As a student, time spent travelling around your city needn’t be spent in limbo. A handy podcast subscription will see that the time you spend sat on the Underground or bus isn’t wasted. Unlike some online phenomena that come and go, the podcast is still around. It’s a format that has gone from strength to strength. They are now a brilliant – yet rather undervalued – form of entertainment and education.
We might not always be in the mood to listen to music – no matter how good the latest Tame Impala or Ellie Golding album might be – and podcasts offer the perfect alternative. Particularly when you consider that there are now over 250,000 available on iTunes, with everything from science to celebrity news, business, religion, sport and comedy covered.
They give you the opportunity to laugh or learn for free, so we’ve hand-picked a starter pack to get you going:
Stuff You Should Know
Stuff You Should Know or SYSK as it’s often abbreviated to, is a biweekly pod published on a Tuesday and Thursday by the same people who run the HowStuffWorks website. It has enjoyed a long run in the iTunes store Top 10 podcast list, and there are now 700+ episodes with titles ranging from ‘How X-Rays Work’ and ‘How Socialism Works’, to ‘Why Do Men Have Nipples?’ and ‘Does the Five Second Rule Work?’.
As you can see, they ask all the big questions. The two hosts Josh Clark and Charles “Chuck” Bryant are best buds who have developed a loyal listenership – the show is downloaded over 1 million times every week. Why not give it a go?
TED has its own successful pod which was chosen as the Best Podcast of the Year between 2006 and 2010 by iTunes. TED stands for technology, entertainment and design, so even if you’re not aware of it, you’ll know what to expect when you tune in.
There are plenty of different pods to subscribe to, including: TEDTalks Business, TEDTalks Health, TedTalks Technology and TEDTalks Education – with conferences and lectures available to download in audio format.
There are now 2000+ talks to download and help stir your curiosity, and with episodes such as ‘An internet without screens might just look like this’, and ‘How to find work you love’, it’s the ideal pod to get your mind ticking over before a morning lecture or seminar.
Distraction Pieces Podcast
Finally, we can’t be learning all the time; so why not check out the Distraction Pieces Podcast, a pod that’s featured an array of interesting guests, from the first episode with Russell Brand to Stewart Lee, Kate Tempest and Simon Pegg.
What’s great is the genuine interest the host Scroobius Pip has in the lives and careers of his guests – expect funny anecdotes, while there are plenty of compelling conversations to really get you thinking.
The pod is hosted by Scroobius Pip, a spoken word poet and hip-hop artist from Essex who found the limelight as one half of duo Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip following their debut single ‘Thou Shalt Always Kill’, in 2007.
Since then, Pip has gone on to host a weekly radio show on XFM, be a regular guest on Saturday morning TV show Soccer AM, release two solo albums, publish a book of poetry and a release a live performance DVD filmed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Essentially, the pod is Pip extending his talents and adding another string to his bow. If you’re into comedy or music, it’s essential listening. Just choose the episode you’re interested in, press play and away you go.