Help Me Find Podcasts

May 21st, 2012  |  Published in etc  |  1 Comment

I’ve taken to going for a 30 minute walk each morning, and I’ve made walking a bigger part of my life in general: I don’t drive or bike to the grocery store when I can take the time to walk and  on the days I go out for lunch I prefer to walk. I like having something to listen to while I’m doing that. It really doesn’t need to be — and I’d prefer it not be — music. I can listen to as much music as I want, as loudly as I want, all day long. I’d prefer it be spoken word. I don’t have nearly as much time as I’d like to listen to other people talking about stuff. I don’t have a job that allows me to absorb an idea while I’m otherwise occupied, and I don’t have a commute. At home, when I’m not working, I don’t want to sequester myself away from Al & Ben during the time we have together as a family.

Currently, I just time-shift NPR programs: On the Media, This American Life, Fresh Air, Philosophy Talk. I wouldn’t mind adding a few more to my list. Maybe you can help me. Here’s what I’d like:

Engaging subject matter:  For me, that’s probably philosophy, politics, media, film and mixed martial arts. Not professional tech (e.g. web development, programming) and definitely not consumer tech (e.g. gadgets, Apple products). 

Tight format: I’ve tried to listen to “dudes hanging around” podcasts, and they don’t work for me. One of the reasons most of my listening is still very much “repackaged professionally prepared content from NPR” is that i can count on the format: Intro, quick plea for money, on to the first guest. I’ve only got 30 minutes here. I want to spend it well, not listening to digital water cooler talk. Unless it’s digital water cooler talk from really fascinating people.

Production values: Doesn’t have to be perfect, but if the show is an ongoing series of decent-sounding host and echoey, unreliable Skype call-ins, that’s just more wasted time. 

So … that’s it. That’s what I’m after. Can you help?


  1. NPR, Cut and Pasted :: dot unplanned says:

    June 7th, 2012 at 11:04 pm (#)

    […] used to stream OPB live on my morning walks, but after spending a little time looking for interesting things to listen to, I turned to the NPR News iPhone app. It’s pretty […]

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