Sunday, May 20, 2012

Audio Gems for your commute

I got an iphone [blog entry link] a while back and out of laziness did not sync up all my music from my previous smartphone/iTunes. After finally putting on a few albums, I’ve decided to stop syncing and just listen to pandora and podcasts instead. Current favorite Pandora station: Santigold

Back when I interned with NPR, podcasting was all the rage. My ipod (U2 edition) had a ton of music but not as many podcasts. I found out that I was never able to clear the backlog of all my subscriptions. After school ended, the work schedule got hectic and I haven’t kept up with podcasts at all. After getting my iphone I looked into podcasts again and was surprised to find so many good shows that are still around.

Iphone makes it pretty easy to download podcasts. There is a dedicated podcast section under itunes and everything is categorized by content. If you go into settings you can also set podcast as one of the tabs (like what I’ve done). This way you don’t have to keep on going to “more” to get to it.


If you don’t like the browse feature, you can always search for a topic and itunes will bring up various matches, including podcast matches. This is a useful way for looking up music since many stations have podcasts of their live shows etc. See below for an example of search and podcast matches.


While I am still exploring new podcasts, I wanted to summarize some of my favorites for my friends who are new to the podcast scene. FYI if you don’t have an iphone, you can still download them via itunes on your computer and transfer to your device. Alternately you can also browse for those podcast websites and most times they have a straight mp3 link that you can download to your smartphone.

Discover Music
KEXP podcast
Mix of live music and short conversations about the band’s music and tours. All episodes are between 20-30min, which is just enough time to give you a flavor of the sound and personalities. Highly recommend the episode on Florence + The Machine and Alabama Shakes.


Learn Something New
Stuff You Should Know
If you like wiki-browsing and a good conversation, you’ll love Chuck and Josh, co-hosts of this podcast and the two friendliest guys around. For each episode the two chat about a specific topic and its background and history. Topics range from beer to coffee to shotgun houses. I recommend the episode on beer and zero.

Savage Love
If you’ve read Dan Savage’s columns, you’ll enjoy this podcast. Every episode features Dan answering questions submitted by listeners.He tells it like it is, without holding back. Sometimes guests will make an appearance and also answer some questions. Listening to this show makes me realize just how vulnerable people are and all want love, respect, and attention despite their experience in relationships.

Other Favorites:
Almost all NPR shows like This American Life, Car Talk, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, Planet Money, various music shows.

TED Talks: This is not a podcast but an app with videos of past Ted talks searchable by theme, keyword, and length. You can also bookmark or download the ones you like. Some ideas for my own TED talk. Will draft out some entry in the future
-communications (methods, styles)
-dealing with change (moves, immigration, schools, etc)

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