2014 was the Year of the Podcast for me. I had listened to some off and on over the years, but never really committed to consistently listening to any one in particular. There are as many ‘Top 5’ lists as there are amazing podcasts to pick from, covering whatever topic you want to hear about, this is just my humble opinion (and I’m right). If you know me in real life, then the first one isn’t a surprise…at all. Enjoy!
- The Force Cast Network…I know it’s cheating since they technically have multiple podcasts, but I couldn’t pick just ONE! Star Wars fans should be listening to AT LEAST The ForceCast, the flagship podcast of the group that gives me all the general Star Wars universe news, especially leading up to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And if you enjoy the Clone Wars or Rebels cartoon shows, they have two fantastic podcast that discuss each episode in depth. If games are your thing, Sabaac Table has some great discussions surrounding the latest in gaming, including the X-Wing miniatures game. They are coming out with some new content that I’m looking forward to, Outer Rim discussing everything outside of SW that a SW fan might enjoy, and Galactic Top 40 Radio, covering music from the SW universe.
- The Delightful Life from JenniferKaufmen.net…I might be biased because I know the host, but I’m really excited to see where the podcast-osphere takes this one in 2015! It’s already been on the iTunes ‘New and Notable’ section. Jennifer discusses everything from how to respond to difficult situations to leadership from the kids’ perspective. Most of the podcasts are done solo, but she will occasionally invite her family in on the fun – and oh my are they amazing and quite amusing. Beyond just the podcast, Jennifer has an fantastic blog where you can connect with her and learn about her story and how she can help you share yours.
- A Window to the Magic…Disney sounds…that’s enough of an explanation. Pail Barre, the ‘host’ of WTTM has been producing this show for 10 years! The only thing I have committed to for that long is my wife! This is usually my go-to podcast when I’m at work and need to concentrate, but also feel good. It’s a simple idea – walk around Disney (any of them) and record the sounds. The music. The rides. The characters. The people. The fun. It’s great anyway you choose to listen, however I ( and Paul) highly recommended you listen to it with headphones on, not because of foul language or anything (there isn’t any of that). Paul records using a process known as binaural recording…I can’t explain it, but it sounds like you are standing in the park. If a kids yells behind and to the left of Paul while he is walking in the park, you hear it as being behind and to your left in your headphones. I have no clue how it works, but there have been a few times that I’ve looked behind me, just to make sure there isn’t anyone there. Outside of the podcast, Paul has quite a following and does weekly fan meets at Disneyland every Friday, and someday I will go there to meet him!
- Stuff You Should Know...these guys are funny and explain how things work, from Sea Monsters to Socialism. Usually hovering around 45 to 60 minutes long, you can get learn about stuff that you have probably wondered about, but never had the time (or motivation) to actually do the work to look up. Informative, concise and amusing – this podcast fly’s by and leaves you feeling better about yourself. There is also a whole website where you can go in and reading about even more stuff…but who has time for ‘reading.’
- The Dollop…similar to Stuff You Should Know, except it leaves you more depressed and confused about history…and it has a solid R rating. The premise this podcast is that one guy (Dave) explains TRUE historical events to another guy (Gareth). The back and forth is priceless (and graphic) and Dave has a knack for finding the most messed up events in history…like the Kentucky Meat Shower episode. At times I feel fairly certain that this stuff is made up, but if you do a little research yourself, it’s all factual. Seriously, history is messed up friends. Again, DO NOT listen with children around, headphones at work are recommended.
Notable Mentions: Serial. Amazing podcast. If you didn’t listen to it in 2014, be sure to look it up and binge listen. I’m looking forward to seeing what season #2 of Serial brings with it. The Disney Nerds Podcast is also a great place to find out about all things Disney!
Personally, I’ve got 10 or 11 that I listen to on a regular basis, including my own churches weekly message that you can find at the Four Corners website, or through your preferred podcast app (3rd notable mention, I guess?). If you are wondering, I stick with PocketCasts, though I know that Stitcher is popular as well. Apple has a decent podcast app, too.