Heads up: I’ve recently added some minor tracking/analytics via Matomo. If you want to find out what exactly I collect (nothing much, really), I’ve documented it in my privacy page.

TL;DR: Mostly I’m just getting aggregate stats on page views and operating system/browser usage.

Commute-Time Listening

I’ve been listening to podcasts for a while now, although to be honest, I’m relatively late to the game, having started listening to them only in 2010. Previously, my commutes were spent listening to my choice of music from my iTunes library. I did listen sporadically to one or two episodes of various early podcasts (TWiT comes to mind, and FLOSS Weekly), but I never did get hooked to consuming them. Maybe it was the struggle to fit my music library into my 5th-gen 40GB iPod; maybe it was the fact that I was syncing my iPod on Linux, using relatively unsupported tools and workflows.

In any case, I really started listening to podcasts quite heavily only when I switched to using a Mac full-time, and when Apple split out podcasts into a separate app. Since then, it became much easier for me to follow shows on the go from my phone. Instead of waiting to copy episodes onto my device from my laptop, I could download them on my cell connection – quite convenient.

One of the earliest shows I actually tracked was John Siracusa’s Hypercritical on 5by5. I remember seeing John’s byline on various Mac OS X reviews on Ars Technica I’ve read in the past, so it intrigued me when I saw that he had a podcast.

I also started listening to other shows, and before long, I had a long list of shows I’ve subscribed to.

Admittedly a lot of the shows on my list I don’t really listen to regularly, and I tend to just dip in here-and-there on a per-episode basis, so yeah.

Here are some of the shows on heavy rotation on my daily commute:

  • 99% Invisible

    I write software, so design and architecture is a fascination for me. One of the earliest episodes I listened to was the one about Kowloon Walled City, and on Number Stations.

    If you’re interested in design and how it impacts our everyday life (and other interesting design-related topics), you can’t go wrong with 99% Invisible. You don’t really need to listen to the whole back catalog of episodes, as each episode does stand alone, so it’s easy to start listening to just the episodes on things you’re interested in, but I suggest going back and listening to the entire back catalog.

    P.S.: I really want a 99PI challenge coin

  • Accidental Tech Podcast

    Two of the three hosts on ATP had shows I’d listened to previously: Siracusa’s Hypercritical as mentioned, and Marco Arment’s Build and Analyze. They started a different podcast, talking about cars – I drive, but I am in no way a car enthusiast, so I didn’t really listen to them. However, once I heard that they accidentally started a tech podcast…

    It’s fun listening to them talk about tech in general, and the Apple ecosystem in particular. If you’re interested in knowing about Apple software and hardware, give them a listen-to; it’s best to listen to the latest episodes, I think, as they do tend to discuss mostly the latest thing to come out in the news in the Apple ecosystem, but some episodes do hold up to relistening: one of which I’ve kept bookmarked is their interview with Chris Lattner, the creator of Swift.

  • The Incomparable

    All things geeky and nerdy! If you want a dose of discussion on pop and geek culture – movies, TV, comics, games, etcetera – this is the show to listen to. I admittedly haven’t listened to every episode (there are spoilers yo!), but it’s fun to look at the geeky stuff I like being discussed.

  • The Incomparable Game Show

    Technically a loose collection of various “game shows”, so you’ll have to check the episode title, but each episode is standalone. It’s fun to listen to people play Trivial Pursuit, or BalderdashLow Definition: there’s a bit of audience participation on my part as I try to guess along with the show’s guests.

    My favorite game shows are, in no particular order, Low Definition, Inconceivable!, and Random Pursuit.

    One of the spinoffs from this show is Total Party Kill, where the cast plays D&D – I’m pretty behind on the episodes, and I plan to catch up when I have like a block of 8 hours or so to listen straight. I wonder when that’ll be…

  • The Allusionist

    I have a fascination with words, so it’s no wonder I’ve subscribed to this wonderful podcast on words: on their etymology, on how they’re being used, on their history. Wonderful stuff.

    For a wonderful (but rated R for language (heh)) introduction, start with Allusionist 4: Detonating the C-Bomb.

  • Radiolab

    In-depth stories about science; wonderful stuff. Really a radio show that’s also syndicated as a podcast, Robert Krulwich and Jad Abumrad take a deep-dive into various topics such as genetics, driverless cars – a bunch of stuff. The podcast (and radio show) is not without controversy, but there’s a whole lot of good material though.

    Give a listen to their updated discussion on CRISPR for an idea of why I like listening to them.

There’s also a whole lot more shows I listen to (Hello Internet, Core Intuition, You Are Not So Smart to name a few), but I think you could start with these shows and have enough to keep your weekday commutes full for a while.

Previously: Public/Private