When the concept of podcasting was first formalised by Apple with its implementation in the iTunes software around 2005, I immediately subscribed to a number of shows (one of them being Coverville, which is surprisingly still around and active).
I’m not sure when I stopped, and why, considering how much I was into the medium at the time and was even planning on starting my own podcast (I even went out and bought the iTalk so I can do the recording). Unfortunately (fortunately?), the idea did not come to fruition.
I guess probably around the time I discovered unpopular radio (surprisingly still around and somewhat active) and the realisation of how much of a hassle it was to try to keep up with the weekly/daily podcast episodes.
Fast forward to 2015 (or 2014?), having not giving the word “podcast” any thought for the past several years, I came across a series of recommendations and articles highly recommending this new investigative journalism crime podcast called Serial. It was being hailed as the catalyst that would bring about the revitalisation of podcasting.
I buckled and subscribed to Serial and promptly downloaded the entire season, with the intention of listening it on my commute to work.
It was brilliant and I gobbled down the entire series within a few days but it wasn’t the hail mary for podcasting, at least not for me. I went back to my carefully curated iTunes playlist for my listening needs, while waiting for the podcast’s second season (which was alrite but meh, nothing to laud about).
So sometime last month, after being reminded (via the occasional ‘your favourite podcast’ thread on HN) of this long-running podcast series from NPR, Planet Money, I decided to download an episode to check them out. After all, it was one of the most highly recommended podcast when such threads came up and it was indeed on the Top Charts of the Apple Podcast app (along with the mrbrown show which I’ve yet to check out).
And I was hooked. The podcasters (hosts?) are entertaining enough, content was engaging, I was learning a whole bunch and the episode length was just right. Quickly burned through all their recent episodes and I even went back to their 2014 episodes.
If you only have time and energy for one podcast in your life, this is it.