I’ve been into podcasts for quite a while now – since I discovered the joy of listening to all those BBC Radio 4 programmes I’d normally miss, while travelling into the city on the train. I don’t spend a lot of time exhaustively combing the podcast listings, but I’ve found there’s some good stuff out there – amongst the piles of rubbish.
I never much cared for the idea of the walkman, or the ipod. Partly because of my low opinion of those inflicting a drum beat serenade on their fellow travellers, and partly because I’ve always enjoyed music in a social context rather than as a solo activity. If I could have listened to the Today programme (BBC Radio 4) on my way to work every morning, like I used to do when I took the car, that would have been perfect. But getting a transistor radio to receive 198 LW whilst on a Brussels tram is pretty difficult. Believe me. I’ve tried.
So downloadable BBC radio programmes have been a welcome step forward to me, and so in more recent times, has the discovery of good quality podcasts from other sources. In the beginning most examples were pretty poor, but some have turned out to be excellent. The consistently high quality still comes from my trusted channels like the BBC (UK) and NPR (USA) but I’ve come across great independent ones too.
To add to my previous meme lists, here are my four favourite podcast channels:
The Seanachai – Consistently clever and charming short stories
The President’s Weekly Radio Address – Can parody outdo Dubya?
The Now Show – BBC Radio 4 – Weekly British political satire show
Science Friday – NPR – Weekly American popular science show