The Podcast Nation
Lori Hope Baumel
It began with Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me!, the iconic quiz show on National Public Radio (NPR). No longer did I need to tune in at a specific date and time to hear this iconic, funny, weekend ritual. Since I subscribed to the podcast, I can listen to the most current show or past episodes any time I wish. Additionally, I subscribed to The Moth, The Ted Radio Hour, Fresh Air, Pod Save America, The Dating Buffet, Ask Me Another, Cosimo and more.
After learning about the podcasting phenomenon, I just got lucky. I was hired as an audio engineer to do field work for the Planet Money podcast. It was a story on Warren Buffet’s annual report. I had the privilege of interviewing Carol Loomis, the woman who edited the report for fifty years. After that, I truly caught the podcast bug and was hooked.
Since you can download or stream episodes from a smartphone, tablet or computer – you can stop and start each episode as you please. At this point, there are more weekly podcasts hitting the airwaves than songs on the top 40 charts.
The best way to find podcasts that suit your interest is by going to the podcast app on your smartphone. You can browse the categories which will then display hundreds of choices for you to peruse. If you really like a podcast, you can hit the subscribe button and get notified when a new episode is released.
Podcasts cover the entire gamut of interests: art, business, comedy, education, games, hobbies, Government, health, children’s shows, music, news, science, sports, technology and more! If you have an Apple HomePod or an Amazon Echo, you can simply request, “Siri, play Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell me! or “Alexa, play Ask Me Another.” Just be careful to check the podcast out before listening with your children as there may be content inappropriate for their age.
If your car has a Bluetooth feature, you can listen on a long drive. I particularly enjoy podcasts while cooking, doing chores or, especially if I’m traveling on a plane. When the laptops have to be shut off, a downloaded podcast can continue playing in my headphones until the fasten your seat belt sign is released. My family and I also listen when taking public transit in cities like NY or DC.
If you’ve been reading my column for a while, you’ll know that I’m a strong advocate for audiobooks. But, if you want to listen to programs that are short and topical then podcasts are for you. If you’ve never heard one, take a moment to explore your podcast app. You can listen to news, the latest in pop culture and different points of view – from all over the world. It will make your life more thought provoking and enjoyable.
Live… Go… Do!
Top 5 Podcasts for April 2019
WLRN – South Florida’s local NPR Station
Fresh Air – WHYY
The TED Radio Hour
Hidden Brain – NPR
Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations – OWN network