NEW TO PODCASTS

I’m embarrassed to ask this, but I don’t know what a podcast is.

It’’s a perfectly valid question. Don’t be embarrassed. Podcasts are like radio shows, except they don’t broadcast across airwaves, continuously. They are digital, on demand audio content of every type you can imagine, about every topic in the world, available for you to listen to through a browser or an app on your smart phone, whenever you want. 

That’s cool! Who makes them? 

All you need to make a podcast is a computer and a microphone. So really, anyone can make a podcast. But the most popular ones are produced by well-known media companies, like NPR, American Public Media and the new, hip podcast companies on the block, like Gimlet Media. 

Do I have to pay to listen? 

Not usually. Unlike music or Netflix or your daughter’s dance recital, most podcasts are free to download, listen to, and keep forever, if you so choose. Some podcasts offer extra content for a small free. But it’s rare. 

I’m intrigued. How can I listen? 

The easiest way to listen to podcasts are via your mobile device. Apple iPhones have a Podcast app preinstalled on the current iOS. Open it and search for shows by title (it’s spelled S-O-R-T-A A-W-E-S-O-M-E) or check out the Featured or Top Charts lists for suggestions. You can then download current or past episodes to listen to on the go; downloading ensures you don’t eat up date on your cell plan. Or, if you’re just sitting at home or in the office, you can stream podcasts through the WiFi and not clutter the memory on your mobile. 

If you use an Android phone, or don’t like Apple’s native Podcast app, check out Stitcher. It’s another great way to listen to and subscribe to your favorite podcasts. 

Speaking of subscribe. So I found Sorta Awesome, and I see the Subscribe button next to the podcast title. What does that mean? 

Hit it, and wonderful things happen! Subscribing means new episodes of Sorta Awesome, and our bi-weekly shorter Extra Awesome, will automatically show up in your feed. Most podcast apps let you decide if you want new episodes to automatically download - or not. If you’re worried about memory or data cost, you can subscribe without automatic downloads, and download each episode when you’re ready to listen or stream it over WiFi. 

What if I don’t have a smart phone? I’m a Luddite. 

No problem! A lot of podcasts can play right on your computer. You can find audio files of each Sorta Awesome on our website. Just click show notes, you and you’ll see a play bar at the top of each episode.