How to download a podcast
You are a few simple steps away from a new world of audio
If you love switching on your radio but you've never so much as browsed the massive digital library of podcasts, your ears are in for a treat.
There really is something for everyone in the growing universe of on-demand digital audio, most of which will never hit the airwaves. Even traditional broadcasters like the CBC produce dozens of original series, for free, that you can only access online.
Still, it can be pretty daunting to enter the wide world of internet audio for the first time, so we're here to walk you through it in a few simple steps.
1. Pick a podcast player that works on your device
If you only have access to a desktop or laptop computer, fear not. We've got special instructions for you at the bottom of this page. That said, most people listen to podcasts on their smartphones and tablets, so let's start there.
If you want to explore audio productions from within and outside of the CBC, you'll need a podcast app (or "podcatcher") that brings together the work of many different creators.
There are lots out there and many of them are free.
If you have an iPhone you've probably seen the purple icon labelled "Podcasts" on your phone already. You can listen to your favourite shows right there.
Android users can do the same with Google Podcasts.
Most podcast apps are free, but some charge a fee or offer a premium option. Some, like Spotify, include in-app purchases.
If you want to look beyond the biggest players and check out the wider universe of apps, search "podcast app" in your app store and read the descriptions. Every app offers a different user experience, and you're sure to find one suited to your needs.
Some other popular options are Castbox, Pocket Casts, Podbean, Radio Public and Stitcher.
2. Launch the app and pick a show
Most podcast apps have a section filled with recommended shows you can browse. You can start there or you can search for a specific show. If you don't know what to search for, Podcast Playlist offers this mega list of recommendations.
You can browse the latest offerings from CBC Podcasts here.
3. Stream or download an episode
If you're connected to the internet, you should be able to click on a podcast, select an episode and hit the play button to stream your show of choice.
If you want to download to listen later offline — a pro move for subway commuters — you'll want to do that while you're connected to Wi-Fi.
Every app works slightly differently, but if you want to download a podcast, you'll generally be looking for an icon in the shape of an arrow pointing downwards. Each app should offer specific instructions about navigating their design.
On the CBC app, look for the icon that lets you add the episode to "My Radio" for offline later. On the Apple devices, the icon is a circle with a plus sign inside. On the Android version, it's three vertically-stacked dots. More detail here.
4. Subscribe to or follow your favourite podcasts
Most apps, including Apple Podcasts, will also allow you to subscribe for updates on the shows you love most.
Subscribing ensures you get notifications when new episodes come out, and if you want you can set it so that new episodes download automatically when you're connected to wifi.
If you're using a desktop or laptop computer ...
We haven't forgotten about you! Most podcasts have a website or streaming/download page that you can access via your computer. We do! You can also use desktop versions of players like Apple Podcasts to find your podcasts.
Different shows have different online presences, but for CBC shows you can search for what you're looking for at the CBC Podcasts and CBC Listen pages. Many shows even have full-blown websites that feature all kinds of digital extras. See Other People's Problems and Someone Knows Something as examples.
Non-CBC shows also typically to have computer-friendly options. Search for your show of choice and see what comes up on a case by case basis.