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What the Heck is a Podcast and why should I be listening to them?

What the Heck is a Podcast and why should I be listening to them? While some Boomers are moving back onto their Alma mater college campus and signing up for one class so that they have full access to all the university has to offer such as the cafeteria, library, fitness facilities and tons of youth to engage with, others are engaging in other ways such as traveling or simply listening to podcasts.  What’s a podcast?  I had the same question a couple of years ago.  So, I thought instead of you going through the pain of figuring this out like I had too, we are friends now and friends help each other out, so I wrote you a podcast how to.

Podcasts are free, downloadable audio shows. There are thousands, if not millions of podcasts available. While they’ve been around for over a decade now, podcasts are seeing a surge of popularity with independent shows like Serial and Radiolab, in addition to podcasts from the likes of ESPN and National Public Radio.

Unlike traditional radio or television, podcasts require a bit of work to set up, but once you’re there a world of audio enjoyment awaits. It may seem a bit daunting at first, but once you get started the process becomes second nature.

A tool called a podcatcher is used to download podcasts. Think of a podcatcher like a TV or radio station where you get to choose all the programming. Most podcasts are available in all podcatchers, so in general you won’t have to worry about missing out on your preferred device.

There are a number of different podcatchers available for Windows computers, Macs, iPhones, iPads, Android phones, Kindle Fire tablets, and even some televisions. Each tool should have a directory included where you can search for podcasts by name, topic, or keyword. Many also come with recommendations or charts to let you know what’s popular.

After you’ve found the podcast you want to listen to, you can subscribe to it (similar to subscribing to a newspaper or newsletter). This will download the most recent episode and make sure that every new episode downloads as well. You can also download individual episodes if you want to check the back catalog, or if you just want one or two episodes before you decide to subscribe. Subscribing costs nothing, and helps the show creators gain visibility, so if you like a show you should subscribe!

Once the podcast you want to hear has downloaded, you can usually click or tap on it to play it back. You can listen to it as many times as you want. Some podcatchers will delete a show after you listen to it, but you can always download episodes again whenever you’d like.

To sum up, the steps to get started with listening to podcasts are as follows:

  1. Download a podcatcher – we’ve got a handy guide for you HERE
  2. Search the directory in that podcatcher to find the show you want to hear
  3. Download individual episodes, or subscribe
  4. Play your podcast!

Using Apple Podcasts on iPhones and iPads

  1. Go to your Apple App Store.
  2. Download and install the Podcasts app from the App Store.
  3. Launch the app. You’ll be greeted with a welcome screen with some basic info about the app. Tap Start Listening Now to proceed.
  4. To search for a podcast, tap the Search icon in the lower-right corner.
  5. Tap in the text field under Search and type in whatever you’d like to search for. For example: seniors, baby boomers, etc. Then tap the blue Search button in the lower-left corner.
  6. The search results will load. Shows will appear at the top, and swiping them to the left will reveal more results. Individual episodes that match your search term will appear below.
  7. Tap on an episode to reveal its details. You can press the Play button to stream the episode, or the + button to add it to your library, then tap the download icon to listen on the go.
  8. If you tap on a show in your results, you’ll then see the info page for that show, along with recent episodes. You can tap the + on an individual episode to add it to your library, or tap Subscribe to to have the app automatically download the most recent episode and all future episodes.
  9. You can find unplayed and recently listened to podcasts by tapping the Listen Now icon in the lower-left corner. To see all your subscriptions, tap the Library icon to the right of the Listen Now icon.

Using Podcast Addict on Android

  1. Go to the Google Play Store on your phone.
  2. Download and install Podcast Addict or other “podcatcher” from the Google Play Store.
  3. Launch the app. You’ll be greeted with a Get Started screen. To add a podcast, tap the + icon in the upper-right corner.
  4. Tap the Search Engine tile in the upper-left corner.
  5. Tap the text field and type in whatever you’d like to search for. For example: seniors, baby boomers, etc. Check the box for Use iTunes Search Engine. Then, tap Search.
  6. Your search results will load in two tabs: Podcasts and Episodes.
  7. To subscribe to a listed podcast, tap the checkmark next to it. This will have the app automatically download the most recent episode and all future episodes.
  8. You can also tap the Episodes tab to see episodes that match your search. Tap on the episode’s name to stream it, or tap the download button to save it to your device for listening on the go.

Click to get your Podcast Cheat Sheet

BLT Podcast Info Graphic

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Lisa Cini
 

Lisa M. Cini is the Founder, President and CEO of Mosaic Design Studio. A global commercial design, project management and procurement company, Mosaic’s mission is to "Improve Quality of Life By Design." Lisa is regarded as the leading Alzheimer's and long-term care design expert in the nation, and has been recognized for her contributions in the field. Lisa is most gratified by helping people who are struggling with Alzheimer’s, find ways to cope as individuals, as families, and as communities.

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