Today is International Podcast Day, a day for podcast producers and podcast listeners to come together and raise awareness of podcasting as a medium. Despite the huge success of the podcast Serial, many people are still unaware of the amazing amount of content available in podcast form. So I want to take some time today to talk about podcasts, and to share my most recent podcast discovery with you.
The best way to explain what a podcast is if you’ve never heard of them before is to think of it as an on-demand radio show. With the rise in popularity of smartphones it has become really easy to listen to podcasts – all you need to do is install a podcast app on your device, and you can then search the podcast directory for shows that might be of interest to you. When I first started listening to podcasts I would download them on my PC, burn them onto a CD and then play them in my car, but these days there is none of that. I use the Overcast app on my iPhone to download and play my podcast choices these days.
There are podcasts on every subject under the sun. If you don’t know where to start with podcasting, I would recommend searching the directory provided by your app for subjects you are interested in – hobbies, self-development, work-related stuff. Search, download and try. Some you maybe won’t like the presenter or the format of the show, so delete those and try others. Over time you’ll build up a collection of shows you enjoy. Some you’ll diligently listen to every episode, others you may dip in and out of as you wish. That’s fine, there is no right or wrong with podcast listening.
Another great way to discover new podcasts is to find out what shows your friends listen to and recommend, and that’s exactly how I found out about the show I am going to recommend to you today.
I have recently started tabletop role-playing with a group of friends. I somehow managed to miss out on the whole Dungeons and Dragons craze when I was a kid, due to not knowing anyone else who was interested in playing. But for the last few months, I’ve been playing Pathfinder with the geekdaddy and a couple of our friends. I’m having a blast, but I’m also still pretty clueless about how it all works – there are loads of rules to get my head around, and I am sure that I am not making the most of my character’s abilities. My friend who is the GM for our game recommended The Glass Cannon podcast to me. “But” he warned me “you will have to listen to every episode from the start”. Seeing as how there are currently over 70 episodes released, with almost all of them being over an hour long, this sounded like a big commitment. I wasn’t sure how it would go, but I gave it a try. The premise of the podcast is very simple – it’s a group of 5 guys who record their weekly Pathfinder session as they work their way through the Giantslayer campaign. They talk and roleplay their way through the adventure, and I was very quickly hooked and wanting to hear more. So much so that I have set my Overcast to play at 1.3x speed so I can get through the episodes quicker to work through the backlog! I think it genuinely is the only podcast I have listened to this month! There are loads of laugh out loud moments, some sad moments, and a few moments that just made me gasp in shock. Amongst all of this the team explain the rules of Pathfinder in manageable chunks, and I spend most of my listening time wishing I was sitting at the table with them all. If you have any kind of interest in traditional pencil and paper roleplaying then this is the podcast for you.
So that’s my podcast recommendation for this month. What podcasts have you been listening to recently?