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Love the idea of podcasts, but have no idea where to get started? Here are five sites that can help.
Podcasts are the greatest way to relax at the end of the day, or to distract your mind during an otherwise boring task, but if you’re new to the hobby it can be overwhelming. What should I use to listen? Which shows are good? How am I supposed to find anything?
I can’t answer these questions for you – which shows you like is going to depend on your interests. But I can point to several sites with recommendations. Let’s get started.
Earbud.fm (Web): Curated Podcast Episodes from NPR
Say what you will about NPR – and I’m sure someone will in the comments – but they’ve done some pretty innovative web stuff in the past few years. NPR One, for example, is basically Pandora for news – learning what you like and serving up a combination of national and local stories for you.
Earbud.fm is different, in that it’s a collection of podcast episodes from the broader web – not just NPR. A combination of celebrities, listeners and public radio employees all contribute podcast episodes they’ve enjoyed, all presented in a single stream for you to browse. Click play and you can listen right in the browser – repeat until you find something you like.
It’s a great way to find something to listen to right now – and, potentially, a show you’ll be listening to for years to come. Dive in.
Product Hunt Podcasts (Web): Discover New Podcasts Every Day
We’ve talked about Product Hunt, where you can find great new apps every day (and this column owes a great deal of debt to it). Recently they launched a podcast service, and it’s a surefire way to find something worth listening to.
Again, you can listen to the featured episodes without leaving the site, so you can explore episodes until you find something you like. Product Hunt’s users contribute many episode every day, so you can check back often to find new things from all over the web.
Player FM (Android, Free): Android Podcast App with Great Directory
We’ve long argued about the best podcast app for Android, and I’m not sure we’ll ever have a definitive answer for everyone. But if you want something clean, functional, free, and without ads, I recommend checking out Player FM.
It’s got a great directory for finding new shows, and new episodes of things you subscribe to are downloaded for offline listening. There’s also a web client, so you can listen to your subscriptions on your computer.
Miro Guide (Web): The Other Podcast Directory
“Subscribe on iTunes”, every podcast tells you. But what if you’re a Linux user, or otherwise not exactly a fan of Apple’s ecosystem? You could just Google the podcasts name, along with the word “RSS”, and hope for the best. Or you could check out the Miro Guide.
Miro, an all-in-one application to manage all of your media, is few people’s favorite media player. But that doesn’t mean the app’s directory, which is one of the better ones that’s accessible with only a web browser, isn’t worth knowing about. Search for any show here and you can listen to recent episodes and even copy the RSS feed for use with whatever app you prefer. And it’s relatively easy to publish your podcast here as well, if you’re a creator.
NPR Editorial Training: Resources for Making Your Own Podcast
Speaking of people who want to make their own podcast: you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you. I personally spent two years on a podcasting project, and learned a lot (I keep saying I’ll get back to the art someday, but we’ll see if I ever follow through on that threat). I wish that NPR’s Editorial Training, a collection of resources for anyone who wants to make podcasts, was available back then.
This content is mostly intended for NPR employees, and the employees of public radio stations, but they’ve left it open so civilians like us can read it. And you should: you’ll find a variety of articles explaining useful principals, usually with several examples.
If you’re a budding audio artist, check this site out regularly – you’ll learn a thing or two. Even if you’re not interested in making a show, longtime podcast fans – and public radio fans – can probably learn a few things about the magic behind such content just by exploring the site. A few articles are protected, but most of them are open to the public.
How Do You Discover Great Podcasts?
We’ve recommended various podcasts over the years, but I want to know: what are your favorite shows, and how did you discover them? Let’s swap stories and shows in the comments below.