What else is like Speechification?
November 25, 2010 3:57 PM   Subscribe

What else is like Speechification?

About 6 months ago I discovered Speechification which collected lots of good, generally British, speech based radio. However the people running it have decided to stop. Fair enough, but where do I get my fix of radio? I get Radiolab and other U.S. based podcasts but I liked the U.K. centric nature and the curated-ness of Speechification. I could listen or subscribe to every Radio 4 show, but I need someone else to sort the wheat from the chaff. Is there a site or a podcast or something else that can sort through Radio 4's massive output and tell me what are "the best bits?"
posted by djstig to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
It's not podcast, and I don't know if you can listen to it outside the UK, but there's a Radio 4 programme called "Pick of the Week" where a guest presenter chooses highlights - so that might help you look for programmes which are worth subscribing to. But it's not a substitute for Speechification - I loved that too, because they chose things that usually weren't available as podcasts, and from a variety of sources inside and outside the UK, the result being a little like a global version of "This American Life". I've found the answer with Radio 4 is to subscribe to a whole lot of feeds, and to be relaxed about hitting the "next" button if that particular week's "Analysis" or "File on Four" is on a boring topic (or mark them as played in advance, if I can tell just from the subject).
posted by nja at 3:02 AM on November 26, 2010

Thinking Allowed is the best bit, in my opinion. Perhaps other Radio 4 listeners will chime in below with their opinions.
You might also want to look at The Guardian newspaper's podcasts. The football one is superb, the science one is pretty good, and there may be others that match your interests.
posted by nowonmai at 5:04 AM on November 26, 2010

I used to listen to Thinking Allowed but found that the ratio of "interesting" to "whimsical and/or boring" wasn't worth it. I'm currently subscribed to these, not all of which are currently on the air:

Things I will listen to almost immediately:
A Brief History of Mathematics
A History of the World in 100 Objects (Director of the British Museum talks about things he owns).
The Archers (rural soap opera, perhaps not to everyone's taste and probably utterly bewildering unless you've grown up with it).
Friday Night Comedy (Never listen to "The Now Show" which is what's on at the moment, but "The News Quiz" is an old friend).
Great Lives
In Our Time (though I occasionally wish guests would tell Melvyn Bragg to shut the fuck up and let them speak as the listeners would much rather listen to the Oxford Professor of Brains than a spluttering old hack).
Jazz Library (Radio 3)
Start the Week (though I usually wish Andrew Marr would challenge some of his guests and allow a little disagreement - Marr's interview "technique" is to agree with everything his guests say and to prevent anyone else from disagreeing, even if one of those guests is Jonah bloody Goldberg).

General documentaries / entertainment - often skip these:
Best of Natural History Radio
Coast and Country
Desert Island Discs
File on 4
Law in Action
The Report
posted by nja at 5:48 AM on November 26, 2010

It's a shame Speechification decided to pull the plug. You could try poking around Huffduffer, and subscribing to the tags or user feeds that interest you.
posted by amestoy at 7:51 AM on November 27, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the ideas. I had forgotten that I posted this question, so sorry for not following up quicker.
posted by djstig at 1:44 PM on November 28, 2010

have you looked at EarIdeas?
posted by custard heart at 8:55 AM on November 29, 2010

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