Podcasts: the best way to pass time during long commutes

I initially started writing this post about using the internet to download MP3s, and how much I loved creating mixes. Halfway through the post it seemed like I was getting no where, so I scrapped it.

Now I have no idea what to write about.

I’ll talk about podcasts. I don’t know how popular podcasts are in Malaysia, but I only know a handful of friends who enjoy them. It’s strange because a lot of people listen to shitty DJs on radio, but don’t actively seek out amazing talk shows available online. Most of them for free too!

For those of you who don’t know, a podcast is a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or portable media player, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically. There are podcasts series on pretty much every topic out there. Comedy, erotica, video games, music, news, grammar, books, TV shows – if you can think it, there’s probably a podcast out there that covers it.

It’s like good audio discussion minus shitty ads (which can be skipped anyway) that is uninterrupted and can be listened to whenever you want. If you’re like me and prefer to listen to audio on demand, podcasts are for you. You don’t have to wake up at 7am to catch some shitty breakfast show. Listen to it when you have the time to.

Now I know not all podcasts out there are great, but there are so many out there to choose from, you’re bound to find something you like. Anyway, here is a list of podcasts I listen to and why I like them.

Giant Bombcast/The Giant Beastcast/Idle Thumbs/Designer Notes/Tone Control/Dota Today/Select Characters – I don’t get to play all the latest games out there but I like being up to date on what’s going on in the industry, so I get my fix of news/updates from these podcasts. Giant Bombcast and Beastcast have the best personalities in my opinion, they never fail to make me laugh during my long drives to and from work.

Break It Down with Matt Carter – a music podcast by Emery’s guitarist. Initially it was started to discuss their latest album, You’re Not Alone, but after the album was discussed, it turned into a casual interview podcast, with guests such as Underoath and Saosin’s guitarists making appearances. Really great even if you’re a fan of Emery and other bands in the genre.

Advice Hot Dog/Video Games Hot Dog – I love these guys. These two podcasts aren’t going to be everybody’s cup of tea but if you share a similar sense of humor as me, you’ll love them. They love going off tangent during discussions, flying all over the place with their quirky thoughts and views – especially in Advice Hot Dog – a show where they answer questions by listeners who turn to them for advice.

I used to subscribe to a lot more (Stuff You Should Know, This American Life, RISK! etc) but I cut out a lot of them when I didn’t have enough time to listen to everything. The current list of podcasts are all I listen to now, and it may change in the future.

If you’re tired of terrible prank calls, boring discussions and annoying adverts – what are you waiting for? Just download a podcast app on your smartphone (or use iTunes if you have an Apple device) and start browsing!

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