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Noah Paessel

★ How To Listen To Podcasts ★

Knowuh's twitch: Jan 28 2014

Tl; dr

Use Downcast. Listen to the short things first. Use Huffduffer. Curate your feeds.


I drive about 7 hours per week. Most people who commute probably drive that much, but I only drive 2 days per week, so its condensed. I used to drive 10.5 hours in 3 days, at which time I developed a pathological podcast listening habit. I have been tweaking my podcast consuming regiment for 4 years now. I am still an addict, I look for excuses to listen to my podcasts. I have even taken the drastic measure of jogging more frequently, just so I can slurp up my podcasts.

Choose good software

Even though Apple basically invented podcasting, never, under any circumstances use any of their software for listening to podcasts. Don't use iTunes, don't use their terrible 'Podcasts App' for IOS. I think anything else would be better. I have been very happy with Downcast. Here why I love it:

Though I love Downcast, I have also heard good things about Instacast & Pocket Casts. There is also a thorough comparison of all three over at iMore.

Listen to the short stuff first

There are a number of terrific short podcasts, that make an effort to keep their shows succinct. They should be applauded. I like to listen to those first, to get them out of the feed. In our attention driven economy (© 2010 Merlin Man) we all need to be efficient in our info-tainment slurpies.

HuffDuffer: The secret awesome

I am not sure I should mention this one, because it's totally my secret awesome. But I believe in promoting good things. Huffduffer lets you create a custom podcast feed for yourself, based on things you find while browsing around the internet. Its like Instapaper for podcast listening nerds. See an interesting Audio clip on NPR? Just use the Huffduffer bookmarklet to add it to your personalized Huffduffer podcast feed. You will need to tell your podcast listening software about this feed, and possibly feed it Huffduffer username and password.

Discovery: What to listen to

I will post some of my recommendations here sometime in the future. But if you have good podcast listening software, it will help you browse and discover feeds to listen to. Try things, and then un-subscribe from whatever was mediocre. Don't feel bad. Don't let your list of podcasts become overwhelming, or you could end up jogging a lot. Only keep the latest unlistened episodes. Keep it simple.