Commentary


This article ( the coming podcast surplus ) by Seth Godin describes a problem ( of the third world variety ) that I have experienced for some time and I suspect you may have too, that is the growing number of streams of entertainment competing for my attention and time.

I have been a regular podcast listener since my first iPod many years ago when MacBreak Weekly and the BritishMac Podcast were my routine companions on the drive too and from work. Since the early days of podcasting there has been a rapid growth in the number of podcast networks and shows within those networks which is great to a point. The problem comes in deciding which ones are worthy of attention and how to sample new ones whilst at the same time keeping up with the regulars.

Many of the shows I listen to average around 2 hours per episode which for me is a whole days commuting ( 1 hour in each direction ). With only 4-5 working days drives a week ( I work at home on average once a week ) it doesn’t leave much room for new podcasts to find their way onto my playlist, especially as I tend to also have an Audible title on the go most of the time as well. The result of this is that I tend to continue to listen to mostly the same content and only occasionally change or add new podcasts to my player.

My current playlist looks something like this :

Podcast NameFrequencyList to
The CultCastWeeklyAlways
Security NowWeeklyAlways
MacBreak WeeklyWeeklyAlways
Accidental Tech PodcastWeeklyOccasionally
BritishMacVery IrregularAlways ( when they are there ! )
Mac Power UsersWeeklyOccasionally
The Talk Show with John GruberBi-WeelyOccasionally
The Infinite Monkey CageWeekly ( not all year round )Always when available

In addition to the regulars above I have a small list of irregular shows that I sample when I feel like it, mostly from the same podcast networks as the list above but with the odd variant thrown in for good measure. One that I dropped on a while ago that turned out to be so gripping that my regular playlist went out of the window until I had finished it was the Serial Podcast. This is a fascinating series of 10 episodes following a murder that happened in Baltimore in 1999 hosted by Sarah Koenig and was a spin off of This American Life. Not my normal techie faire but I really enjoyed this one and am actually looking forward to the forthcoming follow up series.

I suppose like Seth I have to accept that the reality is that I will never be able to listen to all the content that I might want to, there is simply too much to handle. It is also good news for anyone who has not yet ventured away from broadcast radio into the world of podcasts, believe me once you start you will continue and will probably not bother with commercial FM/DAB radio again !

UPDATE : Will Green ( BritishMac ) is back ! Episode 149 posted yesterday after a gap of 1 year since episode 148…. Keep it up this time Will ?

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