Podcasts are great. I really enjoy being able to pick and choose interesting conversations from such a broad swath of topics. Somewhere along the way though, I managed to subscribe to way more than I could ever listen to and the unlistened count was inducing anxiety (I know, a real first world problem).

So, time to start all over again and only subscribe to a chosen few:

  • Quirks & Quarks is the one I’ve been subscribed to the longest and is a reliable overview of interesting science stories. I’ve been listening to this one for so long that I used to rely on an AppleScript to get episodes into my original scroll wheel iPod, well before podcasts were embraced by Apple.
  • In Our Time is another veteran on my list. I really like the three-academics format and Melvyn Bragg is a great moderator. This show has a fascinating diversity of topics in science, history, and literature.
  • All Songs Considered has helped me keep up with the latest music and Bob Boilen is a very good interviewer.
  • The Talk Show has kept me up to date on the latest in Apple and related news since at least 2007.
  • Exponent has really helped me think more clearly about strategy with discussions of tech and society.
  • Focused has been a very helpful biweekly reminder to think more carefully about what I’m working on and how to optimize my systems.
  • Making Sense has had reliably interesting discussions from Sam Harris. It just recently went behind a paywall. But I’m happy to pay for it, which comes with access to the Waking Up app.
  • I admire what Jesse Brown has built with CANADALAND and happily support it.
  • Reconcilable Differences is a bit niche, though I enjoy the dynamics between the hosts.
  • Mindscape has had some of the most interesting episodes of any of my subscriptions in the last several months. There’s definitely a bias towards quantum mechanics and physics, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
  • Liftoff keeps me up to date on space news.
  • The Incomparable is great for geek culture.

When all together on a list like this, it looks like a lot. Many are biweekly though, so they don’t accumulate.

I use Overcast for listening to these. I’ve tried many other apps and this one has the right mix of features and simplicity for me. I also appreciate the freedom of the Apple Watch integration which allows me to leave my phone at home and still have podcasts to listen to.