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Podcasts worth listening to

Podcasts have had a renaissance in the last year. I find them useful for learning, thinking and entertainment. They’re perfect when commuting, driving, showering or doing chores around the house.

Here are the podcasts I’m listening to at the moment. I don’t listen to every episode, but there’s always something worth dipping in to. I’ve provided RSS links. Most podcasts are available through iTunes and SoundCloud too.


The Exponent (RSS) – Ben Thompson from Stratechery talks with James Allworth about the latest developments in the tech world. What I like about this is they discuss why things have happened, not just what. That leads to some original thinking which complements Thompson’s regular blog posts.

The Critical Path (RSS) – Similar to the Exponent, from Horace Deidu of Asymco. The focus tends to be on mobile and, inevitably, Apple.

a16z (RSS) – Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz’s podcast covering a wide range of subjects on how tech impacts our lives. Often this features their investment companies, but it’s not a shill for their portfolio.

The Voicemail (RSS) – Ogilvy’s social media doyen James Whatley and Quartz’s Stefan Constantinescu talk mobile and technology. And then mobile some more.

Partially Derivative (RSS) – Data, algorithms and data science reviewed and debated, all while the presenters drink craft beer.


Friday Night Comedy (RSS) – Alternates between BBC Radio 4 topical shows The News Quiz and The Now Show.

No Such Things as a Fish (RSS) – TV’s QI elves discuss the oddest facts they’ve uncovered that week while reseasrching for the show. I actually prefer this to the TV show, if only because Alan Davies isn’t on it.

Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast (RSS) – Herring interviews legends of the alternative comedy scene, which is pretty much anyone who hasn’t been on Mrs Brown’s Boys.

Page 94 (RSS) – Sitting on the intersection of politics, current affairs and humour, this is the new podcast from Private Eye magazine.

Current Affairs

More or Less: Behind the Stats (RSS) – The Financial Times’ Undercover Economist, Tim Harford, investigates numbers and statistics in the news. Usually with the conclusion that you can’t trust any stat that comes out of a politician’s mouth.

The Inquiry (RSS) – In depth, but short, discussion of a particular question in world events, with expert witnesses. Mind expanding stuff from the BBC World Service.

Moral Maze (RSS) – The podcast that is most likely to punch a wall with rage. A non-expert panel interview expert witnesses to delve in to the morality of modern life.


The Growth Show (RSS) – HubSpot’s CMO Mike Volpe interviews a variety of guests who are trying to drive growth in their organisation, business or otherwise.

How to listen

For mobile devices, I use Pocket Casts (iOS and Android). Does the job far better than iTunes and is full of useful features.

At home I have Sonos. It doesn’t handle podcasts particularly well, though it does work with SoundCloud. I use NetNewsWire 3 to automatically download MP3s to my elderly Mac Mini, which acts as a NAS on my home network. Then I have the folder as a favourite in the Sonos app, and it’s plain sailing from there.

Finally, the best £12 I’ve ever spent in on this Bluetooth waterproof speaker for the shower. Get one.

I hope that list helps. What podcasts would you recommend?

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