Interesting under-15-minute podcasts?
April 20, 2012 8:52 AM   Subscribe

Over the past few years, despite my Luddite sympathies, I've become a devoted podcast listener. I recently dropped a couple that I wasn't enjoying as much as I once had, but I'd like to see if there's maybe one more I could squeeze in. Any suggestions for interesting 10-15 minute podcasts?

I have a 35-40 minute commute to and from work daily - about twenty minutes walking to the Metro, 10-12 minutes on the train, and 5 minutes to the office. Ideally, I'd like to find one more podcast that is on the short end - 15 minutes at most. Weekly or less frequently is better - TEDTalks are just too much. Good topics could include: environment, philosophy & religion, good storytelling, urbanism, culture (something like Studio360, except shorter?). I'm not so big on political shows lately.

Here's what I have now:

- The Dirtbag Diaries
- Radio Ecoshock
- This American Life (NPR)
- KunstlerCast
- On Being (APM/NPR)
- One Planet (BBC World Service)
- Science In Action (BBC World Service)
- Heart and Soul (BBC World Service)
- In Our Time (BBC Radio 4)

Thanks in advance!
posted by jhandey to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
WTF with Marc Maron - a professional comic interviews other comics and people who work in Comedy. 1 - 2 per week and an hour each.

Stuff You Should Know - definitely fits your bill.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:56 AM on April 20, 2012

Oh, crap, saw the 35-40 minute thing and assumed that was the time frame. Just saw the 15 minute thing. Sorry.

Not sure where you are in the world but the only less than 15 min ones I listen to are LA Observed (about Los Angeles) and Martin Shot (a television writer tells short anecdotes).
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:57 AM on April 20, 2012

The Moth is a storytelling podcast, usually right around 15 minutes. It's very good.
posted by cushie at 9:01 AM on April 20, 2012 [4 favorites]

Someone got a bunch of recommendations for short podcasts last month that might be helpful.
posted by bcwinters at 9:04 AM on April 20, 2012

How To Do Everything fits your time frame, and is fun. Available via iTunes.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 9:05 AM on April 20, 2012

99% Invisible is a podcast by Roman Mars about design, architecture, and culture. The episodes usually run under 15 minutes.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:05 AM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Stuff You Missed in History (related to How Stuff Works but different presenters) are interesting and the topics range from the Bayeux Tapestry to D.B. Cooper. At least half are relatively short (15-20 minutes) and the rest generally come in under 30 minutes. There are some 2-parters as well (Frida Kahlo is one, but there are 3 or 4 others).
posted by kaybdc at 9:06 AM on April 20, 2012

The Memory Palace - Is a great tiny show about history that was not recommended in the other thread:
short, surprising stories of the past, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes hysterical, always super-great - Listen to The Memory Palace for an hour or two and you get stories about Waldorf-Astoria Halley’s Comet viewing parties, Ben Franklin, Navy-officer impostors, elephant shows, Egdar Allen Poe as a tool of voter fraud, heists, the Chicago World’s Fair, spiritualist hucksters, the CIA spy cats, James K. Polk, and even the Sony Walkman. I haven’t gone all the way back in the archive, but I feel reasonably safe insisting that it has an episode about flagpole sitting.

Also seconding 99% invisible and The Moth.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 9:10 AM on April 20, 2012

The Moth's about that long.
posted by Diablevert at 9:11 AM on April 20, 2012

Skeptoid is about that long, and is always interesting and often surprising (every so often, it confronts me with the lack of evidence for something I've believed forever, much to my chagrin.)
posted by Wylla at 10:23 AM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Here is the link to "Stuff you Missed in History."
posted by Obscure Reference at 10:48 AM on April 20, 2012

Just listened to the 99% Invisible podcast, and I think we have a winner. Pretty great. I'm going to give the Moth another shot over the weekend, too.

Thanks, everyone!
posted by jhandey at 12:04 PM on April 20, 2012

Stuff You Missed In History is pretty good, too. Will have to listen to How To Do Everything at some point...
posted by jhandey at 12:05 PM on April 20, 2012

Seconding Skeptoid.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:32 PM on April 20, 2012

Another good storytelling podcast is the story collider
posted by abirdinthehand at 7:23 PM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

A History of the World in 100 Objects - the hundred 14-minute BBC radio episodes are narrated by the director of the British Museum, and there's a web resource to go with the podcasts.
posted by iffley at 7:36 PM on April 21, 2012

The latest episode of This American Life (#462 Own Worst Enemy) features a great story ('Tape Delay') from a new podcast The Truth. It's a bi-weekly radio drama show by Jonathan Mitchell, utilising some of the storytelling techniques of TAL/Radiolab etc—there are six episodes so far, averaging about fifteen minutes in length.
posted by hot soup girl at 8:39 PM on April 21, 2012

A lot of the podcasts in that range I like have been suggested such as the Moth and How to Do Everything.

I would also recommend:

Planet Money - They have been great lately, in a very TAL way (and often featured on TAL).

Marketplace - I am not big into news or finance podcasts, but for some reason I really like Marketplace.

BBC Food Programme - However, I use this to fall asleep. British people talking about food knocks me the F out for some odd reason. Same goes for that History of the World in 100 objects. I made it to like the second object and I am out cold.

Fresh Air: I subscribe to Fresh Air, and it seems they now break the podcast up into smaller chunks along with the longer full version. The smaller chunks would work for you.
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 11:55 PM on April 21, 2012

Well, thanks to all the wonderful suggestions here, my new podcast lineup is as so:

- The Dirtbag Diaries
- This American Life (NPR)
- Radio Ecoshock
- KunstlerCast
- On Being (APM)
- One Planet (BBC World Service)
- In Our Time (BBC Radio 4)
- How To Do Everything
- 99% Invisible

Thanks everyone!
posted by jhandey at 5:32 AM on June 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

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