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Podcasts and data usage

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 Lankyman 07 Jul 2024

Last month I overran my monthly data limit so decided to take a closer look at my recent podcast usage. I've been listening to 'The Rest is History' a lot over the last year mostly by streaming direct from the Apple website (I don't pay for a subscription). Amazingly (to me) this seems to use up to a whole GB for a single 1 hour episode. By contrast, listening to a 30 minute streamed episode of 'When it Hits the Fan' on BBC Sounds seems to use only about 40 MB. Am I missing something about the whole podcast game and is there a less heavy on the data way to listen?

 RobAJones 07 Jul 2024
In reply to Lankyman:

>  Am I missing something about the whole podcast game and is there a less heavy on the data way to listen?

Set you phone so it only downloads podcasts when you have WiFi? 

 nathan79 07 Jul 2024
In reply to Lankyman:

I don't know Apple, but are you able to download episodes from the website on WiFi for offline listening? Not sure if that would be a subscription only thing. Possible you can reduce the quality for a smaller file stream?

Alternatively "The Rest is History" is available via other free podcast apps. It's certainly on Player FM which I use.

 deepsoup 07 Jul 2024
In reply to Lankyman:

Something wrong there.  The Rest is History is available on BBC Sounds too, and an episode is about 40MB ish, 60MB ish or about 150MB to download depending on whether you have the audio quality set to low, medium or high.

In reply to Lankyman:

Sounds like the Apple podcast is streaming in hires; e.g. a CD is around 700MB. BBC Sounds must be using a compressed stream; perfectly suitable for speech.

See if there are any codec/quality options on the Apple podcast site.

OP Lankyman 07 Jul 2024
In reply to deepsoup:

> Something wrong there.  The Rest is History is available on BBC Sounds too, and an episode is about 40MB ish, 60MB ish or about 150MB to download depending on whether you have the audio quality set to low, medium or high.

Yes, Sounds does have some (but not all) episodes

OP Lankyman 07 Jul 2024
In reply to RobAJones:

> Set you phone so it only downloads podcasts when you have WiFi? 

Sensible but when I looked on the Apple website I couldn't see any option for this, just streaming.

OP Lankyman 07 Jul 2024
In reply to nathan79:

> I don't know Apple, but are you able to download episodes from the website on WiFi for offline listening? Not sure if that would be a subscription only thing. Possible you can reduce the quality for a smaller file stream?

> Alternatively "The Rest is History" is available via other free podcast apps. It's certainly on Player FM which I use.

I shall take a look at Player FM, thanks

 RobAJones 07 Jul 2024
In reply to Lankyman:

> Sensible but when I looked on the Apple website I couldn't see any option for this, just streaming.

I use android and podbeam, but am surprised there isn't there a data option on your phone to restict using data to download podcasts. 

OP Lankyman 07 Jul 2024
In reply to RobAJones:

> I use android and podbeam, but am surprised there isn't there a data option on your phone to restict using data to download podcasts. 

There might well be an option but I haven't seen it. It wouldn't be as convenient as just listening when the feeling takes me. If Apple did have a download option on their website I'd have to get down to the library or sit in a Booth's carpark ...

 RobAJones 07 Jul 2024
In reply to Lankyman:

Fair enough. I had a similar problem to you when on holiday last year. Automatically downloading podcasts when at a supermarket or cafe was generally fine for me and I could always use data for a specific episode if I wanted to listen to it urgently. 

 deepsoup 07 Jul 2024
In reply to Lankyman:

Even if you're downloading episodes via wifi, you'd probably want smaller files unless you have a lot of storage space on your phone.  It isn't quite as convenient as just streaming whatever you want whenever you want, but on a reasonably fast wifi connection (with reasonably sized audio files) it's very quick so you can download several hours worth of stuff to listen to later in just a minute or two.

OP Lankyman 07 Jul 2024
In reply to deepsoup:

I've just had another look on the Amazon podcasts website again to see if I've missed anything but can't see any option for downloading. I have 30 GB of data per month (with id mobile) and notice they have a 70 GB deal for not much more than what I currently pay! Might be the way forward!

In reply to Lankyman:

iPhones have their low data mode deep inside their Mobile Service options. Go to Settings, Mobile Service, Mobile Data Options, Data Mode with then the option of Low Data Mode.

Also, iPhones have mobile data streaming options for audio under Settings, Music; there is a low data option there. Maybe check to see if that applies also to podcast steaming if the mobile service option doesn’t do it automatically? I’ve never tried so don’t know the answer, sorry.

Settings, under podcasts, also has various settings with can be used and may or may not help. For example, can turn off background refresh, use of mobile data, allow automatic downloads, etc.

OP Lankyman 07 Jul 2024
In reply to Climbing Pieman:

Thanks. Can't find any equivalent in my android phone settings. It's a fairly basic model.

 Wil Treasure 07 Jul 2024
In reply to Lankyman:

It won't be anything to do with the size of the episode. Apple don't host the files, they stream from the original host, so they don't have any control over the actual files.

Using virtually any free podcast app would solve your problem. As people have said you can download them over WiFi that way, but also when streaming you shouldn't be using significantly more data. I don't have an answer for why the website is using so much, are they serving video adverts as well?

OP Lankyman 07 Jul 2024
In reply to Wil Treasure:

Ads do come within the podcasts but it's all solely audio. Goalhanger is the creative source and there's the option of taking out a Rest is History Club subscription but I'm trying to get something for nothing.

 deepsoup 07 Jul 2024
In reply to Lankyman:

How about if you forget about using a podcast app and just point your web browser here?
https://therestishistory.com/episodes/

I'm not a subscriber, but if I point Chrome at that address on my Android phone I can listen to the first episode there fine, or download it as a 15MB mp3.  (The most recent episode downloads as a 77MB mp3.)

Post edited at 12:42
 Wil Treasure 07 Jul 2024
In reply to Lankyman:

> I'm trying to get something for nothing.

And you can, with any podcast app, or using deepsoup's link above.

OP Lankyman 07 Jul 2024
In reply to deepsoup:

That looks promising - I'll give it a go

OP Lankyman 07 Jul 2024
In reply to nathan79:

> Alternatively "The Rest is History" is available via other free podcast apps. It's certainly on Player FM which I use.

I've downloaded the Player FM app but can't see Rest is History listed on the history app. Am I missing something?

 Wil Treasure 07 Jul 2024
In reply to Lankyman:

The search button? Hopefully this will open in the app for you: https://player.fm/series/the-rest-is-history-2817045

 nathan79 07 Jul 2024
In reply to Lankyman:

I just put "The Rest is History" in the search bar and it appeared as the second top hit. (Always ignore the first result in Player FM searches)

It's not a podcast I was aware of but it looks an interesting one, I've now subscribed. No way I'm getting thorough all 400+ episodes though!

OP Lankyman 07 Jul 2024
In reply to Wil Treasure:

Thanks. I think I'm now downloading an episode about Martin Luther ... It's definitely old dog/new tricks with me!

OP Lankyman 07 Jul 2024
In reply to nathan79:

> It's not a podcast I was aware of but it looks an interesting one, I've now subscribed. No way I'm getting thorough all 400+ episodes though!

I've been ploughing through it for over a year? I have been picking and choosing my episodes though. I could see that the presenters' style could come across as a bit schoolboy/flip at times but it is entertaining and they seem to know their stuff. I've read a few Tom Holland books which is how I zeroed in on the podcast after initially starting with Real Dictators (narrated by Paul McGann).


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