When I heard about podcasts for the first time, the immediate reaction was to who would want to listen to some guy saying something using a microphone and some audio recording tool. Already there are many terrible blogs and if such people switched to talking, it would be just more noise. I was pleasantly surprised to listen to many podcasts, some Indian, some American, some amateur and some professional and realized that I was so wrong about this, as wrong as the Main Stream Media was about bloggers. I want to share some podcasts which are now part of my regular listening schedule.
Let me start with the only two Indian podcasts which are in my list. Both of them are done by amateurs, but the programmes have a professional quality.
- A Podcast about Indian Music by Amit Varshneya: The first program I listened to in his series was the one on disco themed songs and was hooked. This program was an analysis of all the disco songs of the 70s and 80s with songs from Rishi Kapoor movies like Karz, Hum Kisi Se Kam Nahi and the songs of Nazia Hassan. This program usually has a bunch of songs either based on a theme such as Music Director or the best songs of the month with commentary by Amit
- M-POD by Jo: This Malayalam podcast is a talk show on news, music, literature etc. The episode I liked was the interview with Pradeep Somasundaran, of Meri Awaz Suno fame, where he talks about his association with music director Raveendran and general news about the music industry. In case you did not know, Jo is a talented singer himself. (just listen to this song even if you don’t understand Malayalam)
- KQED Forum with Michael Krasny: The only station my car radio is tuned to is 88.5 FM, the National Public Radio station. Even though there is a liberal bias to most of the programs, it covers a wide range of topics with great depth. Forum, one of best programs on NPR is broadcast from the station here in San Francisco is very topical and covers everything from what is happening around the world to interviews with authors. Forum is one hour long, sufficient enough to overload you with information.
- News Hour with Jim Lehrer Jim Lehrer is the grand daddy of American broadcasting and this hour long daily news is broken into segments where just a few issues are covered, but in depth.
- Science Friday NPR has a daily talk show called Talk of the Nation. On Friday’s it is called Science Friday and very topical science events are discussed.
Besides this, my subscriptions include ABC News Nightline, CBS News 60 minutes and Ebert and Roeper. The software I use for subscribing/listening to podcasts is Apple’s iTunes, which is a free download.