Your Essential Guide To Podcasts

Your Essential Guide To Podcasts

I’m not sure if I have been living under a rock but it seems I have missed the phenomenon of the podcast industry, which has grown exponentially in recent years, with friends sharing recommendations for new podcasts, with tips for restaurants and TV series.

Podcasts allow you to learn, laugh, and stay informed.  From thought-provoking stories, to interviews, sports and politics.  Podcasts are a terrific way to enjoy great content from around the world for free.

I’m sure there is no one as behind the times as me but just in case there is-  a podcast is a digital audio file delivered in episodes which you can subscribe to so that new episodes are automatically downloaded to your computer, mobile application, or portable media player.  Unlike music, most podcasts are free to download, listen to, and keep.

There are many different mobile applications (apps) available for people to use to subscribe and listen to podcasts. You can download podcasts or stream them on demand. I downloaded the ‘CastBox’ app to my android phone and love listening to podcasts on my daily walks; on my commute to and from work, and even when cooking.

Forgive me if I am preaching to the converted, but here are five of my favourite podcasts -thanks to my daughter for the recommendations (you might guess true crime is a favourite genre of mine).

Serial -

An investigative journalism podcast which tells one true story over the course of a season.

Season 1 - investigated the 1999 Murder of Hae Min Lee, an 18-year-old student living in  Maryland, U.S. in 1999.  Lee's ex-boyfriend, Adnan Masud Syed, was arrested charged with first-degree murder and given a life sentence, despite pleading his innocence.  By February 2016, the episodes for season 1 had been downloaded over 80 million times.  No spoiler alerts here, but the ending will leave you in no doubt about the power of the podcast.

Season 2 - investigates Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, an American Army soldier who was held for five years by the Taliban then released in May 2014 in exchange for Taliban prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay. He was court-martialled on charges of desertion and misbehaviour before the enemy in December 2015.  This series is fascinating with its gripping insights into the life of a soldier, time spent in captivity and political ramifications.

Download Serial here.

S-Town - 

A very unique 7 episode podcast about a man named John B. McLemore who despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. I was mesmerised by the eloquent intelligence of John B, a tattooed, reclusive eccentric whose tales of murder and buried treasure have divided the Alabama town. I felt very voyeuristic listening to this podcast but at the same time I found it utterly compelling.

S-Town had 10 million downloads in the first four days of being released.

Download S-Town here.

Convicted -

Tells the complicated story of Richard Nicolas, who was convicted of killing his two-year-old daughter, Aja, in 1996. Spending the rest of his natural life in prison there are many mysterious questions that still surround the case. Only up to episode 3, I am impatiently awaiting the arrival of the next fortnightly episode!

Download Convicted here.

The Moth –

Tells beloved true stories from around the world, as remembered by the storyteller and always told live. The Moth community partners with organisations around the world to practice storytelling as an art form and is a powerful tool of communication. Usually an hour episode has four stories of a common theme. My favourite is when the stories are being told live from the New York Library. I am often laughing and crying within the hour long episodes.

I have come to love this form of live storytelling and Caz and I are planning to attend Melbourne’s inaugural Moth Grand Slam at the National Theatre, St Kilda on 19th June to be audience members. 

Download The Moth here.


Is a half hour triple J radio program that I enjoy via pod cast if I miss the show on my drive home. It covers current affairs, music, politics and culture with the youth in mind (keeps me young too).

Download Hack here.

ABC radio podcasts are also well worth checking out.

For those already ahead of the game please share some of your recommendations.

Happy listening everyone.

Written by Tracey McLean - one of our amazing entertainer writers.

Check out Tracey's articles on the comedy festival here and here.

Please share with friends.




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