I Tried Podcasts For the First Time!

I love books. I love music. I love listening to both audiobooks and music. I love listening to people talk. And yet, I’ve never listened to a podcast before this week.

 

It’s not that they’ve never appealed to me or that I have anything against them at all – I guess I’ve just always been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choice out there. Recommends from friends didn’t seem to work either, it seemed like everyone had found one perfect podcast that they could gel with that was just plain bland or annoying to me. I’ve dabbled in listening to radio shows over the years, but never committed to anything. This week, I’ve switched back to my old iPhone whilst my phone is getting repaired and I don’t have my usual Spotify playlists to listen to on my way to and from work. So I decided to branch out, and download a few podcasts!

 

I decided to try:

 

  • My Favourite Murder by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark
  • Casefile
  • Jordan B. Peterson’s podcast because his book 12 Rules For Life is a mad bestseller and only men buy his book and I’m intrigued as I’d never heard of him before his book was published.

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Two of these are true crime ones (as you probably guessed, even if you haven’t already heard of them) so I apologise for the slight lack of diversity here! I’ve also downloaded Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes’s The High Low Show, but simply haven’t got round to listening to it yet – perhaps I’ll do an update later on.

 

So this week, as I did my usual 30 minute walk to work at 8am and walk back from work at 4.30, I put on a podcast instead of my usual music to walk home to. I started off with My Favourite Murder on the first day and was really impressed. I’d downloaded one of their ‘mini’ episodes (which are 45 minutes long) and it turns out these ones are where the two presenters read out funny crime-related stories that their listeners have sent in. It was slightly hard for me to understand at first, as both women speak fairly quickly and with strong American accents, but I soon caught up. I liked the way they bounced off of each other – it seemed like a really energetic and fun dynamic between the two of them, and I’d definitely re-download another one of their podcasts.

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So, on to Day Two of podcasts. I’m feeling pumped. My Favourite Murder was a massive hit so I decide to crack on with the true crime and pop on an episode of Casefile entitled EAR-ONS/Golden State Killer Update. If you’ve seen my Instagram lately, you’ll have seen me rave about a book called I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle Mcnamara. It’s about the Golden State Killer, written by a journalist who spent her whole like trying to unmask the killer, only to die 6 months before they actually caught him. It is THE best book, and is the reason for my current obsession with true crime. Casefile is narrated by one man, who is Australian (another accent!) and the most annoying thing he did during this podcast was to constantly reiterate: ‘this is just speculation’ or ‘I’m just saying. Nothing has been proven’. I get that he was recording this podcast on the same day the Golden State Killer was arrested into custody, but I feel he could have been a little more natural. The details he gave were interesting, however, even though they were things I already knew about the case from McNamara’s book. Most of this podcast was dedicated to showcasing the police press conference from that day in full, so I think I’d have to try another Casefile podcast before I made my mind up. It was 35 minutes long, which I found was just right, but I’m learning is actually really short for a podcast.

 

Now. Jordan B Peterson. The man all the men love. I’ve been struggling with this podcast for the past two days. Good God, this man knows how to waffle. I downloaded his April Q&A episode, which clocks in at a whopping 1.5 hours long. I’m currently only 30 minutes in, because his voice gets too similar after 15 minutes and he’s usually contradicted himself three times by then too. The first question is simply: ‘Please talk about free will.’ That’s not a question! Moreover, that gives Peterson the free will to spend a solid 25 minutes answering that one question, coming to a final conclusion that: ‘Whatever our free choice is, it isn’t limited. It’s( …) or, it’s limited, it’s deeply limited.’

 

Thanks, mate. Really cleared that one up for me.

 

(I don’t think Jordan B Peterson is for me)

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In conclusion, I’m still not really sure how I feel about podcasts. Some of the ones I’ve listened to this week I’ve really enjoyed, and some have just seemed like background noise (*cough* Peterson *cough*). I’m fairly sure I want to listen to more of My Favourite Murder and what I liked most about this one was the energy and comedy of it. On the back of this, I’m also definitely going to give The High Low Show a listen, as hopefully this will have a similar vibe.

What podcasts do you listen to? Let me know your recommendations in the comments!

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