What is a Podcast and How to Listen to a Podcast

Hi. If you are new to podcasts, welcome.

A podcast is similar to a radio program, like The Rest of the Story with Paul Harvey, Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion or America’s Top 40 with Casey Casem, except it’s available on demand – ready for you to listen to it, when you want to listen.

Podcasts are usually free for you to listen to. You can easily easily listen to a podcast, using an app on a smartphone or through a voice-enabled device like an Amazon Echo (‘Hey Alexa’) or Google Home device (‘Hey, Google’) **but we have not yet figured out how to get them listed on Alexa or Google Home devices – the kids are working on that**

How to Listen on an iPhone

Let’s take a look at how to listen to find and listen to a podcast on a smartphone.

The iPhone comes with the Apple Podcast app installed.

You can browse podcasts using Siri. Siri is the voice activated helper on your iPhone.

You can ask Siri to open podcasts for you.

Say ‘Hey Siri, search for podcast, Return of the Birds,’ and Siri will do its thing. You’ll get a screen that looks like this:

Tap on the bird image (the Bluebird with the orange breast) to select the podcast.

Tap the inviting, purple ‘SUBSCRIBE’ button and episodes will automatically arrive on your phone for you to listen to using the Apple Podcast app.

To listen to a podcast, tap the episode, like ‘Episode 1: Introduction.’

If it doesn’t being playing automatically, tap the arrow key to begin playing the podcast episode.

But if Siri is being uncooperative, you can also search for a podcast.

If you know the name of the podcast you want – like Return of the Birds, tap into the Search field, where it says ‘All Podcasts’ and then type in Return of the Birds:

And tap the Episode, like Episode 1: Introduction.

Tap the arrow key to begin playing.

Curious about other podcasts? You can browse the podcast catalog.

Scroll down and you’ll find Top Shows, Top Episodes and curated lists of podcasts to explore.

Enjoy. Don’t forget to subscribe.