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Beginners Guide to Podcasting: Getting Started Listening to Podcasts

So you’ve heard about the Top 8 Reasons You should Be Listening to Podcasts and want to get started…but you’re not sure where to start.  You’ll be glad to know that listening to a podcast requires zero tech skills whatsoever. All you need is a device that plays media files like a smart phone, tablet, or even your smart home speaker.  You can even listen to them on your computer while you work. 

Here’s what you need to know to start your journey to being a podcast listener:

Find Your Podcasting App

To start, you could just download a podcast directly to your computer as an mp3 file and listen to it through your Media Player.  But there’s a better way.  The most common way to discover all the podcasts that you want to listen to and keep them organized is a podcast app.  You likely already have one installed on your phone.  iPhone users will have the Apple Podcasts app.  Android users can play podcasts through the Play Music app.  Beyond that, there are many other downloadable apps to choose from.  Some cost a little but a lot of them are free.  I did a search for “podcast player” in the Apple App Store.  I stopped counting the results after I hit 100. Here are just a few of the most popular:

  • Apple Podcasts
  • Spotify
  • Stitcher
  • Amazon Music
  • Castbox
  • Google Podcasts
  • iHeartRadio
  • Overcast
  • Pocket Casts
  • RadioPublic

Search for Content

Once you have selected your player of choice, your next step is to find something you want to listen to.  When you open your player, you will likely be offered a selection of suggested podcasts.  These may be called featured, popular, trending, or new and noteworthy.  You may recognize the names of some, but there will be many that you have not.  There are more than 4 million podcasts, after all.  If you’re still not sure where to start, try asking people you know what they’re listening to for suggestions.  If you are using a smart speaker you can just ask it to play a podcast for you .  Of course, you will need to know the name of the show first.  You can also search by categories such as Books, Family, Kids, News, Sports, Health, and many more.  Keep in mind that there are many podcasts that don’t fit neatly into one category so search for what you feel like listening to and pick something that looks interesting to you.

Download or Stream

You have found either a show, or host, or topic you are interested in.  Now it’s time to start listening. There are two ways to listen: download or streaming. When you download the show to your device, you will be able to listen to the entire show without interruption whether you have wi-fi or cellular service or not. Listening this way allows you to enjoy your shows wherever you want to.  Most podcast apps have settings where you can delete the episode from your phone once it is finished or if you can delete the episode manually.  You can also stream a podcast episode using wi-fi or a cellular connection.  If you listen to podcasts frequently you could end up using a lot of data this way. 

Follow and Subscribe

If won’t take long for you to find a podcast that you want to listen to regularly.  You will hear podcasters use the terms “follow” and “subscribe” so you don’t miss an episode.  When you “follow” a show, new episodes are automatically downloaded to your device so it is ready for you to listen to within minutes of being published so the next time you open your ap the latest episodes are ready for you to listen to.  Subscribing, if you are on an Apple device, is a way for you to receive premium content.  When you subscribe to shows and channels, you support creators and unlock premium experiences.  Because, until recently, these terms have been used interchangeably (and are still by a few apps).  Yes, it’s a little confusing, so just remember that you pay to “subscribe” but “follow” for free.

If you are just learning about everything podcasting has to offer, the All Indiana Podcast Network is a great place to find shows about everything from News, Sports and Weather to Gardening, Fitness, and Health.  Find your new favorite podcast at

Have you thought about starting your own podcast?  The All Indiana Podcast Network can help you create, produce, and distribute your podcast! Email us today for more information.