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3 insider tips to enjoying podcasts

Since first invented in 1895, people have used a radio for news, entertainment, and passing the time on long trips, and they still very much do. I know this first-hand. I host a national talk show on over 400 top radio stations across the United States and internationally on Armed Forces Radio.

When it comes to the spoken word, podcasting is also a force. According to Edison Research, the number of podcast listeners is growing from 21 percent to 24 percent year over year. Podcasts are easy to produce and distribute, and all kinds of would-be broadcasters have clamored to express themselves through downloadable sound.

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Tip in a Tip: If you are new to podcasts, it’s super easy to get started. Click here for a step-by-step guide to finding and listening podcasts.

There are so many podcasts to tap into, we often forget just how many episodes we’re downloading. Podcasts don’t take as much space as video, but those megabytes do add up. Your phone may inform you that your space has nearly run out. But how? You’ve been so careful to conserve space! Why should your phone be flooded when you only have a handful of apps?

The culprit might be your podcast intake. How do you keep your queue in check? Here are some tips.

1. Take control of your podcasts

It’s easy to binge on podcasts because they’re free and easy to subscribe to. But when you automatically download, say, 30MB of data each time, you may be surprised how quickly you receive warnings that your phone is almost full.

Instead, think strategically about the subjects you’re interested in and how committed you’ll be. You can download one episode at a time, à la carte, and if you don’t find yourself jumping from episode to episode, there’s probably no reason to subscribe. You may love yachting, but you may not need yachting news five times a week.

At that point, locate the podcasts that you’re not enjoying and wish to unsubscribe from. If you are using Apple’s Podcasts App, swipe left on the podcast’s title and tap Delete. You can also remove just an episode. Again, find the title of the episode and swipe left.

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I also produce a weekly podcast that covers the top tech news. It’s designed so that in just a few minutes, you know what’s new in the relevant tech issues and topics that are continuously transforming our lives. Hear about gadgets, websites, cybersecurity, and every other aspect of the digital lifestyle.

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It’s simple to get loaded up with podcasts. Most media outlets and celebrities have their own podcasts. Simply search iTunes or Google Play to find the ones that interest you. You can also search by title or subject. Search results will show you both programs and episodes.

2. Set your options and favorites

You can let your iPhone think for you. The Apple Podcasts app can restrict your automatic downloads. You can set exactly how many episodes you want to keep, and the Podcasts app will delete the rest. If you fail to listen to a podcast series for a certain amount of time, the app will stop automatically downloading episodes.

Other podcast apps often have a similar feature, enabling you to set episode numbers and automatically dumping the rest.

With so many podcasts, you’ll love the ability to queue up for your favorites. This way, you can set your podcasts to play in the order you wish to hear them without having to reopen the app every time a podcast ends.

In Apple’s Podcasts App, select your first podcast and then, tap on the three dots to the right of the podcast’s title. You’ll see the option, Add to Up Next. That’s where the magic happens.

3. Be a speed listener

Do you remember the television and radio commercials that promised you the ability to read faster than ever before and still retain your newfound knowledge? With the explosion of so many different podcasts, there are now people who are “speed listening.” They are not happy listening to a podcast in real-time.

The premise is simple. The faster you listen to a podcast, the more podcasts you can consume. In the process, there are no concerns about filling up your device. You listen, and you delete. Boom.

I’ve tried it and for podcasts without many interviews, you can speed listen and still get the gist of the story.

When you listen to a podcast, there is a player at the bottom of the screen. You might have to swipe up to see it. On Apple’s Podcast app, for example, there is a number in the lower-left corner. The default is 1x and this option lets you hear the podcast at normal speed.

Speed listeners can tap this button and change the playback speed to 1 1/2x or 2x. There’s also the option for 1/2x playback speed. I’m not quite sure when you would actually want to listen to a podcast very, very, very slowly but it’s there.

What other cool things can you do with digital media? Be sure to listen or download my podcasts, or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet or computer. From buying advice to digital life issues, click here for my free podcasts.

Learn about all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

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