This is part two of my article on listening to podcasting. You can find last week's article here:
There are thousands of fantastic podcasts out in the big world of the internet. They cover just about every subject you can think of. As I mentioned last week, my favorite rabbit holes include shows about myths and legends, debunking 'common knowledge', true crime, literature, long form journalism and history.
The first and best way to find podcasts you like is simply browsing through interest sections on iTunes, Spotify or whatever online podcatching app you use. That will give you the most popular podcasts in any genre, which isn't a bad thing. The most popular podcast is usually the most popular for a reason.
One of the great things about looking for a podcast in a web browser is trying out a podcast before you subscribe. I generally listen to the latest episode unless it is a serial like Dirty John or The Black Tapes. Obviously, those particular podcasts need to be listened to in order to make sense, they are in a story format with a beginning and an end. But most podcasts are episodic and the episodes stand alone.
Here's what I just did: Scrolled through the Technology podcasts and landing on Darknet Diaries and listened to the latest episode which was about the NSA hacking tools that were released into the public domain a couple of years ago. I found it on this list.
It was an excellent podcast with a good host who raised interesting questions and didn't let his guest off the hook. I did a quick search on Google Podcasts and insta-subscribe for me. I'll probably go through the older episodes next. I hope it's all excellent quality, but if it isn't, off it goes.
Another good place to search for good podcasts is /r/podcasts on Reddit. It's a subreddit specifically for finding and recommending podcasts. Along the sidebar, you can also find related subreddits, like Audio Drama, for more specific interest podcasts.
One of the best podcasts online comes specifically from Reddit: /r/NoSleep. If you like listening to old time radio/spooky stories, it's a fantastic podcast.
Searching for "best *insert your favorite subject* podcasts 2019" will bring up a plethora of results on your favorite search engine. Or just search for "best podcasts 2019". You will be reading and trying out new podcasts all day.
Try this list from Digital Trends.
Finally, for trying out the best episodes of podcasts there are email newslists. My favorite is Podcast Gumbo.
There are a lot more newsletters that can be had for zero money. Just do a search.
It can take time and patience to find shows that you gel with. One of the first things you have to do is become unafraid of the subscribe and unsubscribe buttons. It doesn't take much for me to hit either of them. If I find something that looks remotely interesting, I'll give it a chance. If it irritates me in any way - Awful music, a grating host, misinformation (unsuprisingly common), a high chat to content ratio, too many badly done promos - I hit that unsubscribe button in a nano-second. Sometimes I go back to the show and give it a second chance, see if it has improved, but they rarely do.
Those are the basics of finding good podcasts. I'm sure you will find loads that are worth the time and effort. Doing these articles has put me way behind on most of my subscriptions because I found so many awesome new podcasts. Frankly, it's a good problem to have.
If you have any questions, please ask! I'll probably do some recommendations on various podcasts over on RabbitStew from time to time. I adore podcasts and online radio.
This article is going to be a bit different from my usual Friday free stuff recs. A couple of weeks ago friend asked me about podcasts and how to listen to them. Here it is.
I'm addicted to podcasts. I love them. I listen to them compulsively.
Podcasts are big right now. Huge. It's easier than ever to both find a player (podcatcher) and find a podcast that captures your interest and compels you to listen. Professional actors and newscasters are involved in making podcasts. The subjects are broad. My own subscriptions range from Celtic Christmas music that posts only in November and December every year to Ronan Farrow's new podcast that covers the release of his new book "Catch and Kill".
There are a plethora of apps available for all platforms. The podcatcher that I use on my desktop is GPodder. It's short for Gnome Podder and it is an open source tool for catching and maintaining a feed of podcasts for Linux machines. GPodder is not a podcast player. It is an aggregator. When you hit the play on an episode you want to listen to, it opens up in the media player of your choice. I use VideoLAN and recommend it highly.
But that's me. I am compelled by unseen forces to use open source everything unless it is on my phone. Which is where nearly everyone else else listens to podcasts. The lesson here is don't be like me. Go with the easy stuff.
The easiest way to listen to podcasts is with native apps:
If you have an Apple phone use the pre-installed Apple Podcasts app.
Yes. It's that simple.
If you have an Android Phone use the Google Podcast app. I've been using it for a couple of days now and I like it. It's dead simple to use and doesn't drain my battery to death. The app is a win for me. (Side note: I'm not sure WTH is up with the reviewers - I have not had the problems they are describing at all. It's easy to close the program in 'close all' and the podcasts are supposed to start where you leave off. That's how it works.)
You can also rinse, lather, repeat with Spotify. Spotify has an excellent interface for podcasts and is one of the podcast catchers/players of choice for all platforms - Mac, Windows, Android, Chrome, iOS and even Linux. I've been using it on my desktop for a few days and it's good. The ads can get annoying, but it's a commercial product, not open source. I didn't expect to get it for free.
There are other podcast catcher/players that are platform specific like Overcast (iOS) and Podcast Addict (Android/Chrome). I didn't like Podcast Addict when I tried it a couple of years ago, but other people seem to like it well enough. Like Spotify, Podcast Addict is free for basic use, but has a paid version that removes ads.
Finding a good app for catching and listening to podcasts is easy. What's hard is finding a good podcast - Mostly that's because there are so many good ones out there. You could spend the rest of your life listening to interesting podcasts and still not reach the end of them.
And that's what I'll be talking about next week. Finding good podcasts that are right for you in an ocean of good podcasts.