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I'm looking for good podcasts, and podcast sites. I feel I missed out on a trend here.

Ed (dali), Monday, 4 April 2005 08:06 (sixteen years ago) link

radio 4's "in our time" is podcast every week. although i haven't actually got round to podcasting it, i just download the mp3 every week.

i would like some good podcasts, too, though.

toby (tsg20), Monday, 4 April 2005 09:05 (sixteen years ago) link

Okay, I just started my own podcast: http://www.biglittleg.com/blog/wp-rss2.php. It's a first try, so be nice. I'm going to try to do this once a week.

Of course, I'm looking for suggestions for other podcasts as well.

Guymauve (Guymauve), Monday, 4 April 2005 14:34 (sixteen years ago) link

I've downloaded that, I'll listen on the way to work tomorrow.

Ed (dali), Monday, 4 April 2005 16:25 (sixteen years ago) link

Is a podcast like an mp3 mix or something? I haven't been following this.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Monday, 4 April 2005 16:29 (sixteen years ago) link

Basically it's a radio show or mix distributed on mp3. I thought it was a bit of a daft name really, but it's become very popular and not just for music, there seems to be some speech out there too.

Ed (dali), Monday, 4 April 2005 16:34 (sixteen years ago) link

Podcasts can be pretty much anything, from straightforward music to talk to art to, well, wherever you want to go with it. Try http://www.ipodder.org or http://www.podcastalley.com for more. Not strictly for ipods or the like, but they're darn convenient that way.

Guymauve (Guymauve), Monday, 4 April 2005 16:36 (sixteen years ago) link

Another couple good places to find podcasts are at PocastHost.com, or PodcastAlley.com. PodcastAlley uses a "rating system", and PodcastHost has a searchable database and aggregated text, right on the site.

Tom Simpson, Monday, 4 April 2005 16:45 (sixteen years ago) link

Those last three posts are like a dialectic at work, or something.

Guymauve (Guymauve), Monday, 4 April 2005 16:48 (sixteen years ago) link

i couldn't figure out how to work yours, guy!

s1ocki (slutsky), Monday, 4 April 2005 17:01 (sixteen years ago) link

do i need a different kind of newsreader?

s1ocki (slutsky), Monday, 4 April 2005 17:01 (sixteen years ago) link


Amon (eman), Monday, 4 April 2005 17:05 (sixteen years ago) link

Grab iPodderX Lite. It'll just grab the feed when you subscribe. I'm still in the trial (and error) stage with it, but it seems to work for people. Word Press is sometimes a bit fiddly with these things (and I'm using a non-WP template which makes XML a problem to read sometimes). A new one up Sunday.

Guymauve (Guymauve), Monday, 4 April 2005 17:12 (sixteen years ago) link

This actually looks like it would be kind of fun to do, as my friends are permanently in need of Taste Correction and this would allow me to save somewhat on CDRs. But isn't bandwidth kind of prohibitively expensive? I mean, you're basically serving a gigantic MP3, right?

James.Cobo (jamescobo), Tuesday, 5 April 2005 15:50 (sixteen years ago) link

our club is doing podcasts soon, probably me. I'll post here when we do our first one.

Ronan (Ronan), Wednesday, 6 April 2005 11:48 (sixteen years ago) link


s1ocki (slutsky), Wednesday, 6 April 2005 15:18 (sixteen years ago) link

two months pass...
update, ronan?

c/n (Cozen), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 07:40 (sixteen years ago) link


The Rock n Roll Geek show.
Plays mostly the kind of rock that's not fashionabl;e at the moment plus some punk stuff but mostly talks. He's a really genuine guy and the honesty of it, the lack of shiny gloss bullshit makes it great.

mei (mei), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 08:41 (sixteen years ago) link

i can't follow the rapid-fire german enough to understand like, any single entire sentence, but annik rubens' podcast show sounds really entertaining.

Josh (Josh), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 08:47 (sixteen years ago) link

I've now made 14 podcasts, ranging from 30 minutes to an hour, in locations from Macau and Japan to Lisbon, Edinburgh and New York. Basically, everywhere I go (and I'm lucky enough to travel a lot) I mumble into an old Fujifilm F601 and make a new radio programme documenting the sounds and atmospheres of where I am.

Momus (Momus), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 08:58 (sixteen years ago) link

i know a german or two who do not look like otto dix paintings, momus

fe zaffe (fezaffe), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 09:27 (sixteen years ago) link

anyway, podcasts with a lower case p is good but rarely updated

fe zaffe (fezaffe), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 09:27 (sixteen years ago) link

Is this seriously taking off? Do people listen to these or just make them?

TOMBOT, Tuesday, 5 July 2005 13:20 (sixteen years ago) link


This is a friend of my roommate, i haven't listened to a lot of it but what I heard was terrifically hilarious, fun and vulgar.

-rainbow bum- (-rainbow bum-), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 15:53 (sixteen years ago) link

four weeks pass...

Anybody find anything interesting_

Super Cub (Debito), Thursday, 4 August 2005 11:42 (sixteen years ago) link

No. Podcasting is one of the most disappointing memes of the decade, along with "war chalking"

I can't go a single day without someone saying "podcasting" but I can't find a single podcast worth listening to.

mikef (mfleming), Thursday, 4 August 2005 23:14 (sixteen years ago) link

there are plenty of excellent podcasts, but im having a hard time finding good non-music programs. the two im subscribed to havent been updated in months

fe zaffe (fezaffe), Thursday, 4 August 2005 23:35 (sixteen years ago) link

Exactly. Of the six I posted above, I think only three are still being updated. A lot of them seem to give up once they realise it's not going to make them the next John Peel.

James Mitchell (James Mitchell), Friday, 5 August 2005 02:26 (sixteen years ago) link

are there any old john peel broadcasts available as podcasts? i would love to hear some of those

gem (trisk), Friday, 5 August 2005 02:27 (sixteen years ago) link

I just got my husband set up with this stuff--got him a little flash-based mp3 player he can take to the gym after he syncs up his shows. I put ipodder on his computer and subscribed him to Al Franken's show on Air America and NPR's On The Media--he's a big talk radio fan. So I can't really speak to any music stuff, haven't played around with it enough.

teeny (teeny), Friday, 5 August 2005 16:46 (sixteen years ago) link

This one by Digiki has been getting some press recently, despite only having one installment so far: http://www.maudevintage.com/castellane/digiki/polypunk/polyfeed.xml ( actual file is http://www.maudevintage.com/castellane/digiki/polypunk/POLYPUNK001.mp3 )

Hopefully he'll keep it up.

Listening to podcasts at work is better than listening to the same twenty prerecorded CDs our college radio station broadcasts over summer break.

channing, Friday, 5 August 2005 16:58 (sixteen years ago) link

no links cuz i got all my stuff off iTunes

Firesign Theater is GREAT - they're a classic surreal stoner baby boomer comedy troupe

Simulacrum - v funny fake interviews with celebrities

Slate Magazine is hit or miss

Lukas (lukas), Friday, 5 August 2005 23:38 (sixteen years ago) link

one month passes...
so what do i need to do a podcast?

my friend and i have been trying to get a radio show for ages but it's not working out

Homosexual II (Homosexual II), Friday, 30 September 2005 20:14 (fifteen years ago) link

do it do it do it

100% Nice (nordicskilla), Friday, 30 September 2005 20:18 (fifteen years ago) link

(sorry if that was too technical for you)

100% Nice (nordicskilla), Friday, 30 September 2005 20:18 (fifteen years ago) link

it's going to be called THE JUBILEE JOHNNY AND MORNINGSTAR MANDEE show - its going to be like, FOR KIDS

Homosexual II (Homosexual II), Friday, 30 September 2005 20:56 (fifteen years ago) link

so what do i need to do a podcast?

A copy of Audacity: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

With the lame mp3 encoder: http://lame.sourceforge.net/ (probably comes with the Audacity download, I don't remember)

$5 a month mp3 hosting from LibSyn: http://www.libsyn.com

That's about it.

James Mitchell (James Mitchell), Friday, 30 September 2005 21:22 (fifteen years ago) link

dont' i need like a microphone or anyything??


Homosexual II (Homosexual II), Friday, 30 September 2005 21:27 (fifteen years ago) link

at Capone's, Brooklyn, New York

This week's podcast is DJ Jonny Sender of Konk from March 2005. Track list below.

Podcast: http://www.alldisco.net/podcast.xml

war - galaxy
fantastic aleems - hooked on your lovin'
instant funk - got my mind made up
positive force - we got the funk
happy song (bootleg edit)
eurythmics - sweet dreams
chic - good times
incredible bongo band - apache
first choice - love thang
Moody Boys
falco - machine brennt
electric mind - zwei (dub)
jago - i'm gonna go
billy frazier & friends - billy who?
Brenda and the Tabulations - Let's Go All the Way Down

Confounded (Confounded), Friday, 30 September 2005 21:46 (fifteen years ago) link

I wouldn't have a clue about decent microphones. Anybody?

James Mitchell (James Mitchell), Friday, 30 September 2005 21:59 (fifteen years ago) link

So what makes for a good podcast? And when would you listen to it? I've been tempted to do one, just to see how it would work, but I have no idea what it is that makes people download these things. And I believe that Tombot might have a point up there, that more people are probably producing these things than listening to them.

Pleasant Plains /// (Pleasant Plains ///), Friday, 30 September 2005 22:17 (fifteen years ago) link

Hmm, I guess anything that makes audio compelling for an extended period of time: a charismatic personality, a narrative, a bunch of good songs, etc.

Listen to them... in the car? On the subway? It's basically surrogate radio for an iPod. Not so exciting, but still useful.

Confounded (Confounded), Friday, 30 September 2005 22:23 (fifteen years ago) link

If you like sermons, there are many churches that put out their weekly sunday sermons. At the itunes store just scroll through the list of religious ones. I occasionally listen to Ref. Pres. Theological Seminary or Tenth Presbyterian Church.

Also Probe ministries ( http://www.probe.org/ ) does a pretty good and informative talk show about various topics in Christianity or society.

There some okay science ones like "Science and Society"

I've also found a few language ones. Depending on which language you want to learn you can search through itunes store directory. I got one called "HESS Chinese survial guide."

A Nairn (moretap), Saturday, 1 October 2005 02:37 (fifteen years ago) link

ten months pass...
any arty film- or music-related podcasts?

how about good podcasts in french???

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Saturday, 12 August 2006 06:03 (fifteen years ago) link

one year passes...

I've decided to utilise the full functional capacity of mypod. At the momment only listening to those available via itunes. Currently sampling:

Radio4's Best of Today
Amnesty International
NPR's It's All Politics
New York Times Op-Ed
Rob Da Bank's Sunday Best
The Onion
Ricky Gervais

These all fairly obvious. Can anyone offer me anything a bit more off-beat and esoteric? Not that I am either of those things but i might like to be.

Uptoeleven, Monday, 20 August 2007 10:45 (fourteen years ago) link

Is Tom Ravenscroft's Channel 4 one still going?

Mark G, Monday, 20 August 2007 10:48 (fourteen years ago) link

fuck! that was good, that. and i've forgotten all about it. arse.

grimly fiendish, Monday, 20 August 2007 17:54 (fourteen years ago) link

The Sound of Young America
Jordan, Jesse Go!
Never Not Funny

jeff, Monday, 20 August 2007 17:56 (fourteen years ago) link

R U Sirius has a show with interesting guests sometimes

zappi, Monday, 20 August 2007 18:06 (fourteen years ago) link

Good pod re: conspiracy theory culture and Qanon


Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Tuesday, 2 March 2021 01:32 (six months ago) link

A journalist, a cult researcher, and a philosophical skeptic
Oh no

Canon in Deez (silby), Tuesday, 2 March 2021 02:00 (six months ago) link

New episode! We're talking wizards.


Ned Raggett, Monday, 15 March 2021 15:22 (six months ago) link

Nice segue! I just listened to the Magic episode, so Wizards will follow on nicely.

"The Pus/Worm" by The Smiths (hardcore dilettante), Tuesday, 16 March 2021 03:36 (six months ago) link


Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 16 March 2021 03:57 (six months ago) link

A new one called What the FUP? trying to correct popular misconceptions about science that keep cropping up in tabloid level press and sci fi films etc and seem to have been fully taken onboard by significant amounts of the population.
Its on the 2nd actual episode after an introductory episode and the 2 presenters were on Serious Inquiries Only this week talking about the film What The BLEEP Do We know and some serious misinformation the film was spreading concerning quantum physics and human will.
I've just heard taht Serious Inquiries show and the introductory episode but it sounds great so far

Stevolende, Saturday, 20 March 2021 13:29 (six months ago) link

three weeks pass...

I guess Cocaine & Rhinestones is indeed gearing up again. This is an epic profile:


Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 10 April 2021 01:40 (five months ago) link

I have been finally checking out cocaine & rhinestones, it is very good, took a while to get going though and still not a fan of his presenting voice.
he is kind of insufferable on twitter and I've had to mute him.

Bastard Lakes (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Saturday, 10 April 2021 07:50 (five months ago) link

i am looking forward to the new season

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 10 April 2021 16:29 (five months ago) link

Second captains paul kimmage interviewed by david o doherty is yet another exceptional hour of conversation

flagpost fucking (darraghmac), Wednesday, 14 April 2021 22:31 (five months ago) link

Is there a cocaine and rhinestones but for house or Detroit techno?

Joe Bombin (milo z), Wednesday, 14 April 2021 22:33 (five months ago) link

if there is it's probably called ecstasy and acid

Michael F Gill, Thursday, 15 April 2021 03:37 (five months ago) link

Red Nation came back 2 episodes back totally refurbished. Jettisoned some previous members and things. Not sure to what extent they went into detail as to why. May have been covered elsewhere.

So they've now done an episode on writers and one with a review of King Kong vs God zilla in depth and trying to work out which one is more Indian.
Quite fun.

Stevolende, Thursday, 15 April 2021 05:34 (five months ago) link

he is kind of insufferable on twitter and I've had to mute him.

Dude has a podcast called Your Favorite Band Sucks where he drops truthbombs like "RATM are clearly a failure because there was no revolution, lol". Cocaine & Rhinestones is great and deeply researched but outside of that he's cringe.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 15 April 2021 09:41 (five months ago) link

new podcast from Serial "The Improvement Association" seems good.

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Thursday, 15 April 2021 14:04 (five months ago) link

We just interviewed A.M Gittlitz (AP Andy from the Antifada) on his book on J. Posadas, Argentinian Trotskyism, Juan Peron, UFOs, nuclear accelerationism, and how leftist sects can devolve into cults in the 70s


Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Friday, 16 April 2021 16:45 (five months ago) link

Meantime, second season of Cocaine and Rhinestones is off and running

This is just the first episode in a season of a podcast. It's not a trapdoor dropping you into a maze with only one horrific path out. These are just stories.https://t.co/M2DzoUu497

— Tyler Mahan Coe (@TylerMahanCoe) April 20, 2021

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 20 April 2021 14:56 (five months ago) link

ive had multiple people i know who loathed country as music for racists about about pickups and dead dogs, then got into cocaine & rhinestones and later came at me like "have you ever listened i mean really listened to merle haggard? let me tell u some facts about him!" which although annoying i guess is good in the grand scheme of things

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 15:22 (five months ago) link


Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 15:25 (five months ago) link

one of those ppl also ended up trying hard to sell me on your favorite band sucks and i was like dude i realllly dont have time in my life for david allan coe's son's little comedy riffs on the arcade fire or whoever, also if you still feel strongly about racism google david allan coe.

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 15:31 (five months ago) link

Good convo here from early lockdown, gets into the mix of consp. theory, cult shit, and American Protestantism helping to feed into Covid freakouts https://conspirituality.net/conspiracy-theories/0-1-conspiracy-theories-cult-dynamics/

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Monday, 3 May 2021 23:53 (four months ago) link

as promised on the chapo thread, a few unasked for pointers from me, whomst has done a few pods over the years, answering the age-old question: "should I (you) start a podcast?"

I should note I have never done a patreon or any crowdfunding / fundraising of any kind so I can't speak to that model. (maybe ums can swing by and say a bit about that.) seems hard!

  • the only good reason to do a podcast (especially now) is because on balance you think it will be fun to produce. ime this is mainly a function of who you're doing it with - ideally you should be working with people you are eager to spend more time hanging around with. "because I think a lot of people might be interested" is a bad reason, or at least a bad principal reason. (if you're planning on flying solo, good luck - I've never even tried it and it seems hard as hell!!)
  • many of you already know this but: producing a podcast is easy, but producing a good one remains quite labor-intensive. one hour of the twin peaks pod, for example, involved rewatching, research, coordinating with guests, and of course the dreaded mixing and editing, two things I do myself. in total, each one-hour ep was easily 5+ hours of work for my co-host and likely more than that for me. if you lack spare time, or think you might lack it in the near future, do not make a podcast. (I will say if you have some $$$, there are new tools that help automate some aspects of editing, but I haven't tried them and idk how effective they really are.)
  • if you have co-hosts, leverage their particular strengths and arrange the workload accordingly. I had the best time making the peaks pod because I let my co-host do the social heavy lifting (reaching out to new and unfamiliar guests, using their connections etc) - the shit I find absolutely blood-curdling, leaving me free to just do the grunt work I'm more comfortable with anyway.
  • guests are good! yes they can be a pain in the ass to schedule and record with, but that's one more point of connection for ppl to discover your podcast from, and it's a great way to keep yr pod lively and non-monotonous.
  • there are way way way too many podcasts, so proceed from the assumption that no one will ever listen to yours. then you can be absolutely delighted when you check your stats and there's the slightest uptick. unless you are an internet celebrity or have pre-existing connections, your only reliable tools are consistency and quality, and even then, you're building a small cult at best. I'm plotting a new one right now - I will happily plug it on here if it comes together - and our attitude is very much "this should exist and it would be fun for us so let's do it". if you produce good content consistently and at least some of you are doing something to promote it (even if it's just linking it here as Ned has been doing for his Tolkien cast), at least a few listeners will find you.
  • lastly, I strongly recommend that whatever your prospective pod is about, try to keep the topic/subject/format relatively evergreen. I still check the Lodgers stats every couple months, and there's still a steady trickle of new listeners, though we wrapped it up about 2.5 years ago. for me that's reward plenty.

intern at pepe le pew research (Simon H.), Monday, 10 May 2021 13:44 (four months ago) link

Very good tips!

Tracer Hand, Monday, 10 May 2021 14:07 (four months ago) link

Yup, these are good tips

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Monday, 10 May 2021 14:26 (four months ago) link

agreed with all that Simon, amazed that you can make a one-hour show in 5 hours, that is astonishingly quick, I would put a one-hour show at a full day's work at the very least.

I was interviewed by a podcast newsletter once and it was never used, I suspect this was mainly because I discouraged people from starting podcasts, you really need to have a very good idea and brilliant delivery to make anything which stands out these days, also I was pissed off at all the celebs and showbiz stars coming into podcasting and bringing their unfair clout and their horrible broadcasting styles into the field, I went on a bit of a rant about My D*d Wrote a P*rno, which I still blame for setting a shitty standard which many have followed, guess the interviewer didn't agree.

Don't know if I should stop calling my thing a "podcast" now, when I started in 2007 music mixes were a standard type of podcast, now everyone expects speech. kind of reluctant to let it go as there is a podcast ecosystem which isn't there for mixes, but I suspect the kind of people who would like my mixes probably aren't reading podcast newsletters.

A viking of frowns, (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Monday, 10 May 2021 14:55 (four months ago) link

A lot of podcasters need editors, is my takeaway from listening to podcasts. If they were given time constraints, they would be about 200% better programs. Yes Antifada I am looking directly at u.

Ima Gardener (in orbit), Monday, 10 May 2021 14:59 (four months ago) link

I may have lowballed the time estimate...of course some episodes are smoother than others. the last episode of the lodgers was easily 10+ hours of work thanks to many technical issues with our guests.

intern at pepe le pew research (Simon H.), Monday, 10 May 2021 15:04 (four months ago) link

oh yeah pods that don't do editing drive me absolutely nuts. a lot of these shows didn't get the memo that most successful pods are in fact carefully edited.

intern at pepe le pew research (Simon H.), Monday, 10 May 2021 15:06 (four months ago) link

I agree about the celebrity bandwagoning, and those titles sucking all the oxygen away from genuinely better and more innovative shows, but I think more audio professionals getting involved has been good - it's raised the bar in terms of sound quality and production. fwiw this also touches on the 'how long does it take' question. If you're making a chat podcast, a very good producer who has briefed their presenter well can essentially do the show 'as live' and make very minimal edits later. You might record 45 minutes for a 40 minute show. You might edit for an hour or two. The less you can record the better. This equation is drastically different for a narrative, story-driven podcast, or something inbetween like Radiolab which has like 20 different producers on it. But ime you get better, more interesting conversation, and spend less time editing, if you can treat it as live, not 'break' if you don't have to.

Tracer Hand, Monday, 10 May 2021 15:18 (four months ago) link

I recently had a chance to put together a short radio drama and I was astonished at how much work was involved - the whole thing was maybe 7 minutes long and the mixing/editing/sound effect sourcing took absolutely ages.

intern at pepe le pew research (Simon H.), Monday, 10 May 2021 15:26 (four months ago) link

smh at not doing sound effects live onstage like it’s 1935

Clara Lemlich stan account (silby), Monday, 10 May 2021 15:34 (four months ago) link

you really need to have a very good idea and brilliant delivery to make anything which stands out these days

My take is that this is no different from working in any other kind of artform/medium and ppl still start bands/make short films/write novels regardless so hey.

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 10 May 2021 15:52 (four months ago) link

BBC radio drama actually does live effects for a lot of their output. Footsteps, letterboxes, door slams, etc. Which is very old school obv - but actually a lot of modern podcast producers do 'on location' effects as well - miking people up and getting them to move around the set almost like it's a film.

Tracer Hand, Monday, 10 May 2021 15:54 (four months ago) link

if you produce good content consistently and at least some of you are doing something to promote it (even if it's just linking it here as Ned has been doing for his Tolkien cast), at least a few listeners will find you.

Thanks! Yeah your advice is solid and I'll throw in my own specific observations to build on that:

* Strict solo podcasts are mugs' games at best unless you're a REALLY good monologist. And even that's not enough most of the time -- Patrick Wyman's history podcasts grew out of his old Fall of Rome series which was very much a 'person on the mic' experience, with occasional stumbles and hiccups -- he worked off what he'd written but it was very homegrown. By the time of Tides of History he'd become much more polished but also had a fully-credited team working with him to make it smoother. The other 'solo' podcast I regularly listen to is The Age of Napoleon and I still have no idea if he does it totally on his own or not, but it wouldn't surprise me either way.

* The points about fun are key, and sometimes things just suggest themselves. Here's how By-the-Bywater came together: I 'met' both Jared and Oriana separately online, via being RTd into my feeds. Oriana was doing her own very happily homegrown podcast American Grift, but I also soon discovered she was a massive Tolkien fanatic, which of course I appreciated. Jared's interests were a wide range of things from fashion and art to literature and so forth, but Tolkien appreciation was there too. They both seemed pretty cool, and after drinks with a friend one night near the end of the year I thought "You know...a Tolkien podcast with these two could be good." Oriana of course had her podcast experience already, I half wondered if Jared might be up for it, and just started asking (there was almost a fourth host -- and I would have loved this for a two men/two women balance -- but she bowed out early saying we were all much more into him). Above all I sensed that Oriana and Jared balanced an interest and knowledge with a good irreverence in turn, as well as great senses of humor. It all perfectly clicked.

* You can of course host something on your own somewhere, plenty of options, but leverage connections if you have them! For us the real trick was that after a few weeks of planning on our own -- and I was thinking about everything from hosting to graphics -- I suddenly went "Wait hold on" because long-ago ILX vet Chris Piuma, who I've been friends with for two decades, very much had not only his own podcast but an actual podcast mininetwork, Megaphonic FM. Homegrown, low-key, not interested at all in becoming the next Wondery or the like, definitely a great outgrowth of Chris's indie/DIY music background that also aimed for low-key but consistent. It also helped that he'd established a crisp, clear design sense for the site and all the podcasts on it. Further, his musical abilities meant all the podcasts had great theme songs and musical moments. Finally, while there's a general literature podcast on the network, our specificity meant no particular conflict there, so we had our own little niche. It all came together so quickly after that I was relieved -- we had a built in site and small audience, Chris does great at promoting all the site's podcasts, and we had a distinct visual/sonic image we could offer.

* The work division point is good but it all depends on what people can do. I was the driver of the whole thing and still act as the guiding spirit/host pretty much, so I essentially took it upon myself, especially since Chris noted that he could only do so much -- he's busy with his own podcasts in terms of editing and prep. So it was a crash course in editing in GarageBand and I think you can tell pretty much! So Jared and Oriana only have to record with me once a month for an hour or so, and I handle the grunt work part. It's involved, certainly, but the flipside is that we established early on that our best pace was monthly, so it's not like it's all my free time gone in episode prep. And I don't see it as a bad thing; I'm in a space where I have the time and focus to do that side of things, and that way it's not an imposition on Jared and Oriana either. Ultimately I've now learned a new skill, and I'm glad of that. One thing I did do is to never be the main 'news' voice: Jared has now taken on that role almost by default, and I think it's a good spot for him -- and indeed, something I especially love and appreciate is that we have three distinct voices at work, like how we actually sound. It keeps the discussions clear throughout.

* Indeed, assume nobody will listen and allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised, and also, find your niche AND your pace, especially if it's already a crowded field. So: we used our first episode to serve as a 'hi here's our deal' introduction and we established three things out of the gate: first, we were neither newbies to Tolkien (anything but!) but we weren't dyed in the wool academics or scholars as such either. We aimed for a comfortable midrange where we assume an audience generally interested in Tolkien but not always sure of the more obscure efforts, like maybe you saw the films and have read the books -- or tried to! -- once or twice. This saves ourselves have to explain everything while also contextualizing the lesser known bits, everything from selections from the letters to unpublished Middle-earth work to the non-Middle-Earth work in general. Second, we also made it clear we had absolutely no interest in marching through the books -- we knew of other Tolkien podcasts already and a couple of them did just that. Absolutely not our deal, we're happy others do that, but it just felt unappealing. Finally, we aimed to throw it open where we could talk about adaptations and works 'around' Tolkien, if you like; Tolkien has a touchpoint for later interpretations and reconsiderations is absolutely in our general wheelhouse. This all meant that we could keep the podcast protean, and visit and revisit facets as we felt appropriate. The results have paid off -- we now have a steady bloc of hundreds of listeners, to our happy surprise, and that includes support from notable Tolkien podcasters in turn, particularly Luke Shelton, who is also a prime mover in Tolkien academic studies. Elsewhere we had this Reddit post saying we had "a nice balance between general interest and deep nerdery" while this piece rated us as one of the best out there and specifically said we'd be great for listeners who have an interest in the subject but would have trouble making space for another weekly podcast. Which is wonderful to hear! We're not interested in competing at that level, if you will.

* Don't be afraid to change up the format -- and respond to feedback if it's constructive. I always felt from the start that the theme of each episode should rotate between us hosts -- I felt it would be dead in the water if it was "Ned picks a topic and two other people respond," just, garbage. But initially, and you can tell this in the first couple of episodes, the idea was each of us would prepare some thoughts beforehand and then we'd respond to each minipresentation. It worked, but a friend of Oriana's said to her that it felt more like hearing a series of book reports than a conversation, and that struck me as a sound take. So I consider, after our introduction episode, episode 4 as our 'start' episode: technically I was already getting better with editing and cutting out pauses, but starting there we stuck with a 'person who picked the topic introduces it, then we all discuss it.' And that's been great, because it allows everyone to bring up what they're interested in first, then we can talk about those points and introduce our own thoughts as they come up -- it feels more natural, doesn't impose too much structure, but keeps a focus regardless. (It also helps that I think Episode 4 is one of our best in general, on one of Tolkien's most serious, quiet and truly heartbreaking stories.)

* Finally, having casually mentioned it, having a 'news' section with Jared going over updates, with an admitted focus on the Amazon series right now, allows us to respond to immediate issues in 'the community,' widely defined, allows the main subject of each episode to go forward without getting sidetracked into said news. It's a good way to recognize that there's a lot going on out there without pretending we're talking about breaking news either. If you do a podcast where that kind of division might be helpful, consider it!

Ned Raggett, Monday, 10 May 2021 15:54 (four months ago) link

oh yeah, diversity of hosts is GREAT and (generally) makes for a better podcast if you can swing it

intern at pepe le pew research (Simon H.), Monday, 10 May 2021 16:03 (four months ago) link

Indeed, and another point I was keenly aware of when I first got to know Jared and Oriana is that they were both notably younger than me, born in the late 80s and encountered Tolkien right around 2000, a year or two before the films in turn. I really really wasn't interested in a podcast where it was just me and two people generally like me, I could feel my soul withering at the prospect. Having much different perspectives and reference points has made for intriguing and unexpected connections and comparisons at many points.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 10 May 2021 16:22 (four months ago) link

Been catching up on the BBC Shadow Over Innsmouth adaptation, subbed to one they advertised on there (Children of the Stones). It’s refreshing to listen to these production values compared to the usual podcast audio.

Joe Bombin (milo z), Monday, 10 May 2021 17:10 (four months ago) link

Need to find one with lots of Radiophonic Workshop bleeps and bloops.

Joe Bombin (milo z), Monday, 10 May 2021 17:11 (four months ago) link

Give this one a try - https://archive.org/details/TheSlide

Maresn3st, Monday, 10 May 2021 17:49 (four months ago) link

ooh, thanks

Joe Bombin (milo z), Monday, 10 May 2021 18:27 (four months ago) link

Btw, the new episode of the pod I make is talking with the Cannabis Workers Coalition, a new group organizing THC/CBD workers


Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Friday, 14 May 2021 16:29 (four months ago) link


intern at pelican brief consulting (Simon H.), Friday, 14 May 2021 18:56 (four months ago) link

I guess there's no harm in saying the akerman pod with kate is finally in the planning stages....we are daunted but stoked

intern at pelican brief consulting (Simon H.), Friday, 14 May 2021 19:00 (four months ago) link

super late to the game but I just started listening to Open Mike Eagle’s “What Had Happened Was”

goddamn it is a great listen if you are into hip hop stories, loving the first season w Prince paul — it scratches the itch i’ve had since The Champs closed up shop

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 14 May 2021 19:41 (four months ago) link

four months pass...

Really enjoyed "The White Saviors" which just finished its run yesterday. I don't know how much media coverage the whole "WE" charity thing got outside of Canada, but it's basically about a corrupt charity organization that is run in an almost cult-like way and making huge amounts of money for the charity's founders. Along the way it goes into why rich people try to make themselves feel good with voluntourism, how companies associate themselves with charities in order to get their marketing into schools and various other shady aspects of charity organizations.

silverfish, Tuesday, 14 September 2021 15:04 (one week ago) link

Got to catch a l;ive edition of Backlisting last week. Somehow forgot I had listened to several editions of the show a while back until it was underway.
It was on as part of the Galway Arts Festival First THoughts Talks series. INteresting, has me wanting to read some JM Coetzee which I don't remember having done til now.

Stevolende, Thursday, 16 September 2021 18:05 (five days ago) link

We have a new ep interviewing a panel of leftist vets coming out this week, y’all might dig it

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Friday, 17 September 2021 07:08 (four days ago) link

Veterinarians or veterans?

emil.y, Friday, 17 September 2021 15:41 (four days ago) link


Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Friday, 17 September 2021 20:09 (four days ago) link

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