A podcast is a prerecorded audio show that can be streamed or downloaded. Much like a radio program there many different formats. They can be short or long, cover any subject matter, vary in quality, levels of monetisation and professionalism. A podcast can be an episodic series or a one off recording. But unlike radio you can listen to your favorite show when ever it suits you. It is on-demand radio. With out the big broadcast tower and aerials.
And here lies the two greatest features of podcasts - firstly, being able to listen to really interesting and timely topics while doing less interesting things. Like traveling to work, taking the dog for a walk, preparing your lunch for the next day, what ever demands less than your full attention. This fits in with a trend towards 'consuming content' while maximising your productivity. Secondly, is it is realively low tech horizontal technology accessible to all and as one blogger wrote "can be a truly revolutionary tool to reclaim representation of realities and issues, and can be a low-barrier, high-impact instrument to fight for democracy, justice and rights".
To listen to a podcast all you need is either a smart phone and a pair of head phones or a computer with speakers (and the internet of course). There are countless apps in your respective app retailer -Android Apple etc. The app I prefer to use is Podcast Addict on Android. But I have heard Sticher is good for Android and Castro for iPhone. If you prefer to use your computer then Miro is for you, but just be carefully to uncheck additional software when installing it., iTunes is also handy for podcasts. All these suggestions are free to download and use.
As an example, my favorite podcasts to listen to when I am working in the kitchen are the regular updates from the British Medical journal, BMJ Talk Medicine. These are succinctly produced shows usually involving a short (8 to 15 mins) interview with the lead researcher about their recent publication in that month's BMJ. I like it because you get to hear from the author why they were motivated to carry out the study, what approach they took to their question, the findings and any possible implications for clinical practice or public health policy. In a very short space of time you are brought up to date.
OK. Now that we know what a podcast is and how to listen to them, the next step is to how to subscribe. Most journals and schools of public health have a podcast series so when searching or reading have a look for a link to a podcast. For a nice 3 min video Ira Glass, a famous popular podcaster, gives a simple explanation or if you feel you are ready to get seriously stuck in then this comprehensive guide is for you
Most journals and most even schools of public health have a regular podcast series - which you can subscribe to by clicking the orange RSS button - or or if it is iTunes/Apple only (rarely the case) then
The list below consists of podcasts from established publishers and institutes in the field of public health and one or two others that may broadly interests public health readers. It is quite long but far from exhaustive and I have not listened to them all. Those that Ilike and listen to regularly I have placed an *asterisk beside the link. . .
Oh yes, before I forget, we now have our own podcast series here at the Centre. We are on episode three and they can be found on Soundcloud. Our latest episode features a conversation with Maura Smiddy a health protection researcher on the findings of a published study on hand hygiene and also the upcoming Safe Patient Care conference 2016 hosted in UCC.
Finally the list:
This is a working list which I will add to as I come across other podcasts. If you have any recommendations please feel free to leave a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading!