Hard cheese
Signs of the Zodiac: the pig

In praise of...Podcasts

The BBC say that Podcasts are not as popular as the hype might make you believe.  That may well be true, and it certainly wouldn't be the first Internet phenomenon to suffer that fate, but I am a big fan - up to a point.

The BBC has embarked on a fairly ambitious Podcast trial, and so far it is free and it's available outside the UK (unlike their experiment with making TV programmes available on the web).  The trial includes programmes from all of the BBC's national stations, but with more emphasis on talk (because there are copyright issues with music).

I don't think I ever listened to Start The Week when I lived in the UK (in part, I suppose, because it is broadcast at 9 a.m. on Monday), but now I am able to download it and listen to it on my way to work, and jolly good it is too (in a Radio 4 sort of way).  Melvyn Bragg, who I think used to present Start the Week, now does In Our Time, in which he and his guests "investigate the history of ideas", and if that sounds a bit too much like a bunch of dusty academics showing off, then I'm afraid that is often what it turns into - though it can be interesting.   

I'm sure I have heard Mark Kermode on the radio before, but I'm not exactly sure where.  Anyway, his film reviews (from Simon Mayo's Radio 5 show) are available as a Podcast, and whilst I can't say I totally share his tastes in films, he is an entertaining and intelligent critic.  There is also a daily podcast of other features from Simon Mayo's show.

I have to admit to being a fan of Chris Evans (from the days before he was rich and famous), and if you can get over the fact that is on Radio 2 (previously the dullest of all the BBC's radio stations), his podcast is also quite good fun.   

Newspaper podcasts are much more variable.  The Guardian have quite a few, including Football Weekly, which is generally good, though there are definitely times when it is just a bit too laid back.  The Times also has several podcasts, but I found Danny Kelly's football one far too hyped-up and stopped listening after about 5 minutes.

I have to say that although I did try for using an ordinary MP3 player, I finally caved in and got an iPod, which makes it all a lot easier - though not quite as seamless as Apple might have you believe.   


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one of my favourite podcasts is the daily telegraph one, a nice mix of news/sport/business/finance/entertainment, all in half an hour....


Johnny Ingles

Completely agree with you re Podcasts. Even if you're in the UK, for anyone doing any sort of commuting they're a godsend. Shameless plug: I reviewed my favourite Podcasts here:



Why limit yourself to podcasts?

Get a programme that records streaming audio and listen to any show on any of the BBC radio websites.

Sure you have to record it in real time, but just leave it on overnight, or during the day.

Or, record a live show. Programmes such as Total Recorder can be set to start at a certain time, go to a website, start the audio feed, record it to mp3, then switch off when you finish.

So, any radio station on the web is available to record to listen wherever you like, at your leisure.


LOL! I can't comment properly cos my comments are considered 'spam'!

Ah well, it wasn't very interesting anyway!


I've complained to Typepad that they seem to seem to be blocking legitimate comments. I hope they can sort it out.


Podcasts are like radio you can save and listen anywhere. How I missed the CBC in the days before podcasting. Now I can listen to Quirks and Quarks, Dispatches, DNTO, As it Happens, the works, just as if I were living at home... For expats, they're wonderful. I listen to about 60 - 90 minutes of podcasts a day. You can find a list of my favourites (not just CBC)on the right-hand column of my blog.

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