Podcasts 2020

• 5 min read

2020 is nearly over. Time to share my summary of podcasts I've listened to this year. (Here are the previous posts in this series for 2019 and 2018)

The theme from 2019 continues: The hours spent listening to podcast has shrunken again.

I didn't commute during the pandemic as I thankfully could work from home. During the summer months my company office moved closer to my home, so the "usual" commute got shorter there too.

Podcasts are banned during workouts in the gym. I only listen to them when doing cardio training.

From the previous list from 2019 the following podcasts are gone:

  • Bon AppĂ©tit Foodcast: After all the drama that unfolded in BA in the spring, they restarted their YouTube channel a couple of weeks ago. The cast is different. The vibe is different. It's not the same anymore. Bye bye đź‘‹
  • Darknet Diaries: A great podcast. I'm currently not interested in those hacker stories. Might revisit the pod next year again.
  • The NPR Politics Podcast: When the pandemic started going off the cliff here in March I couldn't care anymore about US politics. It was a shit show for the last 4 years. Not much has changed in the last few months.

This brings us to the current subscription list. Here we go:

  • 99% Invisible: Stories about design and architecure. I liked their episodes from 1-2 years ago much more than what they are doing right now. This pod might be gone next year.
  • Akimbo: A podcast from Seth Godin. Started listening 2-3 months ago. Not sure if this one will make the cut.
  • Cortex: Podcast about technology, productivity and how to get work done. I discover a lot of new apps through the podcasts and the corresponding sub-reddit.
  • Full Stack Radio: Podcast by Adam Wathan where he shares what he's currently working on.
  • Hello Internet: Currently in hiatus. :/
  • The Laravel Podcast: Season 4 is packed with episodes which go deep into a specific topic in the realm of web development or Laravel. I really enjoy these episodes! Matt is a terrific host.
  • The Laracasts Snippet: Infrequent episodes where Jeffrey Way shares his thoughts about development, life or just about what occupies his mind.
  • Radiolab: A science podcast. Like 99% Invisible, I enjoyed they're older content much more. I can't put a finger on why though.
  • Rework: The podcast from the folks behind Basecamp. I'm a big fan of the company, how they work and what they build.
  • Stephen Fry's 7 Deadly Sins: "7 Deadly Sins" is more a season than a podcast. I've listend to it the first time while on holiday in January and for a second time recently in October. Fry with his wit and language-skills explains the 7 deadly sins and how they could be updated for the modern world. It brought a smile to my face and reminded me to take life less serious.
  • Twenty Thousand Hertz: A podcasts all about sound and sound design. A recent episode was about how the sound effects for the original Star Wars movies were recorded. Quite interesting.

Swiss Specific Podcasts #

This list of podcasts is specific to Switzerland. The topics discussed in the episodes are Swiss specific or the hosts talk in Swiss German.

  • Echo der Zeit: Podcast of the oldest radio news broadcast show in Europe. I usually listen to it live on the radio at 18:00 while cooking dinner or in the morning to get an update on what's currently happening in the news.
  • Rendevous: A similar podcast to "Echo der Zeit". The shows is broadcast at around noon and covers the news of the current day. I skip a few days of this podcasts, when I feel overwhelmed by news.
  • Einfach Politik: Podcast in German by the Swiss radio and television stations about all things politics.
  • Hotspot: Another podcast in German by the Swiss radio and television stations. They release a bunch of episodes at once which go deep into a specific topic. The most recent episodes were about pigs: How they are raised, how they are sold and how medicine relies on them more and more.
  • Escapism: A personal podcast of a Swiss radio host were he interviews interesting people. The most recent episode I've listened to was about the person behind the biggest Swiss erotic toy shop, how he built the business and how he sold it.
  • Im Gespräch: Earlier this year I subscribed to the online magazine/newspaper "Republik". I like their writing style and how they structure their article. In addition to news and reports they also release podcasts. In "Im Gespräch" the host interviews a public figure for about an hour. The interviews are quite good and can get sometimes heated.

Honorable mentions #

  • Pivot: A few weeks long I listend to Pivot were the hosts talk about what is happening in tech, politics and business. Stopped listening as the topics weren't news to me. It's also a bit chaotic.

Outro #

As hinted in the list above, I think podcasts have become worse over the years. For example, I remember how I enjoyed listening to past RadioLab episodes where they added a choir to "visualise" the color spectrum a certain animal can see.
Nowadays, I can barely remember what the last episode was about.

Maybe that's just me though. I have changed over the last few years; as have those podcasts and the people that make them.

Over the last 12 months I've realized how a minimalist I have become. I cut stuff out of my life I don't enjoy anymore instead of clinging to it – out of habit.

These yearly reviews are also a good reminder to regularly go through my subscriptions and prune the ones I never listen to.