Podcasts are something that have become surprisingly routine for me. On an average day, I probably listen to about an hour of podcasts, but it could be as little as 15 minutes or as much as three hours. I mostly listen while getting ready for work or bed, doing chores around the house, or before falling asleep.Podcasts I listen to regularly (i.e., almost every episode):
-Infants on Thrones
. An irreverent, engaging, wide-ranging, and sometimes hilarious Mormon-themed podcast. Most of the regulars got their start on Mormon Expression and they aren't afraid of controversial topics or arguing with each other. Updates fairly often with episodes usually running about an hour and a half. (The name of the show comes from Joseph Smith's King Follett discourse.)
-My Book of Mormon
. A never-Mormon reads The Book of Mormon with commentary. Updates once a week with hour-long episodes. The newest of all my podcasts.
-Bellydance for the Everyday Woman
. One woman's experience with bellydance. I find her episodes inspiring. No set update schedule; episodes about half an hour.
-The Edge of Forever
. Two men review Star Trek: The Original Series (and perhaps all of Trekdom?) two episodes at a time. Great camaraderie and discussion. Updates twice a month (in theory, at least); episode about an hour and a half long. Podcasts I listen to occasionally:
. If you love in-depth personal interviews, this is the podcast for you. Some interviews are over four hours long, usually broken down into hour-long segments. Stories of believing Mormons, questioning Mormons, and former Mormons are all featured. This is the most believing Mormon-friendly of all the Mormon podcasts listed. Usually updates at least once a month.
. Another wide-ranging Mormon-themed podcast that splintered off of Mormon Expression. I have some mixed feelings on Mormon Expositor, and a few of their episodes provoked strong negative emotions, but I started listening again a couple months ago and they've had some good episodes lately, though I only listen to about half of what they put out. Like Infants on Thrones and early Mormon Expression, episodes range from panel discussions on various topics to personal interviews. Updates infrequently; episodes about an hour and a half.
. Mormon Expression was hugely influential for me and the first Mormon-themed podcast I listened to. There are many amazing episodes in the archives; I especially enjoyed the dummies series and learned much more about church history. Recent Mormon Expression has changed quite a bit, with smaller and more homogenous panels, live recording, and now a new host. Even though I downloaded every episode with the original host, I missed the original energetic panel discussion format with multiple points of view. I've only listened to one episode with the new host, and it wasn't my cup of tea, so now this is a 'download if I'm really interested in the topic and no one else has done it' podcast. Mormon Expression's sister podcast, Mormon Expression Voices
, features individual stories, and I still listen to just about every episode of that. (Think Mormon Stories, but with a focus on former/ex/post-Mormons and much shorter.) Mormon Expression updates once a week with hour-long episodes; Mormon Expression Voices updates infrequently with hour and a half episodes.
-Earth 2.net: The Show
. This is the main podcast on the site that hosts The Edge of Forever. Covers geek culture in many forms, mostly comics or film-related. I download an episode once in a while if it looks interesting.
-Feminist Mormon Housewives Podcast
. Feminist Mormon Housewives Podcast had a fantastic series on women in early Christianity and Mormonism near when the podcast first launched. Unfortunately, since then I haven't enjoyed most of the episodes I've listened to and sometimes I question why I still have it bookmarked.Defunct or completed podcasts:
-World's Finest Podcast
. Two men review the entirety of the DC Animated Universe, from Batman: The Animated Series all the way through Justice League Unlimited. Hundreds of hours of episode review fun, and an impressive achievement.
-Daughters of Mormonism
. A Mormon-themed podcast by and for women. Sadly released the last episode over two years ago.
-Looking Glass Studios Interview Series
. Interviews with various Looking Glass team members, the game studio that produced Thief, System Shock, and Ultima Underworld, among others. The interviews are wonderful to any Thief or System Shock fan; the most recent episode was posted over two years ago.
I've tried one herpetoculture/herpetology (reptiles and amphibians) podcast, but the lack of video or images was actually a detriment for me. I also still have a large collection of podcasts designed to help you learn various foreign languages, but I find my mind isn't focused on that kind of learning or memorization when I do a lot of my podcast listening. There are a couple of other podcasts I've tried, such as Mormon Matters (a panel discussion on various topics, but I felt they were never able to have as in-depth discussion as Mormon Expression or Infants on Thrones) or Quarter to Three (a gaming and other geek culture podcast; I've listened to their Thief and System Shock episodes, but the rest didn't catch my attention). I've also listened to a few podcasts on medieval Germany and Buddhist meditation.
If anyone has any podcast recommendations, I'd like to hear them. I could use more geeky podcasts, but feel like my interests are fairly limited at the moment (Star Trek, Looking Glass games, and Thor are the big ones right now). Some historical podcasts might be interesting, especially about ancient Greece or medieval Europe. I like learning about world cultures and nature, but the audio-only nature of podcasts sometimes lets me down in this area. Then again, I'll try any podcast once.
As an ending comment, I've never really cared for audiobooks, so enjoying podcasts came as a bit of a surprise. I'm especially fond of pair or group/panel podcasts where the conversation takes natural twists and turns and you really get a feeling for the chemistry and personalities among the podcasters. Even when podcasters are well-read and well-prepared, there's still spontaneity in the outcome, and it's great when the group can disagree with each other but still have friendship and respect.