Podcasts are a great and free source of entertainment. You can find them in both audio or video formats, though the bulk of them are audio only. If you have an interest in a particular topic, you’ll most likely be able to find shows that are dedicated to your interests. Whether it’s Walking Dead, baseball or the iPhone, there’s a podcast for everyone. So how do you get started? Read on for how to listen to podcasts on iPhone. We’ll cover all the important topics including finding, subscribing and managing your podcasts.
Not long ago, Podcasts had its very own section smack dab in the Music tab. For some curious reason, Apple jettisoned the Podcasts feature to a separate app. This app does not come pre-installed in iOS, so you’ll want to download the free Podcasts app from the App Store. There are a number of great third-party apps for listening to podcasts, but for the purpose of getting started with podcasts, we’ll stick with Apple’s app. Later in the article, we offer our recommendations for the best third party apps for listening to podcasts.
When you first install the Podcasts app, you’ll have an option to sync your Podcasts between devices. This is a fantastic option. Let’s say you switch from your iPhone to iPad mini, the Podcasts app will use your Apple ID to track your location in the podcast. Since podcasts can range in running time, it can be extremely frustrating if you have to start searching through an hour long show for where you last left off. No worries, click on Sync between devices and Apple’s Podcast app will keep track.
Podcasts are usually weekly or bi-weekly dependent upon the show’s schedule. Who has time to continuously check iTunes for an update. You can turn on the option to auto-download new episodes of your podcast subscriptions. Another nifty feature that makes it easy to relax and enjoy your shows.
Subscribing to Podcasts in iTunes
Assuming you are new to podcasts, there are a number of ways to find and subscribe to podcasts in iTunes. Within the Podcasts app, they’ve integrated the Podcasts section of the iTunes Store. Click on the ‘Featured’ tab to reveal the storefront for podcasts. No different that with apps or music, you can start the top of the charts and you even have an option to view by Video or Audio. The Categories link at the top right is super helpful for find podcasts specific to your favorite hobby or interest. When you locate a podcast that looks good, you can press the episode number to start streaming the show. If you want to download a particular episode, just select the down arrow to the right. The ‘Related’ link is also useful, helping to find podcasts with similar content.
To subscribe to a podcast within iTunes, tap on the ‘Subscribe’ button to the right of the podcast cover art.
Global Podcast Settings
- Navigate to Settings > Podcasts
- Sync Podcasts: This will keep your podcasts in sync with iTunes and your iOS devices.
- Only Download on WiFi: Here you’ll be able to decide if you want the Podcasts app to use Cellular-Data. If you have a limited data plan or find yourself teetering on overages, setting this to ‘Off’ will require WiFi accessibility in order to download new episodes.
Setting Up Your Individual Podcasts Settings
There are several settings that accompany the Podcasts app and they are specific to each podcast. Tap on the My Podcasts app at the bottom and select any of your current podcasts. Tap the > to the right of the podcast to view the description. Tap on the Settings link to set up your preferences for each individual podcast. You can set the playback order from Oldest to Newest or vice versa. You can also set the sort order and modify your subscription. There are also settings specific to your iPhone. These include settings for when to refresh the podcast, any limits you’d like to set and what episodes you would like to download.
Managing, Organizing and Deleting Podcasts
The default view for Podcasts shows cover art for your shows. You can easily order your podcasts. Press and hold on the cover art of a show. It will expand and you can move arrange it to your preference.
If you want to delete an entire podcast from your iPhone, press the ‘Edit’ button. You’ll see an ‘x’ next to the cover art. Note that by pressing the ‘x’ will completely remove the podcast and all episodes.
To delete an individual podcasts, press the ‘list’ view at the top right of the app. Select the show for which you’d like to delete a show. Swipe to the left and tap the ‘Delete’ button.
Top 5 Podcast Apps
Apple’s app is very capable. If you find yourself listening to more and more shows, you may want to consider a third party app. You’re in luck, because it is an embarrassment of riches. Here five of our favorite podcast apps.
- Overcast (Free with in-app purchases)
- Pocket Casts ($3.99)
- Downcast ($2.99)
- Instacast (Free with in-app purchases)
- Castro ($3.99)
Podcasts are a great way to bring rich, engaging and fresh content both in audio and video formats to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Apple’s own Podcast app is a great way to get started with Podcasts and there are a number of great alternative apps that you can explore.