How do I listen to a podcast?

So you've heard about podcasts but have no idea how or where to find one. Following the steps below we can help you into this magical world.

WARNING: Side effects include severe addiction (...joke).

What is a podcast?

It's simpler than you think.

When I told some of my friends we were launching a podcast I had a few of them look at me like 'say what now?' So I instantly knew I needed this page and link to send out to those that wanted to be a part of our journey but didn't know where to start.

So what is a podcast?

Remember the good old radio?

Well, it's like that, but you get to pick your own content to listen to, any time you want, where you want, and for as long as you want.

Merriam-Webster defines a podcast as:

"A program (as of music or talk) made available in digital format for automatic download over the Internet."

Karen Walrond, an activist and speaker, said: "Be loud about the things that are important to you." 


You mix the two, and that's basically what us podcasters are doing.

At a basic level, a podcast is an audio file you create and upload to the internet using a Podcast Host (a bit like you have website hosts; kind folk that look after your website and file it safely on the internet for you).


These podcast hosts make your audio file (eg. podcast) available to different Podcast Directories, such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts. Directories hold and update all the podcast episodes and allow listeners like you to search them by name, topic, keyword, etc.

Anyone can upload or start a podcast, so the quality will vary depending on whether it's your hobbyist in a shed, or a celebrity in a professional studio. The range of quality and content is broad - but then so is the range of subjects and niches.

So, now you know what they are, let's start by identifying how you'd like to listen to your podcasts.

Choose and click on one of the options below...

 
 
How to listen to a podcast
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I want to listen on my Android phone or tablet

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I want to listen on my Apple phone or iPad

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I want to listen on my computer

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I want to listen on my Smart Speaker

Listening to podcasts on an Android phone

I'm going to assume, by now, you know whether your phone is an Android or an Apple - if you don't, you might even be beyond my help!

Annoyingly, the mobile phone you have will dictate, to a certain degree, how you listen to podcasts.

For example, at the time of writing this, Apple Podcasts is not available on Android phones.

So you need to find a way of listening and searching for podcasts that's enjoyable for you, but also compatible with your phone.

 

A quick way to check all the apps our podcast is available on through our podcast host, Buzzsprout, is to visit this nifty page they set up for ushttps://thesilentwhy.buzzsprout.com/share. To narrow that down to Android apps, keep reading. 

Suggested Android apps (that you'll probably need to download from the Play Store) include:

For more options you can search the Podnews New Podcasts Apps page (you can filter for 'Android') or search the internet for 'Best podcast apps for Android' to find reviews and suggestions.

There are a lot of free podcast apps, so if you find one that costs but you're not sure about committing yet, try a free one to start with.

Just note that not every podcast is available on every app, hosts can choose where they want their podcast to be listed. Also, depending on the country the podcast is produced in, not all directories cater for all countries. For example, The Silent Why is based in the UK, so we can't list it in some of the big US directories that are US only.

Once you've found your app you can search for specific podcasts you've had recommended, e.g. The Silent Why (What? We had to get that in there somewhere!), subjects, famous names, hobbies, careers, you name it, there's probably podcasts about it.

Then you can subscribe/follow the podcast (so it's saved for you to find quickly next time), or set-up notifications to be told when the next episode is out.

You can hit play and listen straight away or you can download it if you want to listen at a time when you don't want to rely on having WiFi or a good data connection.

And the great thing is your podcast player should always remember where you got up to, and just wait for you to come back and carry on listening.

We hope this has helped you get started on a fantastic new chapter of podcast listening.

 

Listening to podcasts on an Apple phone

Hopefully you already know if you're phone is an Apple phone. If you're not sure... I'm amazed you've even made it this far!

Annoyingly, the mobile phone you have will dictate, to a certain degree, how you listen to podcasts.

So you need to find a way of listening and searching for podcasts that's enjoyable for you, but also compatible with your phone. 

A quick way to check all the apps our podcast is available on through our podcast host, Buzzsprout, is to visit this nifty page they set up for us: https://thesilentwhy.buzzsprout.com/share.
To narrow that down to Apple apps, keep reading.
 

Suggested Apple apps (that you'll probably need to download from the App Store) include:​​

For more options you can search the Podnews New Podcasts Apps page (you can filter for 'iOS') or search the internet for 'Best podcast apps for Apple' to find reviews and suggestions.

There are a lot of free podcast apps, so if you find one that costs but you're not sure about committing yet, try a free one to start with.

Just note that not every podcast is available on every app, hosts can choose where they want their podcast to be listed. Also, depending on the country the podcast is produced in, not all directories cater for all countries. For example, The Silent Why is based in the UK, so we can't list it in some of the big US directories that are US only.

Once you've found your app you can search for specific podcasts you've had recommended, e.g. The Silent Why (...what? We had to get that in there somewhere!), subjects, famous names, hobbies, careers, you name it, there's probably podcasts about it.

Then you can subscribe/follow the podcast (so it's saved for you to find quickly next time), or set-up notifications to be told when the next episode is out.

You can hit play and listen straight away or you can download it if you want to listen at a time when you don't want to rely on having WiFi or a good data connection.

And the great thing is your podcast player should always remember where you got up to, and just wait for you to come back and carry on listening.

We hope this has helped you get started on a fantastic new chapter of podcast listening.

 

Listening to podcasts on a desktop computer

Just be aware there may be slight variations in availability depending on whether you have a PC or a Mac.

Listening to podcasts on a computer is less common than listening on a mobile device, because it's less ...mobile. However, it's possibly one of the easiest ways to search and play them.

When you're on a computer, almost all podcast websites, hosts and directories have ways of searching and hitting play straight away on the latest episode.

 

E.g. our podcast host, Buzzsprout, has a page dedicated to The Silent Why and all our episodes and you can play them straight from there: The Silent Why Podcast Episodes.  But why would you use that when you can listen through this website on our Podcast Page anyway?

 

To find all the different ways to listen, you can use this nifty page our podcast host, Buzzsprout, set up, and click on a podcast provider: https://thesilentwhy.buzzsprout.com/share 

If you want to use a podcast app that's already installed on your computer:

MAC USERS:

If you are on a Mac then Apple Podcasts comes preloaded and you can search for that and start listening straight away.

PC USERS:

To my knowledge there's nothing that comes preloaded, so you'll need to find a directory, host or podcast website online, or download an app specifically for your computer.

Suggested directory websites you can open and use immediately include:​​

  • Google Podcasts (if you are signed into Google you can just select Podcasts from the list of apps in the browser)

  • Spotify (if you're already subscribed to this for your music you can start listening to podcasts immediately)

  • Apple Podcasts (PC users will have to access these via iTunes)

  • Many of the apps listed on the Android and Apple lists above also have web options so you might be able to listen across the same app on phone and computer.

For more options you can search the Podnews New Podcasts Apps page (you can filter for 'web', 'Windows', macOS').

Just note that not every podcast is available on every player, as hosts can choose where they want their podcast to be listed. Also, depending on the country the podcast is produced in, not all directories cater for all countries. For example, The Silent Why is based in the UK, so we can't list it in some of the big US directories that are US only.

Once you've found your player you can search for specific podcasts you've had recommended, e.g. The Silent Why (...what? We had to get that in there somewhere!), subjects, famous names, hobbies, careers, you name it, there's probably podcasts about it.

Then you can subscribe/follow the podcast (so it's saved for you to find quickly next time), or set-up notifications to be told when the next episode is out.

You can hit play and listen straight away or you can download it if you want to listen at a time when you don't want to rely on having WiFi or a good data connection.

And the great thing is your podcast player should always remember where you got up to, and just wait for you to come back and carry on listening.

We hope this has helped you get started on a fantastic new chapter of podcast listening.

 

Listening to podcasts on a smart speaker

There's probably not much point reading this unless you have a smart speaker, want a smart speaker, or are a smart speaker.

Well done, you're probably attempting the most modern way to listen to podcasts, but it might also be the trickiest and most limiting. At the moment.

New smart speakers are constantly be released and updated, so this is probably already behind the times, but I promised to help you, so I will.

I'm going to give you a broad overview of how to do this.​

To save a lot of yelling and confusion, currently I would highly recommend,  the easiest way route to play podcasts through your smart speakers - connect your phone via bluetooth and play them from there.

However, if you're all about the voice-commands you can try asking them to play podcasts that you know the full, correct name for, so long as they're actually listed in the directory the smart speaker is programmed to search through. Your speaker, if it finds it, will play the latest episode and may offer the option to play the previous episode if asked as well.

The top smart speaker brands are currently: Amazon, Google and Apple. Each will default to their own apps for podcasts but you can also use other apps if you set it up.

To test your smart speaker try saying something like (obviously substitute the activation name for the one you have):

"Alexa, play the The Silent Why podcast."

(and yes, she'll probably search for The Silent Wife!)

The speaker should tell you which app they're playing it from (if they find it at all).

If you are set up to a music streaming service you can use that by saying something like:

"Alexa, ask Spotify to play The Silent Why podcast."

For specific commands when listening to podcasts on your smart speaker we recommend searching the internet for more specific articles and reviews.

We hope this has helped you get started on a fantastic new chapter of podcast listening.