At this point I feel like everyone listens to podcasts, right? Okay, most of my friends IRL (the ones I don’t work with haven’t really gotten into them. And tend to roll their eyes when I swear that a certain podcast is right up their alley. But anyway…
My own obsession started with Welcome to Night Vale. I’ve since stopped listening – I fell behind during their holiday break in 2014, I think and just never started it back up. And then of course there was Serial. The podcast most of my office listened to. We’d listen at our desks Thursday mornings and then discuss during lunch. It was fantastic for bonding, really.
A brief history of apps: When I first started listening to podcasts I had an iPhone, and I just used the standard Apple app. I’m apparently in the minority that I really don’t think it’s a terrible app. Not the best, but not terrible. It was great for auto-downloading podcasts that I was subscribed to and delete them when done. Until my current app, I used this on my iPad too. When I switched to Android I briefly used Stitcher. Which is free… but has a terrible interface, was glitchy and hardly worth the trouble. I couldn’t find one of my favorite podcasts on there, so I switched to listening to podcasts on Thursday/Friday on my iPad when I worked from home. And now I use Pocket Casts, which costs $3.99, but I think is worth it. I like the interface. It gives me notifications regarding new episodes, which download over wi-fi, delete after playing and they’re stored on my SD card.
- Bizarre States – From Jessica Chobot (Nerdist News) and Andrew Bowser (this dude, and also he directed some stellar music videos.) This is fun spooky shit including week in weird, Bowser’s Backyard News and listener stories. There’s sometimes great guests, too. Mostly I just like how they have fun and enjoy what they’re talking about and aren’t afraid to hype other podcasts. You can pick this one up at pretty much any episode. I recommend any with Jonny Loquasto. Updates every Thursday.
- The Black Tapes – The second season just started and I was super thrilled when I got the notification on my phone. This one you’d have to start from the first episode of season 1, but it’s worth it. It’s a serialized docudrama that’s got all sorts of paranormal elements. The leads are Alex Reagan and Dr. Strand. Alex is exploring unexplained phenomena in the form of the unsolved cases from the Strand Institute’s black tapes. And things seems very connected. X-Files-ish for sure. I’m not sure if this season is bi-weekly and releases on Tuesdays.
- Tanis – Tanis is a serialized docudrama from the same people that bring us The Black Tapes. It’s sort of a spin-off, featuring TBT producer Nic Silver, and sometimes Alex Reagan does some talking too. This is Nic’s quest for the last true mystery. I personally enjoy Merekatnip (now referred to as MK) as a Lisbeth Salander-esque hacker. What can I say? It’s one of my favorite tropes. And while I sometimes take issue with Nic’s (lack of) investigation techniques, I think the voice acting is pretty stellar in this one. Updates are bi-weekly on Wednesdays.
- Lore – This one is a history podcast about spooky folklore. I’ve been enjoying how it’s presented, well researched yet still fun. Aaron Mahnke’s voice is a little too soothing to listen to while driving, though. But I enjoy the fact that episodes are only around 20 minutes long, so I can easily listen while getting ready for work in the morning or bed at night. Updates are bi-weekly on Mondays.
- The NoSleep Podcast – NoSleep started as a group effort from the nosleep subreddit. This is a recent pickup of mine so I’ve been alternating between older shows (redditors working together to make a podcast!) and the more recent ones. The production quality has definitely improved, but the stories as still fantastically spooky. It really is like listening to scary stories around a campfire. They’re in the sixth season so there’s a lot of content for you to listen to. Updates weekly on Sundays.
- Serial – Can I call it the podcast that gripped the nation? The podcast that made people a believer in the podcast? Sure. Why not? Honestly, season 2 isn’t as captivating as the first, so I stopped listening. But I intend to binge it when it’s all out. I know a lot of listeners are not incredibly pleased with the fact that it wasn’t a completed season prior to launch and the resulting scheduling change. Updates are bi-weekly on Thursdays.
- Meditation Minis – These meditations are all around 10-15 minutes and have definitely been helping me with my goal of meditating weekly. Since they’re guided meditations, I don’t necessarily listen to the ones as they come out. Thankfully, the descriptions of the episodes are clear with the intent of the meditation. I do however have a few that I return to. This one was originally supposed to come out weekly, but there doesn’t seem to have much of a set schedule.