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    How to download and listen to podcasts


    By Tess McCabe

    As someone who has worked solo for much of my career, listening to podcasts as I go about my day have become a big part of my life. There are a few podcasts that I listen to regularly, and often times when I have found myself alone for 8 or more hours a day, their hosts have become like virtual studio mates. (There was a running joke when I was pregnant with my son that once born he would recognise Ira Glass‘ voice more readily than my husband’s!)

    My definition of a podcast is essentially an online radio program. Sometimes, actual broadcast radio programs will archive episodes online for listeners to access at any time. Other times, a podcast is only available online and not broadcast via any other media. These are usually pretty niche in their topic, and unless it’s the focus of the show they rarely take breaks to play music. The podcast hosts are often just regular folk with something interesting to share (i.e. without any professional broadcast experience!).

    Earlier this year, with my friend and fellow creative mum Emma Clark, I started a podcast: The New Normal. On each episode, we interview a guest about their experiences as parents, and try to glean how they make family life work while also maintaining a career or a business (and some semblance of a social life).

    Probably the number one question Emma and I have been asked since starting our podcast is: How do I listen to it? Or indeed, any podcast?

    So this post is a quick answer to that question. Disclaimer: I’m not the most up to date person when it comes to internet and mobile technology. I know slightly more than the basics, but don’t expect this blog post to explain every available option to you with up-to-the-minute advances in podcast-listening-options. I know what I know, and hopefully it’s enough to get you started!

    I personally listen to podcasts in two ways. On my computer when I’m working there, or via my iPhone when I’m away from my desk.

    Mobile phone listening

    I have an iPhone 4, and the easiest way I find to listen to podcasts is through the Podcasts app. This app is free to download from the App Store, and after searching for the name of the podcast or finding one that looks interesting through the categories, I simply hit ‘subscribe’. Every time a new episode of that podcast is released, the badge will tell you, and you can find and listen to past episodes as well. (Android users – check out this article for tips on getting podcasts onto your phone.) From there, hit play and away you go.

    The Podcast app on an iPhone

    The Podcast app on an iPhone

    From the Podcasts app you can also download episodes directly to your phone, which is handy if you’ll be (gasp!) without an internet signal for a while.

    A word of warning though: most podcasts accessed via the Podcast app method use your 3G or 4G internet data allowance to stream the episode live (or to download the full episode). Thus constant podcast listening can chew through your data pretty quickly!

    To avoid this, I’ll often download episodes at home while my phone is connected to wifi, or download them via my computer as mp3 files and transfer them to my phone like I would with music. Which leads me to…

    Desktop listening

    I truly despise iTunes. I find it to be so user-unfriendly, but maybe that’s just me (see non-tech-head disclaimer above). So generally when I’m listening to podcasts online from my computer, I do so by going directly to the podcaster’s website. Plus, I figure this helps the podcaster to know how much website traffic/listeners they have and where they are coming from – something iTunes lacks!

    Most podcaster’s websites allow you to stream an episode live via an inbuilt ‘player’ on their web page. Here’s an example of our website and the inbuilt player where you can listen directly. Remember though, if your internet connection drops out, or you accidentally close that browser window – there goes the episode!

    You can usually play a podcast online through a built-in player on their website.

    Most podcast’s websites have a built-in player to stream episodes from your internet browser.

    Luckily, most of these players also have an option to download the podcast episode in full as an .mp3. If you download the episode in this way direct to your computer, that file can be played at any time (e.g. through your iTunes music library or other mp3 player). Our own CWC podcasts use this method so Members can listen to interviews and past event recordings.

    Finding podcasts to listen to

    What I like about podcasts is that I can really hone in on what interests me as a listener. When I’m feeling in the mood for creative business tips and interviews with my favourite bloggers and small business owners, I listen to Grace Bonney from Design*Sponge’s show After the Jump, or Jess Lively’s The Lively Show. I also like interviews with interesting people from all walks about their lives, and both Conversations with Richard Fidler and WTF with Marc Maron pump these out regularly. Radio journalism on quirky and interesting topics is also a favourite – for these I head over to RadioLabThis American Life, or their new spin-off, Serial. And who doesn’t love discussing (in a passive listener way) the challenges of parenting, marriage and relationships? For these topics I like Totally Married, Death Sex and Money, and The Longest Shortest Time.

    In terms of finding new shows to listen too, there are a few radio stations that put most of their shows online in podcast form, like our own ABC and WNYC in the US. On Stitcher you can search by category. Most of the podcasts I’ve found and love I have discovered via blog posts listing people’s favourite finds – I bookmarked these posts by Kyla Roma and Cup of Jo (read the comments!) and revisit them when I’m on the hunt for something new.

    In a nutshell, that’s how I access podcasts and listen to them regularly. What’s your method? And what are your favourite shows? Tell us via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!

    Next week I’ll explain how we produce The New Normal if you’re thinking of starting your own podcast!

    Posted by: Tess McCabe
    Categories: podcasts | Comments Off
    Posted on

    Interview – Tess McCabe of CWC and Creative Minds Publishing

    Tess McCabe

    By Andrea McArthur

    Tess McCabe is a Brisbane-born, Melbourne based creative entrepreneur who has made Creative Women’s Circle (CWC) the inspirational community that it is. Recently, Tess has also founded a resource for smart working creatives called Creative Minds Publishing. A big thanks to Tess for sharing her thoughts with us.

    Can you give a brief description of your path to CWC and Creative Minds Publishing.

    From an early age I’ve been a  lover of printed things – books, magazines, posters, stationery – though it wasn’t until late high school that I could ‘name’ graphic design as the career path to follow. At that point I was pretty determined to make that happen, though I was also open to whatever opportunities came my way job-wise in the industry. So after a Bachelor of Design Studies at Griffith University in Brisbane, I worked for a big publishing house designing educational and non-fiction books. I also freelanced for small studios and my own clients creating brand identities, printed things and web stuff, and after a year of travel found myself working independently full-time in 2008 doing all of the above. As a ‘side project’ and as a way to meet people in my new home town of Melbourne, I took over coordinating CWC in 2009 from its founder Dearne Mills.

    CWC grew in hops, skips and jumps, and in 2011 I was looking for a project that could combine my love of print and my interest in the stories of other creative women. I’m really passionate about promoting the work of women in creative industries and shining a spotlight on their career achievements. Thus Conversations with Creative Women was born, which seemed like a natural progression for CWC. That really sparked my interest and zest for self-publishing, so Volume Two appeared two years later.

    I’m a keen observer and listener, and if I think that there is a need for a particular resource for the community of independent creatives I am so invested in to be realised, then I think of ways to make it happen. The launch of Creative Minds Publishing earlier this year is basically a way to put an umbrella over these ideas.

    CWC and Creative Minds Publishing

    Describe CWC’s core values?

    We value shining a spotlight on the creative work of women, because we feel that women are vastly under-represented on many platforms that promote the work of creatives. But we also value sharing and uncovering the truth that there are many varied paths a creative career can take, not all of them conventional and most of them incorporating all of the other messy life stuff that comes with being a creative lady e.g. making money; having a family etc.

    At what period did you feel CWC gaining momentum?

    Probably after the release of Conversations with Creative Women: Volume One, and the introduction of memberships and The Circle Database in 2012. Those things extended the reach of CWC and meant connections between creative women from all walks reached beyond Melbourne’s borders (which at the time was the only place we held our in-person events).

    Where would you like to take CWC in the future?

    To be honest, 2015 could be a fairly significant year for CWC!

    Event-wise, in 2014 we’ve had speaker events and Member’s Morning Teas in Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane and of course Melbourne, and next year I’d love to see these events being hosted in the other capital cities and major regional centres as well.

    As The Circle Database grows, it will be great to see more interaction between Members and more of their needs addressed through website upgrades and additions.

    Structurally however, there are some changes which I’m hoping to make that mean the community of Members we’ve built will get to take a lot more ownership over the future direction of CWC. This is all in the planning stages at the moment, but more than it being an exciting thing for the group, it’s the right thing to do for the future of CWC and its sustainability as well. Stay tuned!

    Morning Tea

    At a Member’s Morning Tea event at Mimi-Myrtle&Co. Photography by Martina Gemmola

    What is the next event that CWC is hosting?

    We’ve just had our last speaker and morning tea events in Brisbane, Melbourne, Newcastle and Sydney for the year over the last few weeks. Now it’s time for some resting, recharging, plotting and planning before we get back into the swing of things in February/March next year.

    How has networking helped you so far?

    I’m not a native Melburnian, so when I moved here 8 years ago I didn’t know very many people. Plus, 12 months after settling here I decided to become self-employed and work from home, which wasn’t a great strategy for meeting new people! Networks like CWC helped me get the support I needed as an independent business woman but has also gained me some very dear friends along the way. I’m a pretty introverted person by nature, and traditional networking doesn’t gel with me, so I really built CWC up to be exactly the kind of non-threatening networking device I wanted (and that I could see other people liked as well!). Yes I have gained a few clients through it, but mostly it’s given me a cushion of support and many, many bursts of inspiration as I fumble through my own business ventures.

    Has social media played a large factor in your businesses success as well?

    Definitely. When I took over CWC in 2009, blogs were becoming popular but the other platforms we are so accustomed to now either didn’t exist, or weren’t as widely used yet. The introduction of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and the ability for the CWC community to meet in person at events and then stay connected through those channels has been imperative to CWC’s success – they work hand in hand. Though if we could all agree to hold off introducing another social media platform for a while that would be great – it’s a lot to keep up with!

    Have any of your creative businesses been a product of personal projects coming to life?

    I suppose Creative Women’s Circle evolved from a side project into something I spend a lot more time on and take more seriously from a business perspective. I’ve learned to keep truly personal and fun projects out of the business sphere as much as possible, to that the pressure off and to ensure they stay fun.

    Have you always had your “Creative Minds Publishing” idea in the back of your mind?

    Having my own publishing company was not something I always intended to do. I tend to focus on 3-5 year goals, so professionally I know what I am working toward, but those goals are always somewhat vague (or have ‘feathered edges’ as I like to think). I have a very young family and my partner is also self-employed, and so professional goals at this stage of my life have to be fluid and flexible. I would go so far to say as I will probably always want to work in graphic design, in print, and spearhead my own projects with cool people, so that combination of things is what spurned Creative Minds Publishing. But I have no master plan for the brand just yet – I’d like to see it develop on its own first and then mould it from there.

    Conversations with Creative Women

    When did you decide to act?

    At the beginning of 2013, CWC held a speaker event with Melbourne intellectual property lawyer Sharon Givoni about protecting copyright for creatives. It was one of our most popular events to date, and afterwards over coffee Sharon and I mused that there wasn’t a single comprehensive resource available to creatives that explained the concepts she discussed in the workshop, and the issues her clients come to her with every day. With her interest in writing and mine in publishing, and our combined networks of creatives from which to draw inspiration and target the resource, it seemed like a natural next step to produce a book together: Owning It: A Creative’s Guide to Copyright, Contracts and the Law. Formalising an imprint under which to release the book in 2015 was the impetus for launch Creative Minds in August this year. Plus, it made sense to re-release my earlier eBook Graphic Design Speak in print (yay!) to welcome the brand to the world!

    Over the years how have you learnt your main business lessons. From trial and error, reading, workshops or bringing specialists in?

    Probably the biggest lesson is to listen to the advice and feedback of others, but know when to take that advice with a grain of salt, and also know how to vet those to ensure they have your best interests at heart. In the past I have screwed myself over by not trusting people enough, and been screwed by trusting people too much. It’s tough steering a ship whilst also drawing the map – you need people around you but it can take time to find the right support network.

    I read a lot, but not the kind of ‘business’ books you might think. I like memoirs, particularly comedian’s memoirs. Comedians are self-employed, creative, pursue a niche industry they are intensely passionate in – often for years before they find success – but at the same time they are acutely aware of the absurdity of life and how lucky they are to be able to do what they do for money. I like that attitude.

    Many of the little nuggets of advice that rattle around my head are from CWC speakers, or interviews on our blog or the Conversations books. I feel pretty lucky to have that constant injection of real-life advice from other women who are steering their ships in the same ocean as me!

    Graphic Design Speak

    And, what advice has stayed with you.

    I’m not sure if there is one specific piece of advice that is high above all the rest, but we all know that saying ‘no-one on their death bed ever wished they had spent more time at the office’. So probably the advice I try to keep front of mind these days is to work when it’s work time, enjoy family time when it’s family time, and relax when it’s relax time (and have a decent measure of all three in an average week!). That doesn’t always go to plan (I can’t help it if I come up with a great work-related idea when I am playing with trucks with my son!) but it’s important to keep trying.

    Walk us through a day in the life of Tess.

    I’m working full-time hours at the moment while my husband does the stay-at-home-Dad thing, something we consider ourselves pretty fortunate to be able to swing. So my day starts when my son, who is two-and-a-half, wakes up around 7am. From there all three of us amble around trying to get fed and dressed in a reasonable amount of time. I leave the house around 8am and walk to my office in a shared studio space five minutes away. Once there, I tackle the to-do list that I have made the previous day, usually starting with emails that have come in overnight. On an average day I will do a couple of hours of graphic design work for clients (while listening to my favourite podcasts), a couple of hours of work on Owning It or another smaller publishing project, and some time on CWC (preparing a blog post, emailing with a speaker or event host, tinkering with the website, or sending out book orders or membership packs). I’m pretty head-down-bum-up productive – way more so than when I didn’t have a kid and didn’t have to shut down my computer on the dot of 5.30pm. When I leave the office I head straight home to hang with my family and catch up on the day, wrangle the kid into a bath and then into bed, and then have dinner with my husband. After dinner I might do a gym class (no more than twice a week though… I hate exercising but have come to recognise it’s a necessary evil!), or record an episode of The New Normal Podcast with my friend and neighbour Emma Clark. Weekends are family time and I’m pleased to say I’ve stopped doing computer work on weekends – there’s just no time (or energy) after toddler taming and it’s nice to return fresh after a break from the big screen on Monday morning. I still check email and social media on my phone pretty regularly though… can’t break that addiction unfortunately.

    What were you doing the last time you looked at a clock and realised you had lost all track of time?

    Sadly it was probably tackling a rather unwieldy email inbox or getting stuck on a design. How I DO like to lose track of time is painting, or reading, or meals with family and friends.

    - – -

    You can become a member of Creative Women’s Circle or view the titles under Creative Minds Publishing.

    Andrea McArthur (www.andyjane.com) has a passion for all things visual and works as a Senior Graphic Designer in Dubai. Type is her true love and goes weak at the knees over beautiful design. You’ll find her sharing image musings on Instagram @andyjanemc.

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    Posted by: Andrea McArthur
    Categories: CWC news, interview, regular columns | Comments Off