A Beginner’s Guide to the World of Podcasts – I

The level of exposure to the world of podcasts is ever so growing. And if you’re still unobservant to it, you’re certainly in the minority here… !!

Podcasts embody what is arguably the essential promise of the Internet : a means for surprising, revealing, and above all ennobling encounters with people, things, and ideas we didn’t know. Listen to enough podcasts and you may come to feel that they are not merely of the Internet, but improved miniature version of it. Podcasts occupy a sophisticated position within what we might call, ‘the feel-good Web’ , that sunny slice of the neighborhood where uplifting and heartwarming tales of compassion form a shield against the cruelty and nastiness that overflow from YouTube comments and other online hellmouths…

It has deeper engagement, as listeners tend to stay tuned in longer than with blog content. Podcasts work as multitasking options, too — you can listen to a podcast while you cook or while you drive. The same can’t be said for blog posts or any form of visual content. In an antidotal, and almost paradoxical way, podcasts are the Internet freed from pixels…


So, How do you listen to this awesome stuff ?

Apps / Websites

Overcast (iOS)
Overcast is often considered the gold standard of iOS podcast apps, and for good reason. The clean interface is easy to thumb and swipe around in. It also has the advanced features like voice boost and silence trimming. Overcast supports playlists, so you can make lists of your favorite episodes, or a list of podcasts you want to listen to on a long trip. It’ll notify you of new episodes for your favorite shows, and if you’re low on storage you can set limits for how many episodes the app will download for offline listening. And yes, all these features are free !!

Podcast Addict (Android)
My personal favourite for Android, Podcast Addict is an ad supported free app, that allows you to discover, manage and listen to your podcasts. The free app isn’t limited so you have access to every features. A paid app called ‘Podcast Addict Donate’ allows you to support the app development with a one time donation of $3. Their collection pretty much covers all the famous ones, although search engine still has plenty of scope for improvement.

Pocket Casts (Android)
You can quickly see new episodes available for download, keep track of your unlistened episodes, set custom skip/rewind intervals to jump past ads or catch something you missed, and turn on voice boosting and silence trimming for an improved listening experience. If you take organization seriously, its episode filters can sort episodes to your heart’s content based on a handful of different variables. On top of all that, Pocket Casts rocks a colorful design that makes everything pop. Well worth the $4, if you’re ok with a paid app.

Podcast One
If you’re not an app person, Podcast One is the best destination for the best and most popular podcasts across many top genres, from sports, comedy, celebrity culture, entertainment, etc.
PodcastOne sees more than 1.5 billion downloads annually, across 350 episodes produced weekly.

Apple Podcast (iOS) / Spotify / player.fm

Every podcast app has a section filled with recommended shows you can browse. Start there. Some apps have better suggestions than others, but at least you’ll be able to find a few things you might like.

Read part II here…


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