Podcasts and audiobooks are a great way to get info. I particularly like them because I can simultaneously do things that don't require singular focus, such as driving, exercising, doing dishes, cooking, etc.
I also like listening to music during those activities, and in the past I was faced with a choice between the two. Why not both!?
On a computer, it's easy to listen to both simultaneously – just start both, and adjust volume levels. Typically I'm listening on an Android phone, though, which has some limitations:
Typically there's just one app with the current "audio focus".
There is no per-app volume control, only a master volume control.
How can we work around these limitations? The next section explains one possibility.
I listen to podcasts on Podcast Addict and music on Spotify. I haven't tried many other apps, but these are popular and work decently enough. Anyway, with those particular apps, here's how to listen to both:
Make it so that Podcast Addict ignores audio focus requests. In particular:
Press the vertical ellipsis in the top right corner.
Press "App settings", then "Player".
Scroll all the way to the bottom of the Player settings.
Check the "Ignore Audio Focus requests" option, which is currently marked "Experimental".
In Spotify's settings, enable the "Normalize volume" option and set the "Volume level" to "Quiet". This makes the podcasts much more intelligible, since they aren't competing as much with the music, amplitude-wise.
Some podcasts aren't very loud. It can also be helpful to enable Podcast Addict's "Volume boost" setting, which is within the "Audio Player" settings. This requires enabling "Audio effects".
Enabling audio effects can also be used to set a different playback speed. For example, I have a default set to 1.5x speed, since I'm mostly listening to informational podcasts rather than podcasts where timing and pace is significant.
One thing to note is that if you use headphones with a button that controls pause / play / next, then it will apply to the last app you hit the play button on. I typically prefer to play the podcasts second, so that pause / play applies to it.
This works fine with google maps also providing audio directions. Three audio streams, hah! Also, note that you can change the maps voice. I prefer the "English (UK)" voice over the "English (US)" voice:
Press the 3 horizontal bars next on the left side of the search box, to open up the sidebar.
Press "settings", then "navigation settings", then "Voice selection".
Instead of a regular aux cable in the car, I use a TRRS cable from some headphones which has an inline button to control play / pause. Can be quite handy!