I’ve learnt so much from podcasts over the years. I remember being in a co-working studio on my own for a month, and only having the Boagworld podcast for company! Here are a list of some of the podcasts I listened to for work or pleasure this year.
- Radio Johnny (iTunes)I had the pleasure of working with Jeff Parks on Johnny Holland and he did a stellar job with the Radio Johnny podcasts. Sadly, Johnny has stopped for now, but I’m sure Jeff’s work will continue on other platforms such as ….
- Boxes and Arrows (iTunes). The granddaddy of all IA sites, the podcasts are well worth a listen. I found Christina Wodtke’s “The Past and Future of Boxes and Arrows” particularly interesting given my involvement with Johnny Holland (turns out JH and B&A were/are similar in that no one got any money!).
- Design Matters (iTunes). The audio supplement of Design Observer is cool New York from the second you hear the theme ‘Ghostwriter’ by RJD2. Debbie Millman’s interviews with stars of design is a joy to listen to. Also check out the earlier iteration of the show on Radio Voices of America from 2005-9: while the audio quality isn’t as good, it’s worth perservering for the live phone ins and her (sadly now gone) monologues at the start of each show.
- Your Dreams My Nightmares (iTunes): a completely different format and type of design, each episode features illustrator Sam Weber chatting with a friend or colleague from the design community (usually a NY-based illustrator). It helps that Weber has good roots in the community as he’s able to pull in the heavyweights, such as both sides of the story on illustrations in the NY Times, or Jessica Hische’s path to doing the title credits for Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom.
- Geeks Guide to the Galaxy (iTunes) The format for this show is unusual—half dedicated to an interview, the other half discussing something related to the interview (usually)—but once you get the hang of it it works. What’s great about this show is that hosts David Barr Kirtley and Joseph John Adams are sci-fi writers and editors, meaning that their commentary is far more literary and knowledgeable than you might get one some geek shows. Early episodes suffer from sounds quality and teething problems (though hearing the Skype in as they hosts call an author is somewhat charming), but still worth listening to. My favourite talks include Jennifer Finlay Boyan, Naomi Novak, and Simon Pegg.
- This American Life (iTunes). The Radio 4 for the rest of the world (or this must be the case, as hardly anyone in the UK seems to know about this show). I love the themes. It’s worth knowing that while the iTunes podcast only contains the latest week, the radio archive on the site goes right back to their first episodes in 1996 when they were still known as Playhouse Theatre (from which the show got its act structure).
- NY Times Book Review Podcast (iTunes). There are rumours that all the NYTimes podcasts are to go, but for now they’re still around. The Book Review podcast has punchy interviews with various authors (my favourite to date has been John Lithgow) and will keep you up with the book trends enough to be able to hold your ground at learned parties.
- Diry Whoers (iTunes). Last but not least, and most definitely NSFW. The podcast, made up of two Brits and two Yanks swearing passionately about Doctor Who is wonderfully adult if you’re a fan of the series. Let’s put it this way: they call themselves Whoers rather than the standard Whovians for a reason….