Podcasts I’m Listening To

These are in no particular order of significance. They’re based on the order they appeared in the Overcast app on my phone at the time I took the screenshot today:

This is a looong screenshot of my subscriptions in the Overcast app.

This is a looong screenshot of my subscriptions in the Overcast app.

Anxious Machine
by Rob McGinley Myers and guests

Hello Internet
CGP Grey and Brady Haran

Mac Power Users
by Katie Floyd, David Sparks and guests

Unmistakable Creative
by Srini Rao and guests

99% Invisible
by Roman Mars and guests

All of the Above
by Sam Bantner, Bryan Brush, and Sean Patrick John … Ringo Doran

by Myke Hurley and Casey Liss

The Art of Manliness
by Brett McKay and guests

Back to Work
by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin

by Jason Snell, Dan Moren, and guests

by Myke Hurley, Stephen Hackett, and Federico Vittici

The Dan Benjamin Hour
by Dan, Haddie Cook, and guests

Diagnostics & Usage
by Joe Caiati and Cody Coats

I Brew My Own Coffee
by Alex Carpenter and guests

by Myke Hurley and interviewees

The Podcast Method
by Dan Benjamin and occasional guests

by Jad Abumrad, Robert Krulwich, and many contributors

The Rebound
by Dan Moren, John Moltz, and Lex Friedman

Reel World Theology
by Myke Fissel and guests

by Christina Warren, Simone De Rochefort, and Brianna Wu

by Sean McCabe and Ben Toalson

StartUp Podcast
by Alex Blumberg and interviewees

The Talk Show With John Gruber
and guests

Tech Douchebags
by Jordan Cooper and guests

by Jason Snell and Myke Hurley

The Weekly Briefly
by Shawn Blanc

You Are Not So Smart
by David McRaney and interviewees

Noteworthy details

There were some changes in the last month to my subscriptions. A few I unsubscribed. I’m not here to discourage content creators with one-star reviews or my list of their shortcomings. I’m going to overlook those, and tell you about the ones I’m excited about.

First, my friend, Eric Rauch, encouraged me to listen to StartUp, which is a show that chronicles the challenges entrepreneurs face creating and running their small businesses from the outset. The show will be broken into seasons of sorts. The first one is about the producer of the podcast itself, Alex Blumberg, and what he’s attempting with his podcast network.

Many of us podcast listeners are not sure about networks — whether they really help listeners find content or if they just get in the way. With this in mind, Alex, from his background in public radio (This American Life and Planet Money), is surprisingly unfamiliar with business management and the history of podcasting to date. His is a very new approach to podcasting, like it were radio network programming for the Internet at large. StartUp is a very human look at his experience leading a business and producing a thing simultaneously. He’s willing to share very humbling anecdotes, which make the show one of the more inciting programs I’ve listened to of late.

In a similar spirit of production standards, Inquisitive, by Myke Hurley, has changed. What was previously a simple interview talk show is now a documentary style coverage of apps, their developers’ work, and the Apple platform. Myke leads the discussion with narration with bits of interviewees adding colorful insights and personal experiences.

I always knew that Myke had this type of show in him. For more than a year, he’s said that he wanted to make podcasts that were more involved than simple talk shows. When he left 5by5 last year to create his podcast network, Relay, I knew it was only a matter of time before we had a show like Inquisitive with high production values.

But I can also see room for improvement. For one, Inquisitive is exploring topics thoroughly, and Myke captures the essence of what makes the stories interesting. But it’s also a dry telling. The delivery is very… placid from Myke. While his guests sound very passionate and invested in their interviews, the narrator sounds dispassionate. I think this is a minor quibble, but one that diminishes the enjoyment of the thing. I like the spirit and emotions the guest convey much more than the neutral narration.

(Still, Inquisitive is one of my all-time favorite shows. Keep it up, Myke! I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.)

The one new show in my subscriptions is The Dan Benjamin Hour. 5by5 has a great track record. In the early days, Dan was capturing video of his shows, and now he’s brought the production standards up to meet the bare minimum of his professional requirements. You can tell that he and Haddie Cook have put countless hours into developing their new program.

It’s a variety show. Dan and Haddie and guests discuss random items of interest. Dan intends to eventually make it a daily show, which means it’s going to consume an incredible amount of his time, and the listeners’.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. The content is good, and much like that of The Frequency, which I miss. But that was Haddie’s show. This is clearly Dan’s podcast; made in his image almost exclusively. He has the mic most of the time. Haddie and guests are mostly adding comments.

For a show that is in it’s infancy that runs longer than an hour (which I don’t mind), I am having a hard time imagining that I will listen to it every day when that becomes the schedule. I have a lot of shows I want to hear, so the daily routine will get in the way of my progress. However, for the meantime, I’m gladly listening to Dan’s show. He and Haddie are always fun, discuss interesting topics in tech, the news, and the like. I hope they can keep this one going for many years to come and I wish them all the best.

2015-03-03 Update: Mr. Benjamin put most of my concern to rest. He followed up to explain that interviews will be available separately as individual listens, and he’ll produce a weekly wrap-up episode that abridges the content.

If you missed it last month, I started this series of posts where I journal the life of my podcast subscriptions. I listen to countless hours of shows every week, as I’m subscribed to about 30 of them.

But I’m quick to skip topics that don’t interested me. It’s easy enough to use the skip button, or delete an episode in its entirety, if the main topic is about something I’m not into. But to get through the shows I really enjoy, I still need to use playback features like acceleration — usually 1.16 the original rate — and Smart Speed (an Overcast app feature). Some listeners are opposed to accelerating the playback, because it takes them out of the life-like experience the people on the show captured.

I don’t notice a problem with acceleration until I make the playback more than 1.5 times the original rate. My mind keeps up with them, and can even get ahead of them at the normal playback rate. And when it only takes 50 minutes to listen to 60 minutes of content, I feel rewarded by the time savings.

So, if you have any questions about the shows, or have questions about listening to podcasts in general, feel free to message me on Twitter. I’m always ready to talk about podcasts.

Joe Darnell

Joe is a UI and graphic designer with prior experience as the creative director for three media-based businesses. Joe’s passionate about web design and graphic design with about 15 years of experience in the media industry. Additionally, Joe is the host of the Top Brew and Techtonic podasts, both featured on iTunes.