What are podcasts?
Podcasts are free audio programmes. You can listen on a computer, but you can also download them to your smartphone or tablet and then you don’t need a phone signal or internet connection to listen to them.
A little like a radio show on a specific subject - in that they are, usually released as a series - podcasts are available to listen to at any time of the day or night, as opposed to the timed broadcasting of a radio show.
Podcasts are typically between 20 minutes and an hour long, meaning you can fit them into your everyday routine. Perhaps doing the gardening or housework, on a walk, or even in the bath. You can pause and pick up where you left off, and there’s no restriction on how many you can download or listen to except for the storage capacity of your phone.
Where do I start?
You can listen to a podcast on your mobile or tablet via various different apps. If you have an iPhone or iPad you can listen and search for podcasts using the Apple podcasts app which should be already on your phone. If you don’t have an iPhone, but have an Android phone you use the Google Podcasts app.
What are podcasts about?
With over 850,000 podcasts available there’s always something to listen to – 24 hours of the day, seven days a week. It’s no wonder that more than seven million people in the UK listen to podcasts each week – an increase of more than 50 per cent over the past five years.
For instance, if you want to know about the history of recorded sound, there’s a podcast for that. Or if you want to listen to a melodic Scot musing on wool and knitting that’s covered too.
Whether you’re trying to find something funny, educational or emotional – or maybe just looking for advice on a specific thing – there really is something for everyone. However, with such a wide range of content available, where do you start? We’re here to help
A good start would be to browse by topic- if you already know you’re interested in true crime stories, or baking, or music from the 70s, use the search feature on your podcast player and just type in some keywords- see what comes up. Another good place to start is to search the name of a celebrity or comedian you’re already a fan of. Lots of people in the public eye have podcasts out there or may be guests on other people’s podcasts.
If you’re feeling adventurous, have a look through topics you would never normally be interested in, and you may be delighted to find a new favourite host, or a new style of storytelling that you enjoy.