Podcasts – Are you passionate or perplexed?

When the Buggles proclaimed that video killed the radio star, they probably had no idea that the art of listening would make a dramatic comeback decades later – thanks to a tech-enhanced makeover. Introducing the podcast…

What is podcasting?

Originally called ‘audioblogging’, podcasting began to catch on in the early to mid 2000’s, coinciding with the dawn of broadband internet and portable media devices such as the iPod. In fact, the term ‘podcast’ is a marriage of the words ‘iPod’ and ‘broadcast’.

The rise in the popularity of podcasts has been phenomenal. For example, in the US, the proportion of the population that had listened to a podcast in the previous month rose from 9% in 2008 to 21% in 2016.

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Why is podcasting so popular?

The reason behind the success of podcasting lies in the convenience factor. Unlike reading or watching videos, you can listen to podcasts while doing other things. Indeed, research shows that after home, the most popular places to listen to a podcast is in a vehicle, while exercising, or while falling asleep in bed.

Furthermore, some people are listeners rather than readers, in that listening is their preferred way of absorbing information. I myself am an avid reader – however, even I see the benefits of listening. Podcasts allow me to learn and laugh while I go about the business of parenting and life, e.g. cooking, ironing.

There’s also something quite… primal about sharing and receiving information orally. As one of the oldest forms of human communication, we are perhaps better wired for oral communication. Certainly, its ease and versatility served our pre-literate ancestors well. Perfect for those times when a predator was approaching and there was no time to, say, invent an alphabet or find a cave wall on which to sketch a salivating lion.

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How to listen to and subscribe to podcasts

If you’re not already a podcast listener and are interested in jumping on the bandwagon, it’s super easy to do so. You can download a podcast from its homepage (usually a website), or you could use one of several apps available on both iOS (iPhone) and Android.

iOS devices

Apple has a podcast app called (funnily enough) Podcasts, which should already be on most iPhones. All you need to do is subscribe to a podcast through iTunes and it will automatically sync to your Podcasts app. Or you can simply conduct a search of podcasts, choose an episode and listen.

Android devices

There is now a podcast section of Google Play Music which allows you to search for, download and subscribe to podcasts. You can also turn on notifications to alert you when new episodes are released.

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Many people will listen religiously to a podcast series, just like tuning into your favourite radio drive time show (but at times that suit you). Others will search around for something new and interesting to listen to, depending on what topic they’re interested in or what they feel like on the day. There are no rules!

Some podcasts to get you started…

Interested in crime stories and think you might have an eye (or rather, ear) for detail that might help solve a real-life crime? Serial is a hugely popular award-winning podcast series that narrates a true crime story over several episodes.

If you’d prefer something light-hearted and chuckle-worthy, check out beloved Aussie comedians Hamish and Andy as they put their unique spin on life’s funny moments.

Psst.. Did you know that Stuck on You is launching its own podcast series?

Stuck on You is launching a series of podcasts called The Organised Family. We will cover topics such as yummy recipes, creative home-organising tips, parenting advice and much more.

First off the rank is a podcast from the fabulous Louise Keats, mealtime maestro and revered member of Australian cookbook royalty (her grandmother is the legendary Margaret Fulton and her mother is renowned food writer, Suzanne Gibbs). Louise will discuss how to prevent and manage fussy eating, and how to set up healthy eating habits for your kids that will last a lifetime. Keep an ear out for our podcast debut, coming in July…

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Take us with you…