The wonderful world of podcasts

October 25, 2010 § 5 Comments

To be honest, no one I’ve ever talked to in real life admits to listening to podcasts. Still, I really don’t see why – a good radio show on the mobile listening device can transform a dreary wait at a bus stop into a magical experience. And it’s all for free!

Of course I only listen to things that interest me, but maybe some of the choices listed below seem enticing to you. Podcasts can be downloaded directly from the webpages of radio stations, or subscribed to on iTunes or downloaded straight onto our mobile listening device via iTunes – which is the way I do it, most of the time. The files are usually quite large, so they will inevitably clutter up the hard drive of your computer.

What I suggest doing is putting a number of podcasts on your mobile listening device and give one of them a try the next time you have to wait for the bus. Or at night, when you think you ought to go to bed but aren’t quite tired enough. Let me know what you think.

Podcasts I listen to include:

  • NPR Most E-mailed Stories – a mixed bunch of the day’s radio stories from the great US public radio network
  • The Moth Podcast – featuring stories told without notes before live audiences. These are often extremely funny and/or touching.
  • BBC History of the World in 100 Objects – right now, the podcasts are still all available for download, even thought the show came to an end last week. I am in severe withdrawal.
  • Planet Money from NPR – a great show on economics with a hands-on approach. If you have the slightest interest in economics, give it a go.
  • Radio Lab – another NPR show that’s very unusual in its treatment of science as FUN! I may be a little in love with Jad Abumrad, one of the presenters.
  • This American Life – a truly unique show that always devotes one hour to one topic. Brilliant.
  • Six Minute English – if the above podcasts seem a bit intimidating, here’s a great short weekly show made for upper-intermediate learners of English. The topics are frequently quite interesting.

You can read more about listening and about podcasts here.

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