Everything you need to know about podcasts

Sunrise Senior Living  |  February 22, 2017

Tired of listening to the same old songs and music all the time? Maybe it's time you listen to podcasts, the digital audio files that provide you with information, conversation, and all kinds of topics in the world today.

For those who enjoy learning something new every day, listening and finding a podcast that you enjoy may be the thing you need. What's great about podcasts is that you can listen to them virtually anywhere,  whether you're relaxing at home, taking the train into the city or walking around the town With thousands of topics to choose from, search and decide on what you like, become a subscriber and let the learning ensue.

Let's take a closer look at what exactly  a podcast is. Along with specific podcasts that you should consider listening to:

What is a podcast?
According to Forbes contributor Seth Porges, a podcast is defined as a downloadable audio series. It's a lot like a talk show on the radio that you may tune into on your favorite station, except you can access a podcast at any given moment of the day on multiple devices. There are various genres or topics that you can listen to, such as daily news, politics, Sci Fi, thrillers, sports, music, education, TV shows and more.

Popular podcasts are often hosted by major broadcasters, journalists and celebrities, but anyone with a computer and internet connection can host their own show. 

Now you may be wondering: Do I have to pay to listen and subscribe? According to The Telegraph, generally all podcasts can be listened to free of charge. There are a few exceptions, however, but you'll know if you're going to be charged before the initial download process. 

Enjoy your favorite podcast on your own or with a loved one.Enjoy your favorite podcast on your own or with a loved one.

How can I listen?
One of the many benefits of podcasts is how easily you can listen to them anytime or anywhere. Using your smartphone or tablet, you can download an app dedicated to streaming podcasts. Some smartphones, such as the iPhone, come equipped with a podcast app. If you can't find the app on your cellphone or tablet, simply navigate your phone's app store and search "podcasts." It'll provide choices for download, likely bringing the most popular and highly recommended choices to the top of the list, making it easy to find one that's best for you.

"You can also listen to your favorite podcasts on your computer."

You can also listen to shows you subscribe to on your computer. Apple users can navigate iTunes software to search for series, or transfer existing shows from the phone. Others can simply surf the web, as some podcast creators offer access to their series straight from a website - with a quick browser search, you can download, save and play series you're subscribed to.

What should I listen to? 
Based on your interests or what you'd like to get out of listening, there are a variety of shows you can subscribe to. Here are a few that we suggest tuning in to:

1. NPR - TED Radio Hour
National Public Radio offers an array of shows to listen to to based on categories such as the arts, business, comedy, health, education, music, technology, news and more. For those interested in gaining knowledge about innovations, creations and following a new thought process, tune into TED Radio Hour

2. Good Job, Brain
Do you want to challenge your brain? Do you have a knack for trivia? Tune in to Good Job, Brain. This free, weekly family-friendly audio radio show addresses off-beat news, followed by a round of questions that'll get your brain buzzing.

3. The Senior Caregiver
Shameless plug – The Senior Caregiver is a podcast produced by Sunrise which provides tips and interviews with experts on navigating the challenges and pleasures for caring for an aging loved one.

3. Lux Radio Theater
A blast from the past is just a click away when you download the Lux Radio Theater podcast. The longest-running anthology series features storytellers of the 1930s and 1950s such as John Wayne, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Judy Garland, according to After 55. It's a classic production you won't want to miss.

There are plenty more podcasts where that came from. If you're interested in finding a radio show on your own, shuffle through the many categories provided by NPR.

Have Questions About Memory Loss?