Internet radio and podcast apps


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Internet radio and podcast apps

smartphone surrounded by old radio, microphone, book and musical note

What's coming up?

In this activity, you’ll learn about internet radio and podcasts, what these are, and how you can access hours and hours of free content using an internet radio or podcast app. You’ll also learn about how some of these apps include audiobooks too.

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How Internet radio apps work

An internet radio app uses the internet to tune in to radio stations from around the world. You also get thousands of stations to choose from, and there’s no subscription cost either. Internet radio apps use a small amount of data, so you’ll need a mobile data plan or a home wi-fi connection to use the app.

radio, wi-fi signal and internet icon
smartphone showing BBC radio program

How internet radio works

Internet radio is like regular radio, in that you select a station to listen to and the music or talk radio plays through your device. Instead of tuning to a frequency, you can search for a radio station by location, genre, or name. The app will show you a list of stations, and you can tap the one you want to listen to.

Some examples of internet radio apps

You can get an internet radio app for specific national and international stations or networks. Some include programs on-demand or catch-up services too, such as ABC Listen.

Other apps are like hubs for a huge range of stations, and you can search for the content you want to listen to. These include Listnr, iHeart Radio, and TuneIn.

a range of internet radio app icons
Apple podcast and Google podcast app icons

Podcasts are similar to radio

A podcast is a radio program you can download and listen to at your convenience, via a podcast app. Apple devices come with Apple Podcasts, and Android devices can download Google Podcasts. There are many other podcast apps available for download, including Listnr, iHeart Radio, Pocket Casts and Podcast Addict.

You can subscribe to a podcast

Podcasts are split into episodes, and you can subscribe to individual podcasts to get a notification about when a new episode is available. This kind of subscription is free, and just means you want to be notified of new episodes. Some podcast apps can download new episodes automatically so you can listen to them offline.

notification showing a new podcast episode is available
premium and free versions of the TubeIn app

Costs associated with podcast apps

Podcast apps have a free version, but some also offer a pro edition that you can purchase via your device’s official app store. The pro edition might include extra features, such as no longer playing ads between podcast episodes. However, you don’t need to purchase the pro edition to listen to podcasts, it’s totally optional.

Some podcast apps include audiobooks

Since an audiobook is similar to a podcast in some ways, these are included in some podcast apps, as well as dedicated audiobook apps. Unlike podcasts, an audiobook needs to be purchased outright, or you can subscribe to an audiobook service and get a certain number of audiobooks included with your subscription per month. These include Audible, Kobo Books, and Spotify. The ABC Listen app also includes some audiobooks.

an audiobook and headphones
apple podast app and ABC listen app

How internet radio and podcasts use data

Listening to internet radio or downloading a podcast uses some of your internet data, but only a relatively small amount. Using internet radio and podcasts can be a good choice if you only have a small data allowance, as they use a lot less data than video streaming services.

You can sign up to a free account

Some internet radio and podcast apps ask you to sign up to a free account. This will let the app send you emails about new features and content, but it’s usually optional. If you do sign up, make sure you use a unique password and not one you’ve used for anything else.

Signing up to ABC listen app

Well done!

This is the end of the Internet radio and podcast apps activity. You’ve learned how to access internet radio and download podcasts to listen to, via an app on your mobile device. You’ve also learned about audiobooks.

Up next, in the Discovering YouTube activity, you’ll learn about the video service called YouTube.

old radio, wi-fi signal and internet icon