Thursday, April 19, 2018

Q is for Questions

This year I've been reviewing podcasts, and I've gotten a lot of questions about it. I thought I'd use this bogpost to answer a few.

When did you start listening to podcasts?

I had just switched from an android to an iPhone, and so far I wasn't a fan. It was the day of the big solar eclipse last summer, and I was at a gathering at our local library. While we waited for something to happen, I complained to my friend Amy about my new phone, and she introduced me to the podcast feature. iPhones make listening to podcasts almost effortless. She told me about the podcast I will be reviewing for the letter S and encouraged me to give it a try. And an obsession was born!

How do you listen to podcasts?

iPhone: If you have an iphone, go to the podcast feature and search for the podcast you want and start listening. It's that easy.

Android: If you have an android, you can download an app that does the same thing.  I've helped a couple of friends get started, but I really don't know which app is the best. If you are a podcast fan and listen on android, please let us know about apps you like.

Computer: If you don't have a phone, you can listen on your computer by searching for the podcast you want. They probably have their own website, or you can listen on stitcher, sound cloud or iTunes. Some podcasts can be downloaded on Spotify, but I haven't tried that. 

When do you find time to listen to all these podcasts?

I listen while I drive. Sometimes I listen while I'm cleaning, getting ready for the day or cooking. Sometimes I listen while I go on walks.

Do you really listen to all these podcasts every week?

Nope. It's been a crazy couple of months trying out new podcasts and trying to find things I was excited to review. It has been equally fun to start deleting podcasts I'm not interested in listening to. I miss music and I miss audiobooks. I'm even starting to miss quiet. But I do listen to a bunch of podcasts, and I'll sometimes binge on one to catch up if I'm falling behind. I am also trying to make informed choices. For example, I love Optimal Living Daily, but I'm not very interested when they talk about minimalism, so I'm starting to skip those.

What are your top 10 favorite podcasts?

(I'm writing these down in the order they appear on my phone, not lowest to highest. Because who can choose?)

1. By the Book
2. Dear Hank and John
3. Happier With Gretchen Rubin
4. The podcast I'm reviewing for the letter Z
5. No Such Thing as a Fish
6. Optimal Living Daily
7. The podcast I'm reviewing for the letter V
8. Anthropocene Reviewed
9. The podcast I'm reviewing for the letter W
10. Writing Excuses

What are you still looking for in a podcast?

Real news! Told with context and backstory but without taking a long time--maybe 20 minutes per day on the top 3 or 4 news stories, told without bias and with care to journalistic integrity, i.e. not saying the name of terrorist organizations or murderers that might be copy catted. Someone who uses the original sources to tell their news, and who is also entertaining but not about the click bait. Someone who I can listen to with my kids in the room because they aren't going to suddenly use a disgusting sexually explicit metaphor or an over abundance of F-bombs. Ideas?


  1. Interesting article that gives good insight into why you picked up this theme. Do you listen to eBooks? I know a lot of people who do so while commuting ... but I have never taken to it.

  2. My husband is getting into podcasts because he has a long car journey every day, but I've never listened to more than a few. I like the supernatural ones, but the couple I really liked were discontinued :(
    Tasha's Thinkings - Movie Monsters

  3. Oh boy do I have a recommendation for you! There is a podcast through NPR called Criminal which tells short little 20 - 30 minute stories connected with crime in the United States. Maybe it will tell the story of a repeated site of vandalism or it will interview a bank robber or it will cover a conman who steals antique books. It is always fascinating. Do you like fiction podcasts at all?

  4. I go stretches without listening to my podcasts and then will do a binge to catch up on them. I love listening in the car when I'm driving. Weekends In Maine

  5. I have to admit that I've never listened to a podcast...probably due to internet bandwidth restrictions as we spent the last ten years traveling the country. Maybe I should give it a try...but not in the car. I can't listen to audiobooks either, takes too much of my attention off the road.

    Donna B. McNicol|Author and Traveler
    A to Z Flash Fiction Stories | A to Z of Goldendoodles

  6. I have never gotten into podcasts. I'm not much for headsets or buds so it would be intrusive to be listening. I enjoy music too much I guess! My husband, however, listens to a number of podcasts.
    Mainely Write

  7. I love podcasts and will be checking out the ones you mentioned. My husband and I listen to them in the car and on buses. We listen to radio shows we used to hear in the US when we lived there as well as straight podcasts. One we enjoyed recently was Crimetown, a story about the history of organized crime in Providence, Rhode Island.

    On Android, I use Podcast Addict and like it a lot. One feature (maybe they all have this, not sure) I like is I can specify my SD card as the location to download all podcasts. Without that, my phone fills too quickly.

    Emily In Ecuador

  8. I love my Android, but I must admit the podcasts are tough to manage.

  9. I have to admit I've never listened to a podcast! However, I've been tempted and after reading this I think I might just give it a go!

    My Friend Rosey - R is for Run!

  10. I don’t listen to audio podcasts but I do love Youtube podcasts, particularly relating to my hobby which is knitting.

  11. Thank you for your answers. I had wondered about when you listen and will be waiting to finish out your top ten. I'm going to try some of your suggestions. iTunes and I have a love/hate relationship. I usually listen to stitcher when I do listen. May I suggest if you are planning a trip or have been to Disney, listen to Disney Duo. My friend and her teen son highlight something and give tips about the Disney Parks.
    JQ Rose

  12. I'm a big fan of podcasts and subscribe to (way to) many. I work in a quiet office and spend a lot of my time working on projects while listening to podcasts or audiobooks. My top ten favorites are:

    * LeVar Burton Reads
    * RISK!
    * 99% Invisible
    * The Memory Palace
    * Hit Parade
    * Politically Re-Active
    * Twenty Thousand Hertz
    * Snap Judgment
    * Radiolab
    * Five Questions with Betsy Rosenblatt Rosso

    I'll be checking out some of the podcasts you've recommended. I'm loving this series.