Tips for The Podcast Newbie
By Sandhya Ramachandran
Some of you might be foreign to the world of podcasts. Let that not stop you from listening to this show and further engaging in this medium!
A podcast is essentially programming and is as varied as television shows when it comes to genres of content. Video podcasts also exist and as I write this article, I realize there's now enhanced podcasts that let you put in chapters, images and links. All things considered, when someone says 'podcast' they are usually referring to a purely audio format. Etymologically, Podcast = iPod + broadcast. Tempting as it is to riff on Apple's monopoly, I'll just say think of iTunes as a directory for podcasts.
We live in a time where there is constant bombardment of imagery, catering to consequently wavering attention spans. Even news articles are now bite sized in the form of 30 sec videos with short sentences and moving images.
Podcasts are the antithesis of flashy viral content.
You get long form material with depth and a point of view. Hosts tend to be passionate and are vested in gathering a community for their quirky interests. People with clout can afford to have podcasts that are more informal (read rambling) - a show where two people talk about food for example. Celebrity and comedian podcasts can also afford to stray from strictly topic centric discussion. Barring these exceptions, niche shows that are driven by information about a specific thing - like gaming strategy, mystical creatures, trivia, and sketchy history events - can thrive in this medium. There's also regular talk shows, an offshoot of a TV or web series sometimes. Lets not forget good ol' fictional storytelling, radio drama and non fiction personal journals! I've probably not covered everything but best to remember that YOU doing the discovery is the best way to make podcasts work for you. I've always wondered why dolphins seem so happy. I'm sure there's a podcast about sea animal behavior that could tell me more about dolphin joy. ON TO THE SEARCH BAR!
iTunes does a quick scan before approving a show so you won't accidentally be subjected to static and mumbling (the equivalent of a bad cat video?) and most importantly, podcasts tend to be FREE of cost.
How to Listen to a Show
Ok, I've sold you on the dope audio storytelling aspect but now you're wondering if it's going to require more than a swipe. Just a weeeeee bit more:
Stream on the website
In the case of Aliens with Visas: if you head to alienswithvisas.com, episodes are under the EPISODES title. You click it, you press play, keep the tab open and have the episode playing while you do design work or mindless things like scroll FB. Or have it play as you cook dinner!
On the go
Through apps like Stitcher, Overcast, iTunes/Podcasts and Google Play.
You probably haven't noticed but your iTunes page has an option called Podcasts.
Google Play Music's podcasts page looks like this:
These can be installed on your phone or other portable devices and lets you tune in while wasting away in traffic. Especially when you are on long drives, it's like having a super engaging discussion in the car.
So stop playing that one Spotify track on loop and optimize the potential of your headphones and the internet!
Aliens with Visas is immediately available on the website. It is currently being indexed and should be up on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Overcast in the next 12 hours!