How to Play Podcasts from Your Apple Watch

By Marc Saltzman

You can listen to podcasts through your Apple Watch. Podcasts (a word that fuses iPod with broadcasting) are free downloadable programs from the Internet — be it a comedy routine, a news report, a political rant, cooking instructions, tech advice, gardening tips, a religious sermon, or the latest music remix from a popular DJ.

Many podcasts have video, but on Apple Watch you can only listen to the audio-based ones.

In iTunes, click the Podcasts tab and then take a look at the Top Episodes, Top Podcasts, Editor’s Choice, and New & Noteworthy or click Categories to choose a specific theme. Click to play a podcast right in iTunes.

If you hear a podcast you like, you can subscribe with the simple click of the mouse; every time a new show is available, you can have it automatically download to your computer’s hard drive (or phone’s internal memory).

Unlike your favorite local radio station, podcasts let you to choose when the program starts (called time shifting) and where you want to listen to it — even in another country (called place shifting).

Anyone can publish a podcast — be it a 16-year-old video game fan or huge media corporations, such as ABC/Disney, CNN, or HBO. Thousands of radio stations have podcasts of their popular programs and personalities.

Best of all, they’re all free.

Once podcasts are downloaded onto your computer, you can use the Apple Watch handoff feature to play them from Apple Watch.

Or you can sync them to your Apple Watch if desired. You do need to be a little tech-savvy to pull it off though.

To sync podcasts to your Apple Watch, follow these steps:

  1. On your computer, open up the iTunes directory in Windows Explorer (for PCs) or Finder (in Macs). On Windows PCs, for example, the directory will be under Music→iTunes→iTunes Media→Podcasts.

    Inside this directory, you should see all your podcasts as folders, and inside each folder, you should find the individual podcast episodes as .MP3 audio tracks.

  2. Launch iTunes and click the Music tab.

    In the top-left corner, you should see a little icon with an arrow.

  3. Click this icon to bring up some options, including New.

  4. Click New with your mouse, followed by New Playlist.

    Give a name to your Podcasts Playlist, such as “Podcasts” or perhaps the name of the podcast, such as “Star Talk.”

  5. Drag and drop the podcasts (MP3s) from Windows Explorer or Finder into this newly created playlist.

    Now you’re ready to sync your new playlist over to Apple Watch so you can hear your podcasts without a nearby iPhone.