What are the best short format podcasts available on itunes?
January 10, 2012 2:22 PM   Subscribe

What are the best short format podcasts available on itunes?

I recently drastically shortened my commute. (YAY!). But now I don't have enough car time to listen to all my podcasts. What are the best podcasts out there that I can listen to completely in under 15 minutes?

Specifically, I am looking for talk shows. So that eliminates all of the music podcasts. I like current events, fun facts, technology and comedy. Hit me with your best itunes available podcasts.
posted by ShootTheMoon to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
99% Invisible, if you like design/architecture/urban planning. Though in general they talk a lot about both technology and "fun facts".

Check out Radio Lingua's "coffee break" language podcasts if you're interested in learning or brushing up on your foreign language skills. They clock in at exactly fifteen minutes. Radio Lingua also does even shorter language podcasts, all the way down to "One Minute" and "Word A Day" type stuff.

Most of the early Stuff You Should Know podcasts are 5-10 minutes long. They start drifting up to the half-hour mark eventually, though I feel like they and the other How Stuff Works podcasts are trending back downward lately.
posted by Sara C. at 2:32 PM on January 10, 2012 [2 favorites]

Skeptoid - A one man show hosted by skeptic Brian Dunning. He covers a wide variety topics and most episodes clock in at around 10-15 minutes.
posted by moxiequz at 2:33 PM on January 10, 2012 [2 favorites]

How about The Moth? The podcast has each story as an individual file, and they're about 10 minutes long.
posted by bcwinters at 2:33 PM on January 10, 2012

Beware the Hairy Mango is a hoot. It's very short (<5 minutes usually) fantastic/surreal stories with a heavy dollop of humor.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 3:33 PM on January 10, 2012

The Economist does one called "The Week Ahead", where they cover a few potential news stories for the coming week. Runs 5-10 minutes.

For comedy, there's Old Jews Telling Jokes.

I'm sure I'll have more.
posted by world b free at 3:38 PM on January 10, 2012

The Memory Palace
posted by Midnight Rambler at 4:42 PM on January 10, 2012

Second "The Moth" and I recommend the 3-4 minute Marketplace Tech Report. Marketplace is a public radio show from American Public Media, which you can think of as a distribution network the way NPR is. The tech report is about current tech topics and news, but it's hosted by comedian John Moe, who keeps it humorous and light without sacrificing information. Marketplace has a few other short podcasts as well as their daily (30 minute?) financials show, which I love the hell out of.
Hit Marketplace.org.

If you like word puzzles, NPR releases a podcast of its weekly "Weekend Edition Sunday Puzzle" hosted by the WESun host, Audie Cornish, and NY Times Puzzle Editor Will Shortz. This one usually tops out around 8 minutes, I think.

Finally, I recommend "On The Line," the short (and irregular, but let's say weekly) podcast from the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England. The topics range from current astronomy to nautical and astronomical history and is hosted by a variety of people with charming accents.

I don't get either of these through iTunes, but I can't imagine iTunes doesn't carry them as well.
posted by Sunburnt at 5:09 PM on January 10, 2012

Dinner Party Download
posted by bwilms at 6:55 PM on January 10, 2012

Apologies in advance if this format doesn't work for you -- this podcast is about an hour long, but the individual segments are generally in the 5-15 minute range:

Risk! is autobio anecdotes told by talented people. Hilarity ensues. (Comedy seems to be the rule, with rare exceptions now and then.)
posted by night kitchen at 11:51 PM on January 10, 2012

NPR has a Story of the Day podcast which 95% of the time the story is under 6 minutes. Along that vein NPR does offer a per-topic podcasts that might interest you.
posted by mmascolino at 6:40 AM on January 11, 2012

The Straight Dope is awesome - people write in with ridiculous questions & they attempt to answer them as scientifically as possible. The most recent episode "Whatever happened to using lasers as weapons?" Episodes are generally 5 minutes.

The Moth is 20 minutes of storytelling magic. Risk is like a long form version (hour long episodes of 10-20 minute stories) of The Moth that are more risqué.

Radiolab is all kinds of awesome in a Malcolm Gladwell kind of way. Generally hour long episodes, but with lots of "shorts" in between of things that they couldn't fit until the full episodes.

Planet Money are generally short, entertaining episode about how the economy works, made in conjunction with the (long form) This American Life.

Succeed In Evil is a novel told in 5 to 10 minute chapters. It's sort of comic-bookey (in a good way).
posted by MesoFilter at 1:05 PM on January 11, 2012

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