Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Podcast Junkie

As far as home electronics technology goes, I limp along. I don't really watch TV, and Mr W watches videos from the library. I don't feel like I'm missing much, because I spend a good bit of time on my computer, and NPR is pretty much always on at my house.

Last fall, when it looked like I was going to have to do a big slog of lab work, and somehow radio reception in the lab evaporated, I looked into getting an ipod. I settled on a Nano, and I must say it has been a really useful little gadget.

My funds never seem to allow me to justify buying music, so I've mostly used the ipod to listen to free podcasts at work and in the car. Somehow my 12 year old car radio came with a jack for plugging in things like my ipod. Go figure.

I've tried a lot of podcasts, and as you might expect, there's a wide range of topics and appeal out there. I thought I'd jot down some of my favorites. In alphabetic order, because that's how they are on iTunes. Here we go:

1. American Public Media's (APM) Speaking of Faith, with Krista Tippet. Not really about religion at all.
2. APM's The Splendid Table with Lynn Rosetto Casper. "For people who love to eat!"
3. Cast On with Brenda Dayne. A knitting podcast connecting knitting with life.
4. CBC Radio's The Vinyl Cafe with Stewart McLean. Sort of like A Prairie Home Companion with more music.
5. The Dinner Party Download. Little bits of conversation starters. They are so California.
6. Le Show, by Harry Shearer. Very funny, and he's pretty normal for a celebrity.
7. Knit Picks Podcast. Another knitting one; more about techniques.
8. Medical Matters by the BBC. Good medical-based features on one topic per episode.
9. The Moth Podcast. Go listen to it now. If you haven't heard of The Moth, you will. Amazing true stories "told without notes". Go. Now.
10. NPR's Talk of the Nation. We don't get it on my public radio station.
11. NPR's Planet Money. Another one to go listen to right now. They have talked me through the economic crisis. Knowlegeable and entertaining.
12. Ready Set Knit. Yet another knitting podcast. More techniques.
13. Science in the City from WNYC. Great features on science from the NY Academy of Science
14. Stash and Burn. Knitting. They knit a lot and talk about the ins and outs of patterns.
15. Studio 360 with Kurt Anderson. Art, culture, some sciencey stuff.
16. Stuff You Should Know. Josh and Chuck tell us all sorts of things about stuff you haven't thought to think about.
17. This American Life with Ira Glass. Somehow I usually miss this on the radio.
18. WNYC's Radio Lab. Another must-have. They only do a few shows per season, but you will be blown away at how they make science to entertaining and educational.

If I were to recommend just a few of these, I would point you to The Moth, Planet Money and Radio Lab. I really like everything on the list, though. I included the links to their websites, which are usually great as well, but you can get all of these through iTunes.

Happy listening!!


  1. Thanks for all the ideas. I'll have to check some of 'em out. The only ones I am familiar with are the NPR ones.

    Have you ever listened to Ritmo Latino? It is a great music podcast from Micronesia but done by a guy who used to live in Denver. It is latin dance music. Not sure if you like that kind of thing or not... Also available on iTunes.

  2. Ritmo Latino sounds great - I will check it out. I'm glad you got some good ideas, I loves me my podcasts!


Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.