How to listen to a podcast.

I recently tallied responses for a Quick & Dirty Survey which asked, “Do you listen to podcasts to learn more about books? And if your answer is yes, I’d love to know which ones.”

One bookseller replied, “Honestly, I don’t know how to listen to a podcast (seriously).”

I have a feeling you’re not alone, so here’s a guide on how to listen to a podcast.

On the Computer

Go directly to the source. The hosting website will offer a “play” button on their podcasts page so you can listen right away. You’ll be able to play the current podcast or search for past/archived podcasts.

Or you can listen directly from your computer using iTunes. To do so, you’ll need to download iTunes to your computer (which is free). Once it’s installed:

  1. Open iTunes on your computer.
  2. Click on the “iTunes Store” button.
  3. Select “podcasts” from the menu bar.
  4. Search for the podcast by name or by subject.
  5. When you select a specific podcast, episodes will be listed with the most recent first.
  6. To listen directly on your computer, press the “play” arrow which will appear on the left when you hover above each episode.

On the Go

If you would like to play your podcast later or take it on the road, you can stream or subscribe to podcasts directly to your phone. I use iTunes for this service, too. (If your phone does not support iTunes, let me know the details of the phone you’re using and I’ll help you figure out how to download podcasts.)

Use streaming if you do not want episodes to be stored on your phone, but this will require a continuous internet connection. If your phone has a “podcast” icon, click on it to search for the specific podcast, tap on the podcast to view details of the show, and then tap on the episode you want to play.

If you download a podcast episode, a copy of the episode is stored on your device so you can play it anytime… with or without an internet connection.

You can also subscribe to your favorite podcasts. You’ll receive new episodes automatically whenever they’re available.

Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she's a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type. @BethGolay