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How To Listen To Podcasts In 6 Easy Steps

podcasts

Here’s a quick start guide to go from hearing people talk about podcasts to listening to them yourself.

Follow the steps associated with whichever type of device you have.

iOS (iPhone)

  • Open the “Podcasts” app. This is a default app which comes on all new iPhones. If you’re using an older model you can search the App Store and download it for free.
  • Tap the third icon on the bottom titled “Browse.”
  • Tap “Featured” and select something that looks interesting. You can delete this podcast later if need be.
  • Looking at the show’s page, tap “Subscribe.”
  • That show is now in the “Library” section. You can find it by tapping on the icon on the bottom of the screen.
  • In the “Library” section tap “Episodes” to see all the episodes from the show you’re subscribed to. Touch the top one to start listening.

apple podcasts

You are now subscribed to a podcast, meaning, each time that podcast has a new episode, it will show up automatically. You can listen at your convenience in the car, while exercising, or at home; all through your phone.

Android

  • Open “Google Play Music.” This is an app that should come on your phone by default. If not, you can download it in Google Play app store.
  • Tap on the menu icon in the top left corner. It looks like three horizontal lines.
  • Select “Podcasts” from that list.
  • That will bring you to featured podcasts. Find one that looks interesting and tap on it. You can delete this podcast later if need be.
  • Looking at the show’s page, tap “Subscribe.” You will get a pop up with multiple options. Make sure notifications are selected on the pop up so you will know when a new episode comes out.
  • You can find that podcast you subscribed to at the top, under “Your Podcasts.” Tap it to start listening.
google play podcasts
photo via Ars Technica

That’s it. You’re officially a podcast listener. Congrats. Now comes the fun part of sorting through the thousands of shows that might interest you. There are plenty of good ones out there.

If you do want to try a new podcast app on iPhone, you should check out Overcast. It has something super special about it.

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The Best Podcast App Includes This One Amazing Feature

podcast app

There are a dozen decent apps that you can use to listen to podcasts across Android and iOS; but they’ve become so similar that the biggest difference is how they look.

Podcast apps like Castro and Apple’s default podcast app are fine and provide plenty of functionality, but, after venturing out and trying some new ones, I found it nearly impossible to switch away from the podcast app Overcast, for one simple reason:

Overcast includes a feature called Smart Speed.

overcast podcast app

Smart Speed shortens the silence gaps between people speaking and helps you get through podcast episodes quicker, without having to listen to the whole thing at an unnatural speed.

Typically, if you want to listen to something faster, you play the whole thing at 1.25x or 1.5x the original speed. Speeding the whole thing up doesn’t sound great and can make listening harder. Dynamically shortening the silence between talking, moves things along without making people sound funny.

Smart Speed sounds neat, but is making the short time between people speaking really saving that much time? Yes. After two years, Smart Speed has trimmed 77 hours off the podcasts I’ve listened to inside Overcast.

Put another way, I’ve saved more than 3 days of listening time.

smart speed overcast

In addition to Smart Speed, another feature called Smart Resume now intelligently resumes playing a few seconds earlier than when the episode was paused or stopped (without starting in the middle of a word). A less significant feature, but equally as nice to have.

Overall, Overcast is a fantastic podcast playing app and well worth trying out–especially because it’s the only app to have a Smart Speed type of feature. It’s available for iPhones and iPads in the App Store.