or pretty much anywhere else. And the best part is, all this information and entertainment is free for anyone who owns a smartphone!