podcasts are great

So now that I’ve a mere 3 exits north, my morning commute has literally doubled. According to the map, I’m 25 miles away from my work, which takes me an hour to traverse in the morning.

I’ve tried quite a few different routes, utilizing the wonderful GPS unit my in-laws got us for Christmas, only to find they all have their ups and downs.

So having an hour to oneself every morning really makes you appreciate good podcasts. I’ve been listening to them since Diggnation started in July of 05, and have found a few good ones, and several bad ones.

But all I want to talk about today are the ones that I think really shine in the world of podcasts.

First and foremost, Pseudopod. Pseudopod is a horror fiction podcast, where they read short pieces of fiction, normally around half an hour in length. I wouldn’t suggest it for the kids, or the faint of heart, as it is a horror podcast, and can therefor be pretty violent. But at far as a straight up podcast goes, it’s one of the best I’ve heard.

The next one kind of doesn’t count, because it’s a radio show, not just a podcast. I had heard about This American Life before, but never gotten a chance to listen to it on the radio (as my antenna isn’t even hooked up) but I gave the podcast a gander a couple months ago, and it’s easily my favorite thing to listen to. Basically, it’s stories. Most of them real-life as told by normal every day people, and some fun pieces of fiction. They always revolve around a central theme for the episode. It has basically opened my eyes to the wonders of story telling, and how big a part of our culture it can be.

The next podcast would have to be The RELEVANT Podcast. Made by the editorial crew of RELEVANT magazine, it’s basically a snapshot of the website, mentioning entertainment releases (CDs, movies), “slices” or interesting news stories, and they always end up just talking about stuff that I find , um, well, relevant to me. Sometimes it turns into some fairly spiritual discussion, and sometimes it just ends up being about badgers and Gary Busey.

The last one I’ll mention is Studio 360. It’s another NPR radio show. I use to enjoy it a lot when I listened to it on the radio years ago, but lost track of it, and was really excited when they started doing the podcast. For a long while they’d just release portions of the show, sometimes 50 minutes, sometimes only 10 or so, but they have just recently started releasing the show in its entirety. The show itself is about “Pop-Culture and the arts” as they put it. I find it can be sorta hit and miss. It’s never anything horribly enthralling but there are some neat stories in there, and I enjoy listening to them. The only downside seems to be that they reuse segments a little to often, or they’ll have a segment on say, The Wizard of Oz and it’s effect on little people, and a month or so later, they’ll have a whole episode on the Wizard of Oz, and it starts to feel redundant. But it doesn’t happen to often to stop me from listening.

So there’s a few of my favorites, if you know of any good ones, (audio only) let me know, as I don’t seem to have an hour long podcast to cover me for every day of the week.