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State of My Podcasts, 2018

27 Jan 2018

I listen to a lot of podcasts. My podcast app says I listed to 35 days and 4 hours in 2017. I have an overall total of 82 days and 4 hours since I started using this app.

Sometimes friends ask what shows I listen to, and that’s hard to answer without the conversation getting very long. If you really want to know though, here is a list of every podcast I’m subscribed to right now (January 2018), and a little bit about it. Hopefully you find something that sounds interesting.

99% Invisible - This is a podcast about design, which is a weird topic for an audio only show. They tottaly hit it out of the park though. This is one of the first podcasts I subscribed to, and I still listen to every episode.

Accidental Tech Podcast - When people talk about tech podcasts this is one of the first to come up. It is primarily about Apple, but the real draw is the chemistry between the three hosts.

Artsy - Most eposides are short interviews with Artsy writers, or people in the art world. While each episode is only about 20 minutes, I think if they were any longer it would get boring for people like me who aren’t huge into art.

Back to Work - This show is two guys ostensibly talking about work and productivity, but often they end up just talking about life or pop culture. This is the first show on the list that falls into the “two guys talking” genre, where the main draw of the show isn’t the topic, but the people. This one in particular features Dan Benjamin and Merlin Mann. When I first started listening to this show I really did not like Merlin, but after a few months of listening he clicked with me. Now he’s my favorite podcaster, and this is one of my favorite podcasts.

Cortex - Another two guys talking show with a focus on productivity. This one features youtuber CGP Grey and Relay FM founder/podcaster Myke Hurley. CGP Grey is one of the most interesting people on the internet, and everything he does is a must listen in my book.

Crimetown - A show about organized crime in Providence, Rhode Island. This podcast is extremely well produced, has great music, and tells a really compelling story that I knew nothing about. They finished season one a few months ago, and I think they’re moving to a new city for season two.

Criminal - If you like true crime, you need to listen to Criminal. They find fascinating stories about both big and small crimes, and often feature amazing interviews.

Dear Hank and John - This podcast is by John and Hank Green, from Vlogbrothers fame and a million other things. It is an advice podcast, and if you like classic Vlogbrothers or bad advice you’ll like this show. It is one of the few podcasts that can constantly gets me to laugh out loud.

Do By Friday - I’m not sure like this show, but sometimes it can be unbelievably funny, like I can’t listen to it in public because I start laughing hysterically in the middle of the street funny. The premise of the show is that each week Merlin Mann, Alex Cox, and Max Temkin (the founder of Cards Against Humanity) challenge each other to do something. They normally don’t talk very much about the challenge though, and the show can be more accurately categorized as a political podcast. That’s kind of a shame, because I think they’re funnier when they aren’t talking about politics.

Healthcare Triage - This is the compainon podcast to the Healcare Triage Youtube Channel. They just changed up the format of the podcast a little, but generally Dr. Aaron Carroll interviews someone, and then answers people’s questions about healthcare. It’s normally pretty interesting, but not essential listening.

Hello Internet - This one is essential listening, and it’s also the epitome of the two guys talking genre (it may have actulay coined the term). There is no focus or theme, youtubers Brady Haran and CGP Grey just talk, and it is delightful.

The Incomparable - I use to listen to every episode of this show, but I don’t anymore. Each episode the host, Jason Snell, assembles a panel of his friends to talk about a piece of media. You should listen to anything where they are recommending book or comics, or talking about something you’re interested in. If you don’t know the thing they’re talking about it can sometimes be fun to listen up to the spoiler horn, but a lot of the time I just skip it.

Jordan, Jessy GO! - Two friends from college, one who is a comedy writer, and the other who runs a podcast network, bring on a comedian guest every week and talk about things. This show is very funny, and the only show I listen to in the genre of comedy podcast by professional comedians/ LA people.

Judge John Hodgman - I use this show as my default podcast recommendation. It is one of my favorites, and I think it has a super wide appeal. Comedian John Hodgman runs a fake court where he settles minor disputes people have with each other. The show can be very funny, while still being heartwarming and thoughtful.

Liftoff - As they say at the begging of every episode, it is a show about space and related subjects. If you like space and related subjects you’ll probably like this show, but it can be a little dry at times.

Limited Resources - If you are at all serious about drafting Magic the Gathering you need to be listening to this show. If that last sentence doesn’t make sense to you, you do not.

Loading Ready Run, Aggregate Feed - Like 5 podcasts in one feed, what could be better? I like the Loading Ready Run crew, but I don’t listen to all the shows. The ones I listen to right now are Tap Tap Concede, their causal Magic the Gathering show, and there new Dungeons & Dragons show Dice Friends. If you go back into their archives I highly recommend Magnum rewatch, and Temple of Lava Bears. Temple of the Lava Bears is the best Dungeons and Dragons podcast I’ve ever heard, and I recommend it even if you don’t like D&D.

The Orbiting Human Circus (of the Air) - A fun little show, I like to listen to it as I fall asleep.

Podcast Method - There might not be any new episodes for this one, but it’s a great resource for anyone thinking about starting a podcast. It is done by Dan Benjamin who runs the 5by5 network, and is a great podcaster.

Presidential - The show ended over a year ago, but if you’re intested in American history I recomend going back and giving this a listen. Each president gets one episode, and Lillian Cunningham does a good job of finding interesting things to talk about for even the more obscure presidents.

Reconcilable Differences - Yet another two guys talking podcast without any sort of theme. This one features Merlin Mann and John Siracusa, who are both great to listen to. I never miss an episode.

Reply All - I find this podcast frustrating. The two hosts are both pretty annoying, but they manage to consistently deliver some of the best stories I hear. The show is kind of like This American Life for the internet, but less political and more lighthearted.

Robot or Not - Not a Robot

S-Town - A really fascinating story that always keeps you on your toes. Their are only seven episodes, and I think everyone should listen to it.

Serial - Everyone knows about Serial, I don’t have anything to add.

Slate’s Amicus with Dahlia Lithwick - I’ve always found the Supreme Court really interesting, it feels like a lot of the time they have the greatest effect on American law, with the least coverage or interest. Unfortunately this show has gotten a little worse since Trump took office. It use to talk a lot about semi-obscure court cases that have large ramifications, and they still do that, but there are also a lot of cases about things Trump has done that are all over the normal news.

Sound Opinions - This show is a great way to find new rock music. It’s a public radio show out of Chicago, and the hosts have been doing it forever so they can get really good guests. They generally have pretty good taste too.

Switched on Pop - The biggest strength of this show is also its biggest weakness, it’s always positive. They do deep music theory dives on pop songs, and some of the stuff they take super seriously sucks badly.

This American Life - Another show everyone and their dog knows about. People say that they have a huge variance in quality, I think their bad episodes are still pretty good, and their good episodes are amazing.

Total Party Kill - A Dungeons and Dragons podcast by the people who do the Incomparable. It’s never quite reaches the heights of Loading Ready Run’s Temple of the Lava Bears, but it’s still pretty funny and I listen regularly.

The Unmade Podcast - Brady Haran’s other podcast. He comes up with bad ideas for podcasts with one of his friends. It’s okay but I only listen occasionally

Unwound - If you’re into mechanical watches this is a pretty good podcast. They mostly focus on vintage and Seiko.

Welcome to Night Vale - This show is not for everyone, but everyone needs to try it. I’ve listened to every episode, but if you want to give it a try they’ve just realisiesed a getting started guide.

Wheel Bearings - A really interesting show about cars. I’m not a huge car guy, but I like this show. It doesn’t get to technical most of the time which is nice.

You Must Remember This - I recommend you give this a try even if it doesn’t sound interesting. It’s about the history of Hollywood, but it’s very well done, and I don’t think you need to be a film buff to get into it.

That’s all I’m listeing to right now. I know it’s a lot, but I hope you were able to find something interseting in there.