What is a podcast?

Podcasts are primarily audio contributions that are downloaded via the Internet. Some podcasts also offer video content, but this is less used compared to the audio podcast.

With mobile apps, the so-called pod catchers, the broadcasts are downloaded and stored on the mobile device. The podcast is therefore also available without an Internet connection and subsequently (from podcast archives and media libraries).

How do podcasts differ from radio programming?

Podcasts act as an alternative to classic radio broadcasting. On the radio, programmes are broadcast at fixed times. In contrast, podcasts are stored on an Internet server 1 available for download, so they are available at any time. Analogous to television broadcasting, to which on-demand video is a strong competitor today, podcasts can also be understood as on-demand radio and increasingly compete with radio stations and radio streams.

What does podcast mean in German?

The word podcast is a neologism. The term is composed of “broadcast” and iPod (Apple’s MP3 player).

Podcast translation to German: MP3 radio or pod radio

How do podcasts work?

Podcast Schema / Components
Schema: the components of a podcast

Podcasts are based on four different technologies:

  1. The video or audio files of the broadcasts (the “Episodes”).
  2. The RSS feed, which contains all the broadcasts of the podcast.
  3. The “Podspace” where the shows and podcast feed are stored.
  4. The podcast directories that list the podcast and its broadcasts.

The process: how to subscribe to and download podcasts

  1. Each new show is added to the podcast feed.
  2. Both (broadcast and feed) are uploaded to the Podspace.
  3. The podcast feed is logged into podcast directories.
  4. Listeners will find the podcast with all broadcasts in the directory.
  5. The handset’s podcatcher subscribes to the feed (downloads it periodically from Podspace).
  6. New shows are automatically displayed in the podcatcher and downloaded manually or automatically (depending on the setting)

How do you listen to a podcast?

Podcasts are based on general standards. In principle, you can download the MP3 files of an audio podcast with your computer and listen to them in your web browser. You could also be bold and burn the files to an audio CD and listen to them in the CD player. But this is certainly a very rare exception.

Most podcasts today are received and listened to with the smartphone . For this purpose, podcast players or podcast clients or “podcatcher” exist for all common smartphone 2

Podcatchers have the following functions:

  • Find podcasts
  • Subscribe to podcasts
  • Get podcasts automatically
  • Organize podcasts and, of course,
  • Listen to podcasts.

Which podcast app is the best?

There are various apps for all common smartphone operating systems. The operation and functionality of the apps are very different. Therefore, the only thing that helps is to try them out for yourself and form your own opinion.

The question of which podcast player is the best cannot be determined in general. Our recommendations are therefore primarily aimed at podcast beginners who are looking for an introduction. More apps can easily be found in the app stores of mobile phones.

The Best Podcast Apps for Apple/iOS

  1. Apple’s podcast app
  2. Castro 2
  3. Overcast

The Best Android Podcast Apps

  1. Google Podcasts
  2. Podcast Addict
  3. Podcast Republic

Why are podcasts free?

It is part of podcast culture that podcasts are offered free of charge – or better: free of charge. This is where podcast shows differ significantly from audiobooks. Nevertheless, podcasts are usually not completely free.

Are podcasts really free?

Podcasters usually finance their offers through advertising. In the contributions, they advertise either

  • for themselves or for a service or good they distribute -or-
  • for a sponsor who receives airtime from them.

So podcast listeners pay by listening to ads. An exception to this are, of course, the pure hobby podcasts. They are produced for the fun of it and are occasionally ad-free.

Where do you listen to podcasts?

Podcasts can be listened to everywhere. When walking, on the bus and train, in the waiting room at the doctor’s, on the car ride or even when falling asleep. Commuters prefer to use their free time to listen to their favorite shows on the go.

Where do you listen to podcasts and which podcasts do you like the most? Until you are more of the advisor type or do you like the casual entertainment more? Write it in the comments…


  1. server on which podcasts are stored, are also called webspace or podspace
  2. systems.Podcatcher means freely translated: Pod catcher