It’s been a while (a year!) since I wrote about podcasts but with my recent change of job, and a 30-odd minute commute by bus, I’ve been hunting about for some more podcasts to fill my time, and on the way I’ve ditched a couple I used to listen to, so I thought it worthwhile popping a list of my current subscriptions here in case anyone else has the same, admittedly specific and narrow, set of interests as me.

In saying that, most of my choices of whether to subscribe to a podcast or not is largely based around time. Anything over 40 odd minutes doesn’t make the cut – every rule has exceptions of course – and my subscriptions are varied as I’ll happily listen to someone talking about pretty much anything as long as they are engaging and passionate about their topic. I’ve dropped a couple of podcasts recently purely because of the voices, shallow I know but I really don’t want to spend 30 minutes cringing at every gasping adenoidal breath of a host who offers neither passion nor much humanity as they speak.

However looking at the list of my subscriptions (below), it does have a fairly narrow focus that covers design, tech, Apple fanboy stuff, comedy, food, science and desert island discs, so if anyone has any suggestions please leave a comment, doesn’t really matter what the topic is, as long as it’s around the 30-40 min mark (or less!).

So, in no particular order, here is my current list of podcast subcriptions:

  • TEDTalks (audio) (subscribe) (website) – the audio only versions of the TED talks, doesn’t always make sense without the visuals, YMMV.
  • Answer Me This! (subscribe) (website) – random questions answered with humour, knowledge and pathos (ok, not pathos, swearing. Whatever).
  • Song Exploder (subscribe) (website) – Take one song and break it out, artists discuss inspirations, production ideas and how a song becomes a song. Fascinating.
  • a16z (subscribe) (website) – Discusses trends, news and the future of a world being shaped by technology.
  • Serial (subscribe) (website) – The rule breaker – usually at least one hour long but an indepth look via investigative journalism, at one true story. Fascinating.
  • Clockwise (subscribe) (website) – Four people, four topics, tech/geek/apple fanboy tastic chat.
  • In Our Time (subscribe) (website) – From BBC R4 – Melvyn Bragg and guests the history of ideas, usually in great detail. Challenging at times, always interesting.
  • Canvas (subscribe) (website) – two fulltime iPad users talk iOS and mobile productivity. Every episode (so far) has been full of useful hints, tips and apps.
  • Refresh (subscribe) – a show about things we plug in, program and play with – from the people who brought you Cards Against Humanity
  • Radiolab (subscribe) (website) – a show about curiosity, where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.
  • 99% Invisible (subscribe) (website) – MY CURRENT FAVOURITE – Design is everywhere – a weekly exploratoin of the process and power of design and architecture. ALWAYS fascinating and way more entertaining than it sounds.
  • No Such Thing As A Fish (subscribe) (website) – MY SECOND FAVOURITE – The QI Elves discuss four random topics. Irreverent, educational, funny, rude, enlightening. A simple format that really works.
  • Gastropod (subscribe) (website) – Food with a side of science & history.
  • The Allusionist (subscribe) (website) – Linguistic adventures, a look at words, how they came to be and how they shape how we act and think.
  • Thinking Allowed (subscribe) (website) – From BBC R4, discussions on how society works.
  • Desert Island Discs (subscribe) (website) – From BBC R4, truncated show (they can’t play all of the tracks) so you get the chat without having to listen to all of the music choices.
  • Ctrl-Walt-Delete (subscribe) (website) – Walt Mossberg (hence the name) and the Verge editor-in-chief discuss the last tech news and ideas.
  • The Broad Experience (subscribe) (website) – Discussing issues facing women in the workplace today.

Hopefully someone might find something new in the above list!

Ohh and I’m still using Overcast, largely because it works and does some clever little things that help – my favourite feature is probably the button that lets me skip 30s forward as I’m really fed up hearing about Squarespace and Mailchimp – and it also has a good directory which has helped me find some of the above podcasts.

Got a suggestion? Drop it in the comments!

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Long time blogger, Father of Jack, geek of many things, random photographer and writer of nonsense.

Doing my best to find a balance.

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Not suprisingly, quite a bit of overlap in our listening tastes!

I would also recommend Josie Long’s short cuts. Definitely owes a debt to radio lab, but very enjoyable listen.

Ta, will check that one out

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