I’m a relative late-comer to podcasts.
A lot of my friends have been listening to them in the car or on the train, during their workouts, their kids’ naps, during bouts of house-cleaning, etc. for several years before I ventured in. They would recommend some great pods to listen to, but I shrugged them off because I didn’t think I had the time to add one more thing to my already cram-packed life.
But then I saw a new podcast series from one of my favorite business magazines and I wanted to dip my toe in the podcast pond.
Now, I’m completely smitten. I’m subscribed to more podcasts than I am e-mail newsletters (and that’s saying a lot given my line of work). Podcasts help give me a connection to thoughts and ideas (and people) I’d forgotten I could use in my life.
As we started to launch our own podcast at Putman Media, we asked around to see what might prevent people from listening. The overwhelming response? How do I listen?
Valid point, colleagues. If I didn’t know how to find or listen to a podcast in my early years, it stood to reason, neither would they. Which brings me to this blog post: A basic primer for How, What, When, Why, and Where to find and listen to podcasts.
First up, Why listen to a podcast
For me, podcasts are a great way to catch up on topics that I otherwise don’t have time to read or watch. A podcast is basically a radio show done on the Internet. They’re rarely ever live, but that serves a great purpose: Audio quality is usually fantastic on podcasts because you’re not hearing every little noise a radio show might have. They don’t require memberships or paywalls and you can listen to them just about anywhere. They also require very little work to listen to.
Which leads me to Where can you listen to a podcast?
If you have a device that has audio functionality and can connect to the internet at some point, you can listen to a podcast.
This also leads me to How can you listen to a podcast?
I typically listen to mine through my iPhone. Specifically, the Podcast Player (see that image over there->). If you have a Mac computer, you can find and listen (and subscribe) to podcasts through iTunes.
If you’ve got non-Apple devices, you can listen on third party apps like Player FM on Android, or on a tool like Overcast. Podcasts don’t have to be listened to on a phone either. You can also listen on Amazon devices (like an Echo).
I often listen to podcasts when I’m driving – via an aux cable to my phone – or while I’m working out. I find some of the best times to listen to them are when I’m going to be in one place for a while and want something to keep me entertained or informed (like an airplane/airport, train, etc.)
Location doesn’t really matter, and neither does time because you can listen to a podcast any time you want.
Which brings up, When should I listen to a podcast?
Most podcast series have a set schedule. There are weeklies, monthlies, quarterlies. Usually the frequency is listed in the show’s Show Notes. Show notes are a handy description that tells you the podcast is all about.
There are podcasts on meditating, which are great when you’re trying to fall asleep at night. You can listen to as many podcasts in one sitting as your little heart desires (or has time for).
If you’re not sure where to start, might I insert a shameless plug for the podcast we’ve started at Putman Media (Food Processing’s parent company).
Ok, Erin, What podcast should I listen to?
Manufacturing Tomorrow’s Workforce of course! In this podcast, we talk about the workforce issues that are affecting manufacturers across the country. We interview and talk to a lot of experts on how companies are dealing with the workforce shortage on the production floor as well as how we can find and train new people to fill the shortages. We’re three episodes in and we’ve got three more ready to go just in the next few months. It’s a great podcast you can listen to, learn from, then go tell your boss new methods to innovate for your company.
I hope that helped explain the basics of Podcasts and how you, too, can find that special connection. Let me know if you have any problems with finding the podcast, or if you’re interested in working with the podcast team on an upcoming episode.