Podcasts are on-demand audio shows similar to a radio talk show.
The longer answer is there are thousands of shows covering nearly every imaginable topic available for free to listen to when, where and how you’d like.
Interested in hearing more about a favorite TV show or star you follow? There are tons of podcasts for that. Want to hear an interview with a successful entrepreneur? Yup, there’s a podcast for that as well. Don’t have time to catch the news when it airs on TV or radio but would like to hear a show covering world news? Ditto. There’s a podcast for that as well.
With podcasts you choose which shows you’d like to hear and they can be automatically downloaded standing by ready for you when you’re ready for them.
And the best part?
The vast majority of podcasts are FREE!
There’s no catch, no obligation and no signing up involved. You choose the podcasts you want to subscribe to and they’ll be delivered to you to listen to on a regular basis for free.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Aren’t podcasts just “Internet Radio”?
With actual radio programs you’re at the mercy of the station you’re tuned into. You can’t pause radio, you can’t listen to exactly what you want when you want and if you missed what someone said, you can’t rewind it. Podcasts change all of that as you have complete control over when, where, how and even how fast or slow you listen. Not to mention you can skip back as well as forward to get to the section you’re interested in quickly.
Q: Don’t I need an Apple iPod in order to listen to podcasts?
No, not at all.
Podcasts are delivered as an MP3 file which can be played on nearly any cell phone or tablet (using mobile apps) or any portable media device available today. Not to mention desktop apps on all operating systems on any computer in your home.
Since you’re here…
…Although the widely accepted name is “podcast” the origin of the word actually predates the inclusion of podcasts in the Apple iTunes directory and doesn’t have anything directly to do with the Apple iPod. The word was invented by british journalist Ben Hammersley in 2004 when writing an article about the new on-demand audio files that were becoming available at the time. It wasn’t until the next year that Apple started including podcasts in the iTunes directory.
Q: Doesn’t subscribing to a podcast cost money?
All subscribing does is notify you when a new episode is released and/or it will be automatically be downloaded for you. To learn how to adjust those settings be sure to check out our mobile apps and desktop apps pages.