I require awesome podcasts for boring commutes.
September 22, 2007 7:11 PM   Subscribe

I want engaging general interest podcasts with high production values. Lots of them.

My iPod nano and I wander far and wide on the buses and subways of Glasgow, and I need completely engrossing podcasts that just explode with awesomeness. Things as good as This American Life and Radiolab. A poised, finished piece of artwork, not two people wittering. Something that will make me look forward to the transit ahead.
posted by By The Grace of God to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
Hmm...you might try Fresh Air, an in-depth interviews and reviews. While you're on this site, you might look around at the other offerings from National Public Radio. I also enjoy To the Best of Our Knowledge which is somewhat like This American Life.
posted by OlderThanTOS at 7:50 PM on September 22, 2007

The ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation - our version of the BBC) broadcasts most of its radio shows (and many of its TV shows) as podcasts.

Check out the list here

Among my favourites is StarStuff - a podcast about astronomy and space news. But there is bound to be a subject to take your interest.
posted by TheOtherGuy at 7:51 PM on September 22, 2007

Here's the entire catalogue of CBC podcasts, which like much of their programming should be both interesting and well-made.
posted by loiseau at 7:54 PM on September 22, 2007

Oh - I should recomend specifically Quirks & Quarks, C'est la Vie, Radio 3, The Current, Sounds Like Canada, and As It Happens.
posted by loiseau at 7:56 PM on September 22, 2007

Best answer: Previously, previously
posted by PercussivePaul at 8:41 PM on September 22, 2007

More previously, more previously
posted by whatnotever at 8:55 PM on September 22, 2007

In no way intended as a threadjack, but since it was mentioned - why isn't Fresh Air Weekend available via podcast? 5 hours a week is a bit much for me to give to any one show, but I'd love to have the Weekend 'Best of' as podcast. Any thoughts on how to create a makeshift version?
posted by boombot at 10:40 PM on September 22, 2007

The skeptics' guide to the universe
posted by McSly at 11:26 PM on September 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

I like the TedTalks podcast a lot.
posted by bluebird at 3:44 AM on September 23, 2007

Best answer: I see a lot of reccomendations that may or may not fulfill the "poised piece of artwork" qualification here, but here are some that might (presuming that like most you use iTunes, so I'm not going to provide web links):

If you like This American Life, you should certainly check out The Joe Frank podcast. Frank is where Glass got most of his ideas and techniques (not in a bad way, like stolen, he acknowledges it pretty openly).

Jonathan Katz recently started a very funny short-form podcast. It's short but conceptually bold and great.

San Francisco comedian Will Franken podcasts what is essentially a half hour one-man show every month or two. It's called Things We Did Before Reality, and is always engaging and usually very funny. He's essentially doing sketch comedy by himself, which is generally something I'd be opposed to on an ass-clownery basis, but Will is a pretty special talent.

alt.NPR has a few podcasts that definitely aspire to the "poised piece of art" status you're talking about. Check out Theory of Everything, Love & Radio and Club Awesome!.

There are other shows of exceptionally high quality if you're willing to consider stuff that's not quite so heavy on production (ie, not nitwits prattling, but no scoring, etc). On the Media leaps to mind, I think that's the best news show on radio. In Our Time is a wonderful show about history and ideas. Etc etc. Just not sure if that's what you're looking for. I produce a few shows myself, in the arts & culture and comedy realms, which you may enjoy as well. I would link, but it's distasteful, though I'm not to proud to suggest that some other person who likes them on the green might do my linking for me ;).
posted by YoungAmerican at 8:54 AM on September 23, 2007

Oh shoot, I forgot one.

Jonathan Goldstein's Wiretap.

Produced by the CBC, Goldstein is a former producer at (and still sometimes a contributor to) This American Life. Very funny and often touching.

You won't find it in iTunes, as the CBC won't podcast it. HOWEVER, there is an "unofficial" podcast, the feed for which you will find here. Copy and paste it into iTunes if you like. I will say that while the CBC won't podcast it (music rights issues), the creative folks behind the show want you to hear it, whether it's on the radio or... however else.
posted by YoungAmerican at 9:18 AM on September 23, 2007

2nd-ing Jonathan Goldstein's Wiretap. I "met" him through a This American Life episode and streamed some Wiretap from the CBC site and literally L'd OL at my computer.

It's kind of "This North American Life." YoungAmerican, thanks for the tip on the unofficial podcast!

I don't know how relevant the makes and models of cars are since you're in Glasgow, but Click and Clack's Car Talk is a work of art in its own way. Yes, it's is exactly "two people wittering" but, damn, those guys witter like no one else!

Another idea that's something different is maybe trying to learn a language with something like Pimsleur CDs ripped to your iPod.
posted by altcountryman at 11:44 AM on September 23, 2007

Wait wait... don't tell me! They make fun of the news better than anyone this side of Jon Stewart.
posted by Dec One at 11:51 AM on September 23, 2007

2nd-ing In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg

My favorite podcast is NPR's All Songs Considered which surveys recommended new music (all genres but mostly alternative)
posted by lorenzism at 7:29 PM on September 23, 2007

Every morning I take the walk down the stairs to work out I anticipate listening to "Science Talk" and and "60 Second Science". They are both cool and have a lot of value in your day to day life. Further, they will always leaving you feeling as if you just learned something uniquely new. Give it a shot, even the ones with sorry sounding titles turn out good.
posted by bkeene12 at 7:31 PM on September 23, 2007

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