I came late to podcasts, but now I spend an hour a day listening to a broad and fairly eclectic selection of them. For the last couple of years podcasts have lightened the time I spend on my daily four-mile walks, and now I wouldn’t consider abandoning them.
Podcasting started as “audioblogging” thirty years ago, but came into its own a decade ago with the perfection of some of the distribution vehicles that make easy downloading and listening possible. For walkers like me, they combine well with music (I love the new Apple Music service).
I use iTunes on my iPhone 6, but you can find them easily for Android phones, or on your laptop or desktop
My favorites include the weekly New York Times Book Review, for its interviews about the books reviewed in the week’s issue. The New Yorker Out Loud is a weekly summary of the magazine’s opinion pieces, interspersed with high-quality interviews.
The most interesting new find is The Torch, from The Great Courses. Each podcasts consists of interviews with the professors behind three of the Great Course offerings. The one I heard this morning discussed a course on mythology, a discussion of “what is reality?” and a fascinating verbal tour of Italy by a Canadian professor who specializes in finding out-of-the-way places.
If you’re a writer like I am, or have plans to publish a book, Joanna Penn offers an outstanding weekly podcast on her experiences as an indie author. The best thing about her podcasts is her interviews with other authors or people who provide support services for authors. For example, I first heard of the editor for my upcoming second novel, Last Stop: Paris, on one of Joanna’s podcasts. Jen Blood of Aidan Editing did a wonderful job editing my book.
I found the cover designer on one of Joanna’s resource lists. Jane Dixon-Smith has completed the cover for Last Stop: Paris and is working on a cover for the second edition of Treasure of Saint-Lazare.
Wikipedia will tell you more than you need to know about the history of podcasting.
LINKS TO SOME OF MY FAVORITES.
History & Culture
The New York Times Book Review
The New Yorker Out Loud
This American Life
The Great Courses: The Torch
BBC World Service: The History Hour
Serial, the first podcasting hit (NY Times)
Stuff you missed in history class
Writing & publishing
Joanna Penn: The Creative Penn
Journal en Français Facile (French news for beginning and intermediate French speakers)
MediaPart (probably the best news site in France. Web only, staffed by former Le Monde journalists
France Inter: a broad spectrum of podcasts, best reviewed on iTunes. This is its own site: