10 Podcasts To Listen To If You're New to Podcasts

According to Ben Hammersley ("Audible revolution" The Guardian, 12 February 2004), audioblogging or podcasting became a thing in 2004.

2004?! Except for the geekiest among us, podcasting was something people were only vaguely aware of in 2004, let alone in 2014.

And then came Serial.

The momentum created for podcasts since the crossover success of “Serial” at the end of 2014 has continued months after the true crime series became the first podcast to top 80 million total downloads from the iTunes.

President Barack Obama made an appearance on comedian Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast in June, and Tuesday marks a nationwide podcast festival with the live simulcast of “Cast Party” to over 500 movie theaters nationwide, featuring shows from four of the most popular podcast networks.

“Cast Party” co-creator, producer and host Seth Lind experienced the “Serial effect” up close and personal with his job as director of operations for “This is American Life,” whose producer Sarah Koenig was the creator of “Serial.”

“’Serial’ increased listening across the whole medium, including ‘This is American Life,’ ” Lind said. “We got probably something like 200,000 new listeners that could be attributed to ‘Serial,’ which is significant... It was fascinating to see how much bigger it got than any of us thought.”

I was one of those geeks who listened to podcasts 10 years ago, but fell out of the habit.

Why? Listening wasn't that convenient and most programs I heard on my local NPR affiliate were better.

No longer. Listening is now super easy, even when you're offline, with iTunes and apps like Podcast Addict for Android (my app of choice).

And there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of programs you can listen to, some of which are as entertaining as anything you'll find on public radio.

If you haven't yet listened to Serial, give it a go. I liked it. My wife loved it.

Here are 12 other podcasts to listen to if you're new to podcasts.

  1. Song Exploder
  2. Question of the Day with James Altucher and Stephen J. Dubner
  3. Reply All
  4. StartUp
  5. Invisibilia
  6. Mystery Show
  7. 99% Invisible
  8. Freakonomics
  9. Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin
  10. Radiolab
  11. The Tim Ferris Show
  12. Ask Altucher

Am I missing any? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy listening!

Listen to Jeff Lynne's ELO, 'Alone In The Universe'

"When I was a boy I had a dream..." are the first words sung by Jeff Lynne on "Alone In The Universe," his first release in 14 years and only his second release in 29 years.

When I was a boy, I loved hanging out in the record section of the Lackland Air Force Base Exchange (BX) while my Mom shopped. She would come get me when she was finished and I would often persuade her to buy me a 45 or two, to add to the collection she got me started with. (Paint it Black by the Rolling Stones was one of my favorites.)

On my 8th birthday, I received some cash from my Aunt Debbie and decided I would invest it in my first album purchase:

It had been out for about 10 months, and I was an avid listener to American Top 40, so I already knew and loved the singles "Livin' Thing" and "Telephone Line."

I remember how exciting it felt to make that purchase with my own money, how much larger and more substantial the album felt relative to a 45. I remember going home, putting the record on my parent's turntable and listening to both sides, from start to finish, all 36 minutes and 20 seconds. I must have listened to that record dozens and dozens of times. I never got sick of it. Even today, A New World Record still sounds as rich, as sweet, and as full of mystery as it did then.