Why you should listen to podcasts

I’m sure you are asking yourself “What are podcasts anyway, aren’t they dead and why should I listen to them?”

In simple terms, podcasts are audio files that you can listen to from your computer or mobile device.  Unlike being forced to listen to ads and hit songs you don’t like on your favourite radio station, podcasts are basically radio on demand. You can listen to them any time in your car, cooking, walking or at the gym.

The beauty of podcasts are that they are easy to download, free, great quality and allow you to curate your personalized playlist.  The only downside is the awful ads and product pitches that generally air before the podcast.

There are podcasts on just about everything – you can listen for pure entertainment, get amazing insights from clever people or improve your knowledge.

Here are some great Podcasts to get you started:

Serial

This true story follows an investigation into schoolgirl, Hae Min Lee’s, murder on January 13, 1999.  Her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested for the crime, and within a year, he was sentenced to life in prison. The case against him was largely based on the story of one witness, Adnan’s friend Jay, who testified that he helped Adnan bury Hae’s body. But Adnan has always maintained he had nothing to do with Hae’s death. Some people believe he’s telling the truth.

Serial is a cliffhanger drama that leads back to the most basic questions “How can you know a person’s character? How can you tell what they’re capable of?”

The Audio Long Read

A brilliant way to catch up with long news features you haven’t got round to reading. The Guardian long reads feature in-depth reporting, essays and profiles, with recent episodes  including the death of an Internet Troll, What science doesn’t know about Menopause and an American drug bust in West Africa, this is a must for multi taskers and anyone just wanting to hear a great piece of journalism in an articulate voice.

99% Invisible

My friend Anita introduced me to this Podcast and I love listening to it!  It’s a podcast about design and you know that an item of design is good if you barely notice it – hence the name of this mind-boggling exploration of product design, architecture and fashion technology. These vivid bite-sized episodes(15-30 minutes) , explore everything from the first supermodel to the roots of the I ♥ NY logo to the aesthetic of Looney Tunes cartoons. 99% Invisible is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about, which makes you think.

The Memory Palace

This unique history podcast, which is quite American, turns historical disasters, turning points or just weird happenings into evocative spoke-word vignettes. The episodes are 3-10 minutes long and are perfect for a walk round the block or quick trip in your car. Covering everything from the Brooklyn Bridge, to the advent of the Sony Walkman, The Memory Palace is part short story, part audio poem and part oral history time capsule.

Modern Love

I love this Podcast, which often brings me to happy tears. Modern Love is based on The New York Times’ popular series of weekly reader-submitted essays. It explores the joys and tribulations of love, with readings by famous people and updates from the essayists themselves. The latest episodes on how Alzheimers healed a family and a woman’s decision to put her child up for adoption will make you believe in love all over again.

HOW DO I GET A PODCAST watch this great video from Serial

Happy listening!

x

Update 19 August: Add TED Radio Hour to this list, currently listening to “Brand Over Brain” which is fabulous!

 

 

 

 

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