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How to listen to podcasts on a Mac

Many people listen to podcasts on their iPhone while on a walk or on their way to the office. But why not listen to your favorite podcasts and catch up on episodes on your Mac?

With the built-in Apple Podcasts app that came with MacOS Mojave, as well as third-party options, you can listen while you work, play, or something in between.




5 minutes

What You Need

  • Mac computer

  • Apple Podcasts app (optional)

  • Mame Cast app (optional)

Listen with the Podcasts app on Mac

The Podcasts app on Mac is a convenient way to listen to episodes. It has useful features for finding, following, and favoriting the podcasts you like most. This is a handy option if you want to sync your podcasts with your iPhone or iPad.

Step 1: Search for a podcast using the following options in the left-hand sidebar.

Listen Now: View your Up Next queue, see channels to try, check out options based on your listening, or discover something new.

Browse: Review podcasts based on category like New & Noteworthy, Featured Channels, Shows We Love, or others that are seasonal or timely.

Top Charts: Look through top shows and episodes that are making their marks in the Podcasts app.

how to listen podcasts mac app browse
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Step 2: Select a show or episode to view the details and listen. You can see the title, a description, and length.

Click the Play or Latest Episode button to listen. Your playback controls appear in the toolbar at the top of the Podcasts app.

  • On the left, you can Pause/Play or move forward or back.
  • In the center is the name of the show or episode along with a slider to move to a particular part.
  • On the right, you can adjust the volume, send the sound to another device with AirPlay, get a description of what’s playing, or view your Up Next queue.
how to listen podcasts mac app play
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Step 3: Save, download, or share podcasts you enjoy. Open the episode detail page and use the icons near the top right.

  • Click the bookmark icon to save the episode.
  • Use the download button to save the episode locally.
  • Click the three dots to mark it as played, play it next, or share it with others.

You can view your Shows, Saved, Downloaded, and Latest Episodes in the sidebar.

how to listen podcasts mac app save share
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Step 4: Take advantage of these additional features of the Podcasts app:

  • Follow shows to stay up-to-date on new episodes.
  • Create Stations to collect the shows you follow. These work like playlists in the Music app.
  • Open Podcasts > Preferences to enable automatic downloads, adjust the skip button times, and sync with your Apple devices.
how to listen podcasts mac app preferences
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Listen with a third-party app

If you search the App Store on Mac, you’ll find a handful of podcast players. The one you choose depends on the features you seek, but a good option is Mame Cast. The app has an appearance you’ll recognize in Apple’s Mac apps like News and Music, with a sidebar for navigation and toolbar for actions.

Step 1: Search for a podcast directly from iTunes, import one using OPML, or grab one using its URL.

To see what iTunes has to offer, click Discovery in the sidebar. Then pop in a search term and review the results. Click the plus sign on the right to add a show to your library and access it using Podcasts in the sidebar.

To import a podcast or enter a URL, click File in the menu bar, choose your option, and follow the prompts.

how to listen podcasts mac mame cast search
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Step 2: Select a show or episode to view the details and listen. You can see the title, a description, length, and file size. If you’re viewing a show, you’ll also see the number of episodes.

Double-click an episode to play it and then use the playback controls at the bottom.

  • On the left is the episode name and a slider to move to a certain part.
  • On the right, you can Pause/Play or move forward or back.
how to listen podcasts mac mame cast controls
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: Click the three dots to the right of a podcast to mark a favorite, add to a playlist, or share podcasts you like.

You can view your Playlists, Downloads, and Favorites in the sidebar.

how to listen podcasts mac mame cast actions
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 4: Adjust the settings for Mame Cast by selecting Mame Cast > Preferences from the menu bar. Then choose one of these tabs:

General: Choose a light or dark appearance, set the refresh timing, and automatically download new episodes.

Playback: Enable a remote control, automatically skip silence (paid feature), and choose a Play Next style.

Trim: Set up a quick trim duration (paid feature).

Advanced: Hide or show a badge icon, automatically generate metadata for downloads, or prompt an alert before you delete an episode.

Mame Cast is available on the App Store for free, with an in-app purchase required for additional features like menu bar support, an audio visualizer, silence skipping, and more.

how to listen podcasts mac mame cast preferences
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Ready to listen but need some recommendations? Take a look at our lists of the best scary podcasts or comedy podcasts.

Editors' Recommendations

Sandy Writtenhouse
Sandy has been writing about technology since 2012. Her work has appeared on How-To Geek, Lifewire, MakeUseOf, iDownloadBlog…
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