Do you ever open up the podcast app on your phone and feel an immediate wave of panic? Recently I’ve been noticing a trend amongst my friends, where they confess to feeling “overwhelmed” by the “chaos” of their downloads queue.
I can sympathise. We’ve definitely reached peak podcast, and we’re all listening to more shows than ever. As a result, it can be difficult to filter through the never-ending flow of episodes.
But, being the organisation freak that I am, I’ve long had a system in place to keep my podcast library in order. And I’m sharing my secrets below…
Disclaimer: these might all be really common sense, basic tips. But sometimes it’s the most obvious things that we don’t consider. So I figured I’d share a few ways to manage podcast downloads, just in case they can help improve your listening experience…
SUBSCRIBING TO VS “SAVING” SHOWS
I enjoy a lot of different podcasts, but there are only a handful of shows that I listen to every week, without fail. So it would be overwhelming and chaotic if I subscribed to every show I like (I’d have at least 50 new episodes downloading to my phone, each week).
Instead, I only subscribe to my “can’t miss” shows (about 10 podcasts in total), and all of their latest episodes automatically download to my phone as they’re released (appearing in the “listen now” tab on Apple Podcasts).
The rest of the podcasts I enjoy stay in the “library” tab on Apple Podcasts. To have a show appear in your library you just need to have downloaded one of their episodes previously. (You can remove podcasts from your library by selecting the “edit” tab in the top right hand corner, FYI).
When a podcast appears in your “library” it means the show is saved for quick access. But, because you’re not subscribed to the show, new episodes won’t download automatically – you have to do it manually. This function works well for me with podcasts like Casefile, Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness and Off The Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe, as I tend to dip in and out of them depending on the topic each week.
DISCOVERING NEW SHOWS
One of the questions I get asked most frequently, when it comes to podcasts, is how do I discover new shows. A lot of the time I pick up recommendations from friends and peers in the industry. And if I ever see someone sharing a podcast on Instagram Stories I’ll screenshot the post, so I remember to look it up later.
But, one of my favourite ways to discover new shows is by using the search bar on the Apple Podcast app. For instance, if I’ve just finished a book that I loved, I’ll search for the title or the author, and download any episodes I can find about the book. I recently did this after reading A Little Life and discovered so many cool literary podcasts that I wouldn’t have picked up on, otherwise.
HOW TO SAVE YOUR DATA & STORAGE SPACE
If you’re subscribed to a lot of podcasts, one thing you might want to consider is changing your phone settings so that new episodes only download when you’re on Wi-Fi. That way you can save precious data. On iPhone’s you simply go into “settings” then find the “podcasts option”. And, from there, there’s a box you can select to “only download on Wi-Fi”. (I’m not sure how Android phones work, but am sure they must have a similar option if you Google it.)
And, whilst you’re in your podcast settings, you may also want to check out some other features, like adjusting how many seconds the “forward” and “back” buttons skip, and selecting whether you want your phone to automatically delete episodes you’ve played to the end (this also helps free up storage space on your phone).
Do you ever get overwhelmed by all of the podcast episodes downloading to your phone? How do you manage podcast downloads with ease?
P.S. 7 more podcasts to add to your weekly downloads queue. If you can handle it…
Photo by Shay Cochrane