Beginner's Guide to Podcasts on the iPhone

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Taking it Up a Notch

Podcasts are Apple’s gift to mankind. They make the morning commute fun, they make the afternoon commute even better, and anywhere there’s a few hours spent doing a monotonous task, a podcast is typically a must. That’s why the iPhone and podcasts were essentially made for one another. The reasons boil down to the iPhone’s podcast downloading capabilities and its iPod interface. Let’s analyze both of these features to help you use the iPhone to its maximum potential.

Podcast Downloading Capabilities

The iPhone feature that you should most be excited for is the fact that the iTunes music store now features on-the-go podcast downloads. This means that your iPhone no longer needs to truly be tethered to a computer until you need to recharge it (but even then, there’s always the included wall plug). Using the iTunes music store, or through the podcast interface in the iPod part of the iPhone, you’ll be able to quickly download all your favorites while out and about with an active Wi-Fi connection or just through the typical cellular network. These podcasts will be able to completely revolutionize the way you get these podcast shows – especially because you can try out new podcasts away from your computer by playing them on your iPhone.

Using the iPhone’s iPod Interface

The iPhone’s touch screen has made life a whole lot simpler than it was before by spacing out podcasts, music and playlists all into separate categories that are not only easy to navigate, but also easy to find how much time remains and which episode of the podcast it is (specifically by date). The best part is that any new downloads made in the podcast portion of the iTunes store will go directly into the iPod interface and be ready for you to listen as soon as the download is complete. Smart playlists can be made with specific podcasts that update themselves on your own schedule rather than the quick and daily checks that are made automatically by the iTunes music store. You can also manually add podcasts that are downloaded onto your computer.

Podcasts are essential to your life as an iPhone owning user – they’ll make your life easier in ways you never imagined. Want to learn a foreign language? There’s a podcast. Want to get rid of your exercise videos? Try the exercise video podcasts. Have a favorite subject that you’d love to listen to at length? I guarantee there’s a podcast for everyone except the most obscure topics. In my two years of listening to podcasts, I have seen them come and go, but as long as the institution stays in place, podcasts might be the next evolution of a la carte radio listening.