AROUND TOWN: Podcasts are gaining popularity | Lifestyles

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Podcasts are growing in popularity across the country as listeners around the world tune in to hear stories or gather information on some of their favorite topics.

The latest research indicates that podcasts are so in demand right now because they fit into every lifestyle and the subject matter is incredibly diverse.

They are also, at least all the ones I use, free.

If you’re unfamiliar with podcasts, here’s an official working definition of what they are according to the online dictionary: a digital audio file made available on the Internet for download to a computer or mobile device, usually available in series, new whose installments can be received automatically by subscribers.

I’ve been an avid podcast listener (especially when walking) ever since I came across “Serial” several years ago.

It was a true crime podcast that dropped every new installment every week — hence the word, series. I was so mesmerized by the story that I looked forward to each week’s download with great excitement.

Once that was over, I started looking for other podcasts to listen to while exercising or driving.

Statistics indicate that in 2021, more than 104 million Americans listen to or watch a podcast every month.

Other data to note: more than 66% of Americans say they prefer podcasts to television; there are over a million different podcasts available today and the majority of US citizens say they prefer to listen/watch their podcasts on their mobile device rather than using their computer.

I prefer to listen to podcasts, but sometimes watch one on my iPad or computer.

My topics run the gamut from true crime and mental health to sports and faith-based podcasts.

But there are a myriad of topics available on everything from puppy training to cooking.

Predefined categories on my podcast app include Top Rated, Comedy, True Crime, News, Society & Culture, Sports, Business, Religion & Spirituality, TV & Film, history, science, education, recreation, music, government, and fiction.

If you’ve never listened to a podcast and are interested, I can share how mine works.

I have an iPhone and the podcast icon on it is on the home screen. It is purple and reads “podcasts”.

You can tap the icon button and use the search bar that appears at the bottom of your screen to search for a particular topic or even a podcast title.

If you have an Android or some other type of mobile device, I don’t know how to access podcasts on those phones, but I’m sure it’s probably as easy as on mine.

Podcasts aren’t just for entertainment. Several true crime podcasts have led to the arrest and conviction of perpetrators of unsolved crimes.

Another podcast, and one of my favorites, was developed by a University of Tennessee student for a class project. It is now one of the most popular true crime podcasts.

Podcasts are delivered through a variety of platforms. They include Apple, Stitcher, Spotify, Overcast, RadioPublic and, of course, Google.

At our office, many of us are avid podcasters. We often listen to the same ones and they have become our “water chiller” subjects rather than a show we watched on TV.

I can almost guarantee you that if we’re not talking about sports, we’re talking about a podcast. Rather than “must see TV”, we now have “must listen to the podcast”.

Oh, and if you feel like you have something to say, you can even start your own podcast.

There are sites like Anchor designed to guide you through your own online creation!

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Hats off to the Cumberland County Fair Association for their big win in Nashville this weekend.

The fair association won the AAA fair of the year award and took home a huge trophy!

Weather permitting, there will be plenty of local basketball action.

The Stone Memorial Panthers are celebrating Homecoming this week on campus with a variety of fancy dress days, including PJ Day and Spirit Day.

The Panthers will host White County in district action tonight, Friday, January 28. The first prediction is at 6, with the Lady Panthers playing first.

Meanwhile, the Cumberland County High School Jets and Lady Jets will be on the road tomorrow night, Saturday, Jan. 29, when they travel to Pickett County in an out-of-district game.

Elementary basketball action begins tomorrow with Martin’s Lady Eagles taking the No. 1 seed and Homesteads Bulldogs in first place in the boys division.

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