By Camryn Urban
Podcasts have taken the world by storm, allowing spoken word concerning any number of subjects to reach people everywhere. Oh wait … that’s the radio. Podcasts are a form of modern and on-demand radio. Though quite similar, the expanse of the library of podcasts has increased dramatically over the past few years.
According to Ross Winn, who wrote an article for Podcast Insights, there are over 630,000 podcasts available today. Compare that to Radio World’s estimated number of licensed FM educational radio stations, 4,057; and you have a mind-blowing amount of content at your fingertips.
As a college student, I spend more hours than I would like to stuck in traffic on the way back home to see my family. The three-lane freeway can be mind-numbing, and podcasts are a good way to stay awake and attentive. There’s no reaching for your phone to change the song, or dangerous head banging to Photograph by Nickelback.
Here are some recommended podcast to fill your ears:
Radiolab – For the curious
Problems, questions and stories of culture, art, science and politics are explored through thorough interviews & discussion. Many episodes focus on the deeper backstories behind seemingly simple news stories, moments in history or everyday happenings. The episodes are educational and pulled together in a way to maintain listener’s focus.
The Buried Bodies Case. (48min)
60 Words. (56min)
Neither Confirm Nor Deny. (26min)
The Rewatchables – For the movie buff
Focusing on movies, The Rewatchables takes an in-depth look at some of your favorite movies. Featuring Bill Simmons, a former American sports columnist, the podcast explores the writing, direction and on-screen action from many well-known films.
Mad Max: Fury Road. (1hr 5min)
The Devil Wears Prada. (1hr 15min)
The Social Network. (1hr 17min)
In The Dark – For the true crime fan
This podcast works a little differently than some. It is split into seasons, with each season focusing on one story. The first season describes the abduction of Jacob Wetterling, a young boy from Minnesota who was kidnapped from his small town in 1989, and analyzes the process police went through and provides critical analysis surrounding the case.
Season One. (8 episodes exploring one case, 37-48 min each)
This Is Love – For the romantic side in us all
Exploring the many mysteries of love, this show tells the human stories many have never heard. Most have love in their life in one way or another, and these episodes show the spectrum on which love can exist.
Message in a Bottle (24min)
Nothing Compares to You (27min)
My Favorite Murder – For those who don’t want to get murdered
Mixing comedy and murder, accounts are told in a conversational manner; bringing the listener in on details that have been compiled to tell the full story. The podcast has a cult following and is easy to get sucked into.
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know (1hr 11min)
DeSabotage (1hr 25min)
A Hundred Feelings (1hr 23min)
Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! – For those who like to laugh
This show is a radio panel that is also broadcasted in the form of a podcast. Done weekly, the episodes compile a panel and discuss that week’s news in humorous ways; almost like a small game show using news as content. It’s a great way to stay up to date and have a little fun.
Dissect – For the music lovers
This podcast is exactly what it sounds like, though not dissecting the subject matter some would expect. Each season, a recognized album from a great artist is chosen; and that album is dissected line by line, song by song. The first season featured “To Pimp a Butterfly” by Kendrick Lamar, followed by “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” by Kanye West and “Blonde” by Frank Ocean.
The current mini-series featuring Lauryn Hill. (Episodes are 36-48 min)
Everything Is Alive – For the odd
This podcast is notable because there is simply nothing else like it. Life is given to inanimate objects through a lens many never thought to look through. From a grain of sand to a tooth, objects are given a voice.
Dennis, Pillow. (20min)
Ayo, Balloon. (21min)
Sean, Subway Seat. (21min)
Not Too Deep – For the lighthearted listener
Grace Helbig, a name some may recognize from her career as an actress, comedian and Youtube personality, hosts this podcast. Telling ridiculous and silly stories with fun guests keeps the show from getting … too deep. Episodes offer interesting glances into stories behind the veil of social media, stories of pop culture and more.
Lane Moore – Laundry Guy. (1hr)
Lily Marston – Defy Media, First Impressions, and Pudding. (1hr 8min)
Bo Burnham & Elsie Fisher – “Eighth Grade”, and Musical Ideas (1hr)
This American Life – For the omnicompetent citizen
This is the radio show you may have grown up with if you had parents that listen to NPR. You always begged them to change the station, but now that you’re older, you get it. A weekly podcast that pulls together stories to fit a theme; the show is full of interviews that will have you laughing one minute, then tug at your emotions the next; a reality away from the outside world.
Seth Meyers & Year In Review Part 1 (50min)
Kevin Kwan (50min)
William Shatner (50min)