Note: This post is mainly aimed at Android users, but obviously the podcasts suggested are available across all platforms.
With the surprise departure of Gareth Cliff from the 5fm Breakfast Show, you’ll have been hoping to find something nearly as good to occupy your morning drive to work. Sadly, until their “relaunch” at 5am on the fifth of the fifth (read: “We weren’t ready for this. At all.”) you’re certainly not going to get it, as Grant Nash, one eighth of the much-loved Grant and Anele duo* “fills in” for Cliff and the team.
I’ve decided to try podcasts, given that the other radio options are rather limited in desirability. And I should mention that we’re in SA here, where digital and satellite radio are as likely to be seen in the next few years as that hoverboard from Back to the Future. In addition, we’re still battling with the joint foes of
Grant and Anele slow internet and high data costs, which means that, for many people, streaming – especially on mobile – is a non-starter.
Podcasts are things that I have previously pretty much ignored, but Gareth’s departure and Grant’s arrival twixt six and nine have pushed me to explore a bit. And it’s not (quite) as daunting as I had imagined.
Basically, all you need is a podcast manager app and a willingness to explore a bit.
For the former, I chose Podcast Addict [QR code], simply because it had the best reviews on the Play Store and I’ve already found that it’s pretty easy and intuitive to use. Also, it’s ad-driven, so it’s free (although if you find that you are going to be using it full-time, you can chuck R30 at the developer to lose the ads).
Next, I had to decide which podcasts to try. This is obviously a very personal thing, but the internet can help with some starting points: here, here and here, for example. I looked at some comedy, some topical stuff and some educayshonel things. It’s worth noting that the BBC has a HUGE repository of podcasts on just about every subject. The only downside is that almost everything involving music can only be downloaded in the UK, because of copyright laws. And yes, I’m well aware that there are ways around this, but that’s your indaba, innit.
Something else I found were video podcasts. Hundreds of them. This might not suit though, because a) bandwidth and b) driving. However, if you have unlimited data and/or cash and you’re brave enough to take public transport, this could be for you. At two hours from Kenilworth to the Waterfront, God knows you’ll have the time to watch them. It’s worth noting that PodcastAddict’s search feature allows you to choose to look for audio, video or both. Typically, you’re looking at about 1MB per minute for most of the audio podcasts I’ve seen, so it’s “doable”.
So, what did I end up starting with? Here’s my list:
Frank Skinner on Absolute Radio
Alex Horne Breaks The News
Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1 (unsigned artists and DIY labels = no copyright issues)
Justin Moorhouse About 30 Minutes, No More Than 45 and
A History of Britain In Numbers
I also tried Stuff You Should Know, but I thought that it was a bit rubbish.
Early days, sure, but I’ve enjoyed my journeys with my podcasts and I really don’t feel that I’m missing out on much given the live alternatives available. I’ll keep you informed and updated on how things are going.
Meanwhile, if you have any thoughts on this subject or have any podcasts that you want to suggest, then please let me know in the comments below.
* approximate calculation based on BMI.