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How to Listen to Podcasts

by Tom Johnson on Aug 21, 2008 •
categories: technical-writing

I recommend that you listen to podcasts while commuting in your car or exercising. You can also pop on headphones while gardening or folding laundry, but the in-car-listening scenario is the most common for podcasts.

To listen to podcasts in the car, you'll need a wireless FM transmitter.  A wireless FM transmitter plugs into your car's cigarrette lighter and your MP3 player. It then transmits the sound from your MP3 player to your radio using the stereo frequency you set on the device. I've been using an FM Transmitter from iRiver and have had a good experience with it.

iriver fm transmitter

You can pick up an FM transmitter at any electronics store, such as Best Buy or Radio Shack. If you have an iPod, you should probably buy iPod's own wireless FM transmitter.

Once you begin to listen to podcasts, you really start noticing how appealing they are. But if you're trying to listen to podcasts while sitting patiently at your computer, I'm sorry, but unless you have an incredibly disciplined focus and attention span, it will prove to be a frustrating experience. I really recommend getting the necessary equipment to go mobile -- the FM transmitter for the car, the arm band for the gym.

Karen from Denmark explains how she listens to podcasts:

I have piles of books and articles and magazines that cover many of of these topics. They can keep me busy for days and weeks and months. But the time! That's where these podcasts prove their value to me. I can listen to them during my daily trip to and from work. From the time I go out my front door until I sit down at my desk at work, I can listen to about 25 minutes worth of podcast. If I used the same time period for reading, I could read about 4 minutes on the Metro and 8-10 minutes on the train. I have been known to read on the walk from the train to the office, but that is only possible with easy-to-handle books - and not on a rainy day! The podcasts are a relaxing way to spend my journey.

Once you start listening to podcasts in a mobile way, you'll be hooked.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer / API doc specialist based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.