How I Listen To Podcasts

I’m addicted to podcasts.

On any given day I spend several hours listening to podcasts.

Podcasts about business. Podcasts about lifestyle. Podcasts about coding and technology. Podcasts about anything that I’m interested in. In fact, my podcast feed is a pretty good snapshot of what’s on my mind at the moment.

I’ve listened to podcasts for years. Probably 10. And I clearly remember the first podcast I ever listened to. It was a short podcast by Steve Pavlina called “How to Make Money Without a Job“. I downloaded it as a .mp3 file and put it on my MP3 player. It was the only podcast on my MP3 player and I listened to it countless times. I remember listening to it on the train on my way to school and while I was cleaning the windows in my parents’ house. It really inspired me. And I loved the audio format.

Since listening to Steve Pavlina on my MP3 player, my podcasting practice has evolved quite a bit. I thought it’d be fun to share it here.

The tech

There are quite a few different podcast players out there. The one I use is called Pocket Casts and I love it. It’s one of the apps on my phone I use the most. If you are just getting started with podcasts, I definitely recommend that you buy Pocket Casts.

Intermezzo: Why I (only) listen at 1x speed

When you get into the world of podcast consuming, it won’t take long before you are introduced to the practice of listening to podcasts at 1.5, 2 or even 3 times normal speed. Like spooling through a tape on your Walkman. By listening on double speed, you can consume the double amount of content.

I used to listen at 1.5x speed for a while and I got completely used to it. But honestly, whenever I was listening in the kitchen, or somewhere else where other people could hear it, I actually thought it was a bit embarrassing. It emphasized the fact that I was literally addicted to podcasts. I couldn’t get enough. I needed more. Faster.

The reason I stopped listening at 1.5x speed, though, was that it increased my levels of stress and anxiety. The walks I love taking with my podcasts were suddenly making me more stressed and anxious than I already was. And they are supposed to do the opposite!

If something isn’t worth your time at normal speed, don’t listen to it at all.

My advice if you listen at more than normal speed: Try not to for a while. Don’t treat your podcast feed as a todo list that you have to burn through as fast as possible. If something isn’t worth your time at normal speed, don’t listen to it at all.

How I find new podcasts

Pocket Casts has a discover area that you can use to find the first few podcasts to subscribe to. Just find a few podcasts on topics you are interested in and start listening. Honestly, I haven’t found a great place to find podcasts yet. Most podcasts I discover when they are mentioned on another podcast I listen to. It takes a while before you have a solid podcast feed.

The features I wish I had in my podcast player

If you are working on a podcast player and read this, here are my top most wanted features in my podcast player:

  • A way to take notes
  • A way to “highlight” parts of a podcast episode
  • A way to tag and sort podcasts

The listening

What I listen to changes a lot. I add and remove stuff to my podcast feed all the time. I very much use podcasts for inspiration. In many ways, it has replaced blog posts and industry news for me.

When I need inspiration for a new idea or project, I listen very intensely to business or entrepreneurship podcasts to get all fired up. When I need to get the actual work done, I listen a lot less (I can’t listen to podcasts while working) and often to more technical stuff that is related to the work I have to do.

When I listen to podcasts also changes a lot. Sometimes I have more time that others. I take long (5-10 km) walks almost every day where I listen to podcasts. I also like to listen while I drive, take planes, cook dinner or do cleaning. Actually, I even listen to podcasts with my girlfriend. Only, we don’t like the same podcasts. So if we are on a plane or a bus, we’ll sometimes listen to each our own podcast and both be totally cool with it.

That was a lot of words on how I listen to podcasts. If you read all the way to here, you must be a podcast geek too! I hope you found it interesting.

Postlude: My favorite podcasts

I have a lot of favorite podcasts, but here are a few that I have listened to for a long time* and that I will probably continue listening to for a long time.

* A few of these are actually new discoveries that I know I’ll keep listening too.

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