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Resources for enjoying podcasts
If you’re expanding your podcast horizons this summer, you have more than a million* shows to choose from. Today’s post features resources to help you cut through the audio clutter and enjoy great listens this summer. Thanks for reading and sharing!
Listen to podcasts for free
Castro. Yes, the default player on your phone is fine. But I find Castro’s design better fits the way I actually listen to podcasts.
Step 1. Start by searching for and subscribing to shows that interest you. Those flow into the app’s inbox tab.
Step 2. Scroll through episodes that show up in the inbox tab and tap some to populate your listening queue. It’s similar to the way Netflix and Spotify let you line up what to watch or listen to next.
Castro saves space on your device and reduces data consumption. Individual episodes aren’t automatically downloaded. The app only downloads specific episodes you tap. If you prefer, you can set it to automatically queue up every new episode of a show you like.
More on Castro: For a deeper dive, see my previous post.
Bonus feature: Share highlights from an episode you’re listening to as video clips to a social network or by email or message. Here’s a clip I posted to Twitter.
A great free alternative for Android and iOS
Pocket Casts is an excellent option for Android and iOS and works well with CarPlay and Android Auto for listening on summer drives, as well as with AirPlay and Chromecast for listening in your living room. It also syncs across multiple devices. Both Castro and Pocket Casts enable you to listen at faster speeds.
Plus: More good Android podcast apps.
Find a podcast that mentions a specific person or topic
Listen Notes Type in a name, organization, keyword or phrase to quickly locate podcasts where that’s mentioned. It’s great for discovering podcasts covering people or topics of interest to you. Or finding interviews with an author you love.
Bonus features: You can also use Listen Notes to make and share playlists or to clip and share key moments from podcast episodes.
Tip: Filter by language to find shows from around the world, or by region, show length or category. Thanks to Rob, a reader who mentioned this service in a comment.
Listen to one of these excellent interview shows
+1 for optimism: This New Yorker podcast episode offered a rare positive look at what DIDN’T go wrong last year.
+1 for masterful storytelling: 🎧 Listen to this phenomenal episode of “Against the Rules” podcast by Michael Lewis (Season 3 episode 2). He weaves two dramatic stories together. Superb audio storytelling. Every episode of this show is terrific.
Listening Tip: Try setting your listening speed to 1.5x. Give yourself a minute to adjust. If you’re like many podcast fans, you’ll end up enjoying more of the shows you love in less time, with no dip in comprehension.
Caveat: Avoid 1.5x for music podcasts or those where pacing and pauses are part of the editorial art.
Faster playback works particularly well for chatcasts, where two people are gabbing freeform. I prefer podcasts that are edited, where the signal to noise ratio tends to be higher.
Pick a show from my curated podcast list
The list excludes celebrity chats, political rants, and heavily-promoted shows at the top of the podcast charts. Use the QR code to see this list on your phone. 👇
What are YOU listening to and enjoying these days? Share a podcast 🙉 recommendation as a comment 👇
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p.s. You’re invited to learn more about Web3 and what it means for journalism on Friday, June 17 starting at 11am ET. You’ll learn about NFTs, DAOs, the Metaverse and their ramifications for journalism from standout presenters. RSVP for free
*2 million podcasts. That’s the commonly cited number of total podcasts. It’s an overstatement, though. Research suggests that 44% of published podcasts peter out after just three or fewer episodes, so there are only about 1.2 million that stretch beyond that start. That’s still a lot to choose from.