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What is a podcast and how do I listen to one?

A man listens to a podcast using headphones.
If you've never listened to a podcast before, don't worry. It's easy to connect to podcasts, and you can choose a listening method that suits you best.

Welcome to the world of podcasts! You might be here because you’ve heard that we have a new podcast, My Amazing Body, and you want to listen to it. Luckily, listening to a podcast is easy; we’ve explained everything you need to know below.

What is a podcast?

A podcast is like a radio show, except that instead of being broadcast on the radio, it’s on the internet. Like radio, podcasts are all about audio; they’re something that you listen to.

Podcasts can be made by anyone from companies, organisations and government departments (like us), to radio stations and magazines, or even individuals who record their podcasts at home or in a studio.

There are all different types and formats of podcast; some podcasts have one person speaking, some have interviews, others have panel discussions and some are fictional dramas kind of like a radio play or audiobook. Our podcast, My Amazing Body, has a narrator and features interviews with medical experts and real Queenslanders.

Podcasts, like TV shows, are released in episodes. Podcast episodes can be any length, from a few minutes to a couple of hours. Episodes of My Amazing Body are about 20 minutes long.

A smartphone sits on a desk in front of a laptop, a podcast playing is shown on the screen.

Why should I listen to a podcast?

There are lots of reasons you might listen to a podcast. The main reason you should chose to listen to a podcast is because you’re interested in the subject matter. You might also like the idea of being able to listen to a podcast while you do other things like exercise, drive, cook, clean or even work.

Lots of people find that they like the intimate experience of listening to audio; it makes them feel like they’re involved in a conversation with the people speaking, and lets them use their imagination to picture the rest of the scene beyond what they can hear.

We think you’ll like listening to My Amazing Body to find out interesting facts about your body, get to hear from the amazing medical staff working in our hospitals and health services, and listen to stories from Queenslanders just like you.

How do I listen to a podcast?

Not sure how to listen to a podcast? We’ve made this video to show you how, and included more instructions below.

You can listen to a podcast on any device that has an internet connection; your computer, your phone, a tablet, smart watch or a smart speaker can all play podcasts. You might link your device up to headphones, your home sound system or your car speakers, depending on where and when you want to listen.

Stream or download?

There are two ways to listen to a podcast: streaming or downloading. When you stream a podcast, you listen to it straight from the internet, so you need to be connected to the internet at the time. Downloading takes the podcast from the internet and saves it on your device, so you can listen to it whenever and wherever you want, even if you’re not connected to the internet at the time.

Do I need a special app?

One of the easiest ways to listen to podcast is by using a podcast app on your phone or other smart device. A podcast app allows you to listen to all the podcasts you like in one place. There are lots of apps you can use to listen to podcasts. Popular apps include Apple Podcasts (for people with Apple devices, like an iPhone), Google Play (for Android devices), Spotify or Stitcher. Search ‘podcast’ in your app store to find an app you want to use.

You can also access a podcast through the podcast’s website on your computer, phone or other device. If you visit the podcast website, simply click ‘play’ on the episode you want to listen to (this means you’ll be streaming the episode) or ‘download’ it for later.

What does ‘subscribing’ mean?

When you subscribe to a podcast, it means you sign up to follow the podcast and get updates when there are new episodes. You can subscribe to podcasts using a podcast app.

In the app, search for the podcast you want to listen to, and press ‘subscribe’. Your app will then display the podcast in your podcast feed and update it whenever there’s a new episode to listen to. You might even set the app to alert you when a new episode is released, so you never miss out.

What if I'm not able to listen to a podcast?

All episodes of My Amazing Body will be fully transcribed and available on our website. Transcriptions will be included as part of each episode's show notes, along with extended information about the topic, images that further illustrate what has been discussed, and links to useful resources mentioned in the episode.

How do I rate and review a podcast?

Lots of podcast apps allow you to ‘rate’ a podcast you’ve listened to. Often, this means you give it a star rating (just like the movies) and can leave a comment about why you did or didn’t like it. Podcast ratings are useful because they help other listeners decide if they should listen to the podcast. If you like My Amazing Body, be sure to give it a rating or review and let others know what you thought!

Last updated: 30 April 2019