4 tips for listening to more podcasts, faster

4 tips for listening to more podcasts, faster thumbnail

There are so many podcasts out there these days that cover every topic. There are many podcasts that cover everything, from great Science Podcasts to those documenting true crime stories.

While it’s great to have so many shows, it can be very time-consuming to listen to all the hour-long weekly episodes. This means that you are likely fighting against a podcast queue that grows longer every week, with new content arriving faster than you can hear.

These tips and tricks will help you get back up-to-date.

Change the pace of your podcasts

Most podcast players allow you to change the speed of playback. This doesn’t affect the pitch and it sounds like people are speaking faster. This is an easy and effective way to get more podcast listening in the same time.

Increasing the playback speed from 1. 25x means you’ll get through 50 hours of podcasts in a mere 40 hours, while at 2x speed you’ll zoom through them in just 25. This can save you a lot of time, but it is not for everyone.

Playback speed can be controlled from the main screen of your favorite podcast app. In the case of Pocket Casts (available for Android and iOS), tap the dial icon in the lower left corner of the playback screen to access the speed feature.

On the same dialog there’s also a trim silence tool. Pocket Casts and many other apps can automatically remove dead air from podcast episodes, thereby saving you even more time.

Another feature you should be looking out for in certain apps, including Pocket Casts, is a skip introduction , that allows your player to start each episode after the theme song or other introductory audio has ended.

Go to sleep with a podcast

A sleep timer is another feature that many podcast players have. It works exactly as you would expect. Playback will stop after a set amount of time or at end of an episode.

You might be surprised at just how many more podcast episodes you can get through by listening to five or 10 minutes before you go to sleep. It’s important to time your listening so you don’t miss large chunks of audio when you fall asleep.

If your podcast app has a timer, it should be easy for you to find. In the Apple Podcasts app, for example, swipe up on the now playing screen, tap Sleep Timer, and choose your duration: from five minutes to an hour, or until the end of the current episode.

You don’t have to use the sleep-timer function every night. You could time a 20-minute snack break using the feature, for example, or use it to give yourself a deadline for getting out of bed in the mornings.

Declare podcast bankruptcy

There’s nothing wrong in declaring podcast bankruptcy or writing off all your backlog and starting over. (The same approach can work with your emails as well, by the way.) You can delete all pending episodes or mark them as played from your podcast app. You may also find a setting to delete episodes after they have been unplayed for a set amount of time.

This approach will solve your podcast overload problem in a matter of seconds, despite how drastic it may sound. It’s possible that you won’t want to listen to every single show in your queue, especially if they discuss out-of-date news or current affairs.

[Related: Check out Popular Science’s original podcasts]

But you should also consider the negatives. The main one is that you might miss out on high-quality podcast content. It might be worth going through your backlog and picking the most important ones to listen to.

You could also use this time to look at the podcasts you are currently subscribed to. Look for the ones that spark joy and consider whether you still look forward the new episodes from others. You can unsubscribe to podcasts that don’t interest you.

Find a new routine

It might be worth changing your daily routine to include more podcasts. You can listen to podcasts in almost any situation where music is available, such as on the subway, in the car, or while you jog.

You could also introduce a new activity that allows you to listen to podcasts while improving your health. Going to the gym, doing yoga, or taking a walk every morning are all possible podcast-compatible options.

[Related: How to cave to peer pressure and start listening to podcasts]

Some people are unable to work with podcasts in the background, but others can. This is another option to consider. Even if you don’t catch every word, this might be better than not listening to any podcast episodes at all.

Spotify can help you introduce more episodes to your day, because it lets you combine songs and podcasts in the same playlist. You might try mixing shows with albums, or start every playlist with a podcast episode first before the music starts. Your queue may shrink faster than you anticipated.

David Nield

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