How to Listen to Podcasts

Find and subscribe to your favorite podcasts

These days, it seems podcasts are all the rage and everyone seems to have a favorite one to listen to. Before you can have a favorite, however, you have to start listening.

You can listen on your desktop computer, your mobile device, or even through your smart home speakers such as the Echo or Google Home.

Listen to Podcasts on the Web or Desktop

If you're planning on listening to podcasts via your desktop or laptop computer, you can do so one of two ways: via a web player platform (like Spotify Web Player) or by using a desktop app (like Apple Podcasts or the Spotify desktop app).

Person holding turned on smartphone. The smartphone's screen shows a variety of podcasts the person can choose from to listen to.
Austin Distel/Unsplash

Listening to Podcasts Using the Spotify Web Player

Using a web player is can be helpful because you usually don't need a specific operating system or web browser and you don't have to download a podcast to listen to it; you can just stream your chosen podcast online via the web player itself.

Here's how to listen to a podcast using Spotify Web Player. All you need is an internet connection, a web browser, and a Spotify account.

  1. In a web browser, log in to your Spotify account at open.spotify.com. Click the black and white LOG IN button in the top right corner of the screen. The login screen that appears offers two options: logging into Spotify via Facebook or via a separate username and password. Choose the option you normally use and log into Spotify.

    LOG IN button for Spotify Web Player
  2. Once you're logged in, you'll see your account's main dashboard. On this dashboard, a number of listening options listed at the top of the screen. From these options, select Podcasts.

    main dashboard of Spotify Web Player once logged in.
  3. On the Podcasts screen, you'll see a number of recommended podcast shows you can listen to. You can either select one of these shows to see a list of episodes you can listen to or you can use the web player's main Search button (located on the top left side of the screen under Home) to search for a specific podcast.

    Podcasts page on Spotify Web Player and Search button.
  4. Choose a show (by clicking on its logo) and you'll be taken to the show's page which displays the podcast's episodes (it'll look like a list of music tracks). When you place your mouse pointer on the podcast/radio icon next to your chosen episode, the radio icon will turn into a play button. Click the play button to immediately begin listening to the podcast.

    how to play a specifc podcast episode on Spotify Web Player.

How to Listen to Podcasts on the Apple Podcasts App for Mac

Apple's latest version of its Mac operating system is macOS Catalina. And when the technology company announced macOS Catalina, it also announced that it was getting rid of iTunes in favor of replacing it with three new apps, one of which is known as Apple Podcasts.

If your Mac already runs on macOS Catalina, you're most likely going to use the Apple Podcasts desktop app for your podcast listening needs.

  1. Select Browse from the sidebar menu on the left side of the screen. Or you can search for a specific podcast using the Search box at the top of the same sidebar.

  2. To play a podcast episode: You can just use the playback control buttons that are at the top of your screen/the app's window.

  3. To Subscribe to a Podcast Show: Once you've found your desired show, click on it to see its profile. On the show's profile page, click on Subscribe. Subscribing to a show allows you to have new episodes automatically downloaded as soon they're available.

How to Listen to Podcasts on the Spotify Desktop App for Windows 10

If you plan on using your Windows 10 computer to listen to podcasts, the easiest way to do so might be the Spotify desktop app for Windows, especially if you already have an account because you use Spotify on a mobile device.

The interesting thing about Spotify as a podcast platform is that you don't have to have Windows 10 to use it. The desktop app is available for Mac, Linux, and Chromebook as well. But for the purposes of these instructions, we're going to focus on the Windows 10 version.

  1. Open the Spotify app. You can do so by searching for it via the Search bar located in the bottom left side of your screen and then selecting it from the search results that pop up.

    how to find the Spotify app on Windows 10.
  2. Log into your Spotify account if you need to. Once you're logged in, your main dashboard should appear in front of you. You can explore a wide variety of suggested podcasts by first selecting the Browse option located in the top left corner.

    the main dashboard on Spotify for Windows.
  3. On the Browse page, select Podcasts from the horizontal list of options. You'll then see suggested podcasts, featured episodes, and a variety of genre options to choose from. You can select a podcast from here by clicking on one of the show logo icons. If you do so, you'll be taken to profile page of that show and a list of episodes should appear. If you hover your mouse over an episode, a play button should appear next to the episode. Click on the play button to listen to that episode.

    Podcasts page under Browse window in Spotify for Windows.
  4. You can also search for a specific podcast by using the search box at the top of your screen. Simply type in the name or the keyword and it should pop up in the search results directly below the search box.

  5. Click your desired podcast to be taken to the show's profile page. From there you can listen to an episode by either mousing over an episode listing until the play button appears for you to click on it, or by clicking on the green Play button at the top of the show's page.

    podcast's show page. This also shows how to play a specific episode in Spotify for Windows.

How to Listen to Podcasts on Android Using Podcast Addict

The Podcast Addict mobile app for Android devices is a wildly popular podcast app and for good reason: It has an easy to use interface. Here's how to listen to podcasts by using Podcast Addict.

  1. Tap on the Podcast Addict app icon to open it.

  2. From the main screen, tap on the plus sign icon in the top right corner of the screen. You'll then be taken to the New Podcast screen. On this screen you can browse suggested and featured podcast shows or you can tap on the magnifying glass icon to search for a specific podcast you want to listen to. Either way, once you see a podcast you like, tap on its show logo to open its profile page.

    Podcast Addict app for Android.
  3. Once you reach a show's profile page you can either click on the Subscribe button to download all of its episodes or you can click on the Episodes button to browse a show's individual episodes.

  4. If you see an episode you want to listen to, tap on it. You'll then be taken to the episode summary page for it. On this page, simply tap the Play button at the bottom of the screen to listen to the episode. That's it.

    how to play an individual podcast episode on Podcast Addict app for Android.

How to Listen to Podcasts on iOS: Using Apple Podcasts

The Apple Podcasts app is also available as an iOS app for iPhones.

  1. Find a show by tapping Browse or using the Search field to look for a podcast.

  2. Once you find a show, The podcast playback controls will appear at the bottom of the screen. You can also tap on the control bar at the bottom to go into full screen mode where you can access any additional content.

    Playing a podcast on iOS.

How to Listen to Podcasts Via Alexa or Google Home

If you're planning on using Alexa to listen to podcasts you can do so by using the Alexa app and the TuneIn radio service.

You can play podcasts via Google Home just by simply using voice commands that specifically ask for a certain podcast. ("Hey Google: Play Stuff You Missed in History Class.") You're also expected to control playback simply by using voice commands as well, such as "next episode" or "pause."