Listen and Learn

A whole new vista has opened before my eyes — or should I say “before my ears”. Inspirational talks, new skills and even controversial opinions are taking my brain by storm. And best of all, it fits perfectly into my day. What is this new love? Welcome to the wonderful world of podcasting.

A podcast? What’s that?

A podcast is an audio file which you can access on the internet. You can listen to it online or download it to hear offline at a later date. Podcasts are often done as a series of installments and the ones that I follow are a bit like audible blogs in the fields that interest me — education, inspiration,  and of course, blogging.

Podcasts are broadcast by all sorts of different people and websites and are available on just about any topic you care to mention. A simple Google search will generate dozens of possibilities.

But I don’t have time to be stuck by the computer all day.

Neither do I. And this was my biggest problem when I first discovered podcasts.

But you can listen to a podcast on any device.

Particularly, you can download them onto your phone. This is a game changer. My favourite listening times are during my morning walk and on long drives. We have lousy radio reception where I live, and a limited CD collection in the car, so I was beyond delighted to discover the podcast alternative.

So how do you do it?

You will need to install a podcast app onto your smartphone from either Play Store (android) or the App Store ( iPhones).

There are lots of different ones out there, and it can be hard to choose.

Think about what features are important to you and what amount you’re prepared to pay. When looking at an app, click on  READ MORE and a full description will appear explaining all the features of the app. Return to the short version and scroll down to see the user ratings and reviews.

Which app did you choose?

I use CastBox. (The latest, version with the orange icon.)

It was simple to download and install. On opening it asked me a few questions about my interests and then recommended some podcasts based on those. However, I knew the podcasters I particularly wanted to follow, and it was easy to type each one into the search box. Up came the link and I hit “subscribe.”

Once subscribed, a series is then in my list. It’s easy to choose a few episodes, download them at home where I have plenty of internet data, then listen offline while I’m walking or driving. Piece of cake!

Make sure you delete them afterwards though — you don’t want too many podcasts taking up space on your phone.

Now I’m not affiliated to CastBox and get no advertising revenue from mentioning them. I actually chose them because they had replied to a comment on the reviews, which mentioned a bug in that app. The reply explained that there was a new version in which that bug had been fixed. I found it and the rest is history.

So now you know. All it takes is a digital device and the right app.

Be inspired, informed or entertained: it’s all at your fingertips.

What are you waiting for? Make a start. Join the wonderful world of podcasting today.

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