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A public transit commuter's podcast recommendations

Five years ago I acquiesced and got a smartphone, upgrading from nearly a decade of using an old flip phone whose only purpose was to send and receive calls. Anyhow, fast forward to today. The smartphone is also a media player, calendar, ebook/RSS reader, fitness logger, camera, video recorder, stopwatch, etc. 

On a typical commute into downtown Portland, an activity that typically eats up to two hours per day, I could catch up on some Z's, listen to music, something else relaxing, or learn something new via podcasts. Apple's Podcast app is one of the best default installed apps I have used.

I get burned out on genres and I almost never listen to the same podcast episode twice, unless I happened to have fallen asleep and forgot what happened in the podcast. These are sorted in order of what you should listen to first before the others. Not everyone that I admire from their non-radio works is good at both podcast scripting for audio listeners and are a good podcast host. These are just suggestions of what I think make for pretty good commuter listening.

Non-fiction

Short podcasts (<30 minutes per episode):

  • Planet Money

Longer podcasts (>30 minutes per episode):

  • Freakonomics Radio
  • How I Built This
  • This American Life
  • Agent Marketing Syndicate (for real estate but mostly business)
  • The Tim Ferriss Show (mostly business and life-hacking topics)
  • The Art of Manliness (really funny if you are a woman listening to this)
  • The Moth
  • S-Town (crime investigative reporting)
  • Crimetown (crime investigative reporting)
Fiction / Fantasy / SciFi


Short podcasts (<30 minutes per episode):

  • MarsCorp
  • The Bright Sessions
  • Lore (by Aaron Mahnke)
  • Darkest Night
  • The Deep Vault
  • Welcome to Night Vale
  • Terms
  • Star Trek: Lost Enterprise

Longer podcasts (>30 minutes per episode):
  • Star Trek: Outpost
  • The Penumbra Podcast
  • The Leviathan Chronicles
  • The Cleansed
  • Archive 81
  • The Dark Tome
  • The Bunker
  • Drabblecast Audio Fiction
  • Clarksworld Magazine
  • Lightspeed Magazine
  • The Black Tapes / Tanis / Rabbits

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