by Tony Rushin
Of course I’ve known about podcasts for years and have listened to one or two that people have sent to me. However, I’ve never been a regular listener. Jerod, my film PA / Uber driver son, keeps talking about the podcasts he enjoys. Since it’s my turn for the Tuesday Tip, and since I have a 13-hour (one way) drive to Pennsyltucky this Friday for my wife’s family reunion, the timing is right for me to dig into podcasts and see how they work.
Podcasts are easy. And there are podcasts on every topic imaginable. They’re somewhat similar to audio books (see my previous Tuesday Tip: Listen Any Good Books Lately?) but the format is more like radio: digital, internet-based radio.
To get started, you need a podcast app so you can search for, download, organize, and play podcasts. For my iPhone I got the free version of Overcast. I didn’t put a lot of thought into it; just went with the podcast app that had the highest rating. I could have gone with the Apple Podcast app that’s built in to iOS 8 but I felt rebellious. If you have an Android phone, here are some choices: The four best podcast apps for Android phones.
I went into the Overcast app, set up an account and searched for the podcasts I wanted. I started with the two Jerod thought I would like: On Being and The Memory Palace. Turns out that these two podcasts are also on the TED Staff’s top 45 podcasts list, which has some interesting-looking podcasts. I subscribed to both podcasts (which just means I’ll automatically get alerted when the next installment is available) and then download the episodes I want to listen to next. By the way, Overcast came with the default setting to not allow podcast downloads over cellular, which I appreciate. Of course, the podcasts take up memory on your phone so you’ll want to manage how many you store locally.
I suggest that you listen to The Memory Palace episode from June 29, 2015, entitled “Every Night Ever”, especially if you live in metro Atlanta. The Memory Palace features short, true stories from history – not necessarily about famous people. The stories are told in a fun, quirky way and the story referenced above is about an alien encounter in Lithia Springs, Georgia in the 1950’s.
Searching and adding other podcasts to your library is simple. I like history and biographies so a couple of searches while in Overcast revealed these two podcasts: 5 Minute Biographies and History in Five Minutes Podcast. Now I’m looking forward to listening to the 5 minute biography on Boris Karloff (“The monster was the best friend I ever had”), learning why the British government lied about carrots being good for your eyes (hint: it’s about deceptive tactics used during war) and the origin of “The Finger” and why we call it The Bird (by the way, the picture to the left was referenced in The Bird podcast; not the carrot lie podcast). I’m sure my new-found podcast knowledge will make me a hit at my wife’s family reunion!
There’s also a wide range of business Podcasts available. I subscribed to several including: Manager Tools, Sales Lead Management, TED Radio Hour and Vistage Executive Street Blog.
I’d love to learn from you: what are your favorite podcasts?
Keep up with our latest tips at: