The Latest on Pocket Casts, Finding Podcasts, Shower Speakers, Better Home/Start/New Tab Browser Pages

John Vrooman | October 2019

Pocket Casts is the name of my favorite podcast management and player app (a.k.a. a “podcast client” or “podcatcher”). I’ve been using Pocket Casts for years (on both Android and iOS devices) and I’m encouraging everyone to check it out. Historically, the app hasn’t been available for free, but now it is. Why the change? It appears that the developer is looking to get more users who will hopefully/eventually want to upgrade to a newly introduced “Plus” service level. The new “Plus” level of service does offer a few new features, however, the base app is already feature-packed and offers all that most people need. To learn more about the Pocket Casts’ app and its features, simply visit and explore the following web pages…

“Why Pocket Casts”…
https://www.pocketcasts.com/podcast-player

Pocket Casts support pages…
https://support.pocketcasts.com

Suggestion: While reviewing the Pocket Casts app support area, pay special attention to the playback “audio effects” that allow you to adjust the playback speed (I playback podcasts at 1.2X speed), remove silence and boost volume. Another feature to familiarize yourself with is the ability to automatically skip a set amount of time at the beginning of podcasts. Some podcasts have long introductions and ads that can all be skipped by setting the app to start playing a certain amount of time after it begins. Cumulatively, these settings allow you to listen to podcasts faster than if you do not take advantage of these settings. (Of course, if a podcast revolves around music, you probably won’t want to change the playback speed setting.)

Finding Podcasts

Would you like help finding podcasts that will interest you? If so, I suggest you visit your favorite Internet search engine and do some searches using keywords that are formatted like this: “topic” (followed by the word) “podcast”. (e.g. “real estate podcast,” “marketing podcast,” “sales podcast,” social media podcast,” “business podcast,” “entrepreneur podcast,” “productivity podcast,” etc.) When you do Internet searches using this format, the results will typically include links to relevant podcasts and articles. If you’re not yet a regular podcast listener, please do yourself a favor and learn more about them. Why? Because podcasts can be useful, interesting, educational, and entertaining! (Also, you should also know that most podcasts are available for free!)

Bonus tip: If you have any Amazon Echo, Google Home and/or other “connected” Smart Speaker audio device(s), you can likely listen to podcasts through them!

Listen to Podcasts or Music in the Shower!

If you’re in the market for a (portable/Bluetooth) speaker that will enable you to listen to podcasts and music while showering, I came across an article that offers some product recommendations. The article, found at androidcentral.com, was titled “Best Shower Speakers in 2019.” Head’s up: If you want to be able to listen to FM radio, only the last product highlighted in the article offers that capability. Here’s a link to the article…www.tinyurl.com/y8knf4ds

Better Browser Start/Home/New Tab Pages

When you open your web browser, the web page you first see is typically your web browser’s “start” or “home” page. Similarly, when you open a new tab in your web browser, the page that you see is your web browser’s “new tab page.” If you’ve never investigated web browser extensions that enable you to create and replace your browsers’ current start/home/new tab page with something more powerful, I think you should. To help you with this, when you visit the webpage offered below, you’ll notice that it provides several links to several different Start/Home/New Tab Page solutions. All the solutions are Google Chrome web browser extensions, and they’re all similar. However, each solution does offer something that’s a bit different from the others. I’m not recommending any particular solution over another, and the list of links are not listed in any particular order….www.trsurl.com/l/3UI

If you’re curious, I’m currently using the “Speed Dial 2” extension. While I like Speed Dial 2, I think the other options are also worth trying out, too! I’m confident that many of you are soon going to be saying, “I wish I had known about these extensions sooner!”

Shoe Covers Help Keep Listed Properties Clean

Properties that are for sale or rent often have problems with water, leaves, snow and dirt being tracked into them by visitors. While requesting visitors to remove their shoes upon entering a property is a solution, supplying shoe covers is another. Since some people are uncomfortable with removing their shoes, offering visitors the shoe cover choice is likely to be appreciated. To help you explore the shoe cover option, the following link will lead you towards several relevant Amazon product pages…www.trsurl.com/l/3TW

 

If you have any comments, suggestions, tips, questions, or just want to say “Hi”, John can be contacted at john@johnvrooman.com.

 

John Vrooman
John Vrooman is an experienced Realtor who enjoys staying on top of real estate, technology, gadgets, marketing, new media, and small business trends/developments. He gathers information from a diverse range of resources and enjoys sharing tips, thoughts, and discoveries with others – using a “something for everyone” approach. John has been authoring this column since August 2000 and enjoys receiving comments and suggestions from his readers.