In 2018, estimates are that 26% of Americans listened to a podcast… but that still means that 3 out of 4 people haven’t ever listened to a podcast! So we created a short guide for how to listen to Jewish History Matters, and podcasts in general, for those who are not familiar with the format.
What’s a Podcast?
A podcast is just a format for syndicating audio files, like MP3s, to listeners. They come in all shapes and sizes—Jewish History Matters episodes are usually about an hour long, but some are as short as 10 minutes and some go for hours! A lot of podcasts are produced by radio networks like NPR stations, so it’s kind of like a DVR for radio, you can listen to shows on demand instead of having to tune in when they’re on the air. But the vast majority of podcasts are independently produced, and probably wouldn’t be available if radio was still the only game in town.
Most podcast apps are free or even come installed on your phone by default. When you subscribe to Jewish History Matters or any other podcast, you’ll get a notification whenever a new episode is available and it will automatically download to your phone. And then when you hop in your car or go for a walk, you can listen to it—and with the right podcast app you can even speed it up slightly to save time, if that’s your style.
You can watch this quick video from This American Life’s Ira Glass about what is a podcast and how to listen:
Where can I listen to podcasts?
What’s great about podcasts is that you can listen to them pretty much anywhere. Oh wait… you meant where can I find an app to listen to them on my phone?
If you have an Apple device, you should check out the Podcasts app built into iOS and other Apple products like iPad, iPhone, and HomePod. You can search for podcasts right in the app and subscribe to them there. If you’re on your iPhone right now, you can just click here to go straight to Jewish History Matters in Apple Podcasts. We also highly recommend Overcast, which is a free app.
If you have an Android phone, Google also has a standalone podcast app. You can find it on the Google Play store and download from there. You can find Jewish History Matters through our “subscribe on Android” link, which also links to a bunch of different podcast apps.
If you listen to Spotify for music, you can also find podcasts there.
What else should I listen to?
There are something like 600,000 podcasts. There’s no way to listen to all of that! But if you’re looking for some programs Jason listens to and recommends:
- Liz Covart’s Ben Franklin’s World is one of the best history podcasts
- Gastropod is a fabulous podcast about food, science, and history
- If you want something in Yiddish, you should check out Vaybertaytsh
- The Association for Jewish Studies’ “Adventures in Jewish Studies” podcast (which also features some guests from Jewish History Matters!)
- KCRW’s Unfictional podcast
- The BBC’s “History of the World in 100 Objects” is a great podcast, originally a radio show based on a series of items found in the British Museum
- Alex Madrigal’s 8-part audio documentary “Containers,” about global trade