I have mentioned podcasts here before and promised I would give you more information on what they are and how to listen to them. My podcast app of choice is Podkicker and I have used this one for a couple of years now.
So, what is a podcast? Put simply, it is an audio (or video) stream that providers like radio stations or other companies and individuals make available to listen to or watch. The streams are usually provided as episodes that can be either listened to as a continous stream (similar to watching a YouTube video for example) or downloaded so they can be listened to ‘offline’ later.
You can simply search for and then ‘subscribe’ (for free) to a podcast series within most players. Podkicker lets you do this very simply and the main screen shows the podcasts you have subscribed to, the episodes available and the ones you have downloaded. You search for podcasts by tapping the ‘Add podcast’ button beside the refresh button at the top, typing in a phrase or words and then search. If you already know the address of the stream – called the RSS-url – you just enter this into the second tab area. These addresses are often provided on websites that offer podcast streaming.
The range of podcasts covers everything from commercial radio stations to small hobbyists who simply want to tell the world what they are up to. For example, I subscribe to many of the TWiT network ones. TWiT is a podcast network started by the technology broadcaster Leo Laporte and his Tech Guy, This Week in Tech and This Week in Google are among my favourites.
To get started in the podcast world, maybe search for the TWiT shows from Podkicker – just enter the word ‘twit’ and you will see a list of the shows. Note that the type of stream is shown in brackets after the title of the show – MP3 (audio stream), Video-LO (video stream low quality suitable for phones & tablets) and Video-HI (best quality video but larger downloads). When you have found one you like, simply tap the ‘Subscribe’ button.
I suggest you subscribe to a few podcasts either just audio or a mix of some audio and video then go back to the main screen. Next, refresh the feeds that you have subscribed to, then tap the episodes tab to see what is available. Tap any podcast to view the notes about the episode then either tap ‘Stream’ to listen immediately or ‘Download’ to get the entire episode to listen to it later at your leisure. Note that the duration of the episode and the size of the file is usually shown in the info area below the description – this is important especialy for video files as they can be quite large.
I think of podcasts as ‘on demand radio’ where I can choose the station and program that I want to listen to and when I want to do so. There is a huge range of them available covering any topic you can think of. Some sound a little amateurish for sure (the TWiT ones are very professionally done) but that adds to the entertainment in my opinion!
Have fun and let us know your favourite podcasts in the comments
Price : FREE (Podkicker Pro adds features & removes ads)
Size : varies with device
Needs : varies with device