Have you ever heard a friend or family member start a conversation with, “So I was listening to this podcast…” and wondered what exactly a podcast is?
Podcasts are free episodic audio shows covering a broad range of topics that are broadcast online and can be downloaded to a computer or mobile device.
They are available for a wide range of interests covering current events, sports, true crime, music, books, popular culture, hobbies, health and fitness, comedy, business and finance, politics, and more.
Some podcasts are even fictional stories like old radioplays.
Malcolm Gladwell has a podcast, Alec Baldwin has a podcast.
There are podcasts produced by NPR and the Wall Street Journal, and there are podcasts made by three friends sitting in a basement somewhere.
Baldwin Library staff podcast favorites include:
99% Invisible – This podcast gets me thinking more about design and how much thought goes into it. – Maeve
The Atlantic Interview – Features Atlantic editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg having intelligent conversations with journalists, writers, political and cultural figures. Episodes are 30 to 40 minutes long and I have yet to be bored by one. – Josh
The Erie Canal Theatre – Erie Canal is a troupe of local producers and improvisers, who specialize in creating original audio cartoons. Start at the beginning, with Switchboard Infinity, an improvised comedy sci-fi series and enjoy the zany and richly detailed sound effects, and the hilarious performances from notable local comedians.– Jeff
Heaven’s Gate – A fascinating, empathy-driven, and emotionally hard-hitting podcast hosted by Glynn Washington of Snap Judgment. Over ten episodes, it investigates the events of 1997, when 39 people took their own lives in an apparent mass suicide. Twenty years later, those who lost loved ones and those who still believe are still trying to figure out why. – Maria
Hello From the Magic Tavern – A satirical podcast about a guy from Chicago who falls into a portal behind a Burger King that leads him to the magical world of Foon, where he hosts a podcast with his new/old friends Usidore the wizard and Chunt the shapeshifting badger. It’s really stupid and one of the funniest things I’ve ever listened to. – David
How Did This Get Made? – A group of comedians along with celebrity guests discuss questionable films, from b-movies to blockbusters. – Dan
How I Built This – Host Guy Raz interviews entrepreneurs and learns how they started their business. Guests range from the 5 Guys Burger chain founder, a University of Michigan grad, to Warby Parker founders, to James Dyson, the vacuum guy. – Sue
On Being – Host Krista Tippett has an hour-long conversation with a different spiritual leader, author, or scientist and topics cover everything from mindfulness to string theory. – Rebekah
Pop Culture Happy Hour – A discussion of current movies, TV, music, and books from a panel of staff at NPR. It’s funny and smart and they always turn me on to a new artist or show that I might have missed or dismissed. – Sarah
Serial – It is the best and most riveting crime podcast! The research and investigation was so thorough that the accused is going to be granted a new trial based on some of the evidence provided in Serial. – Barby
Learn about podcasts, hear recommendations, and see how to access them on your phone, tablet or computer at the Baldwin Public Library on Tuesday, May 22 at 7:00 p.m. Bring your smartphone and app store passwords and a librarian will demonstrate how to download podcasts to your device.