I got into podcasts last year when I had the Beijing commute. I’d listen to Notes From Spain and ChinesePod.com, crammed with full bodycontact against other bus riders. Now I listen to them when I’m either at the gym or talking walks and telling myself that any minute now, I’m going to start running and really burning calories. Any minute now. Oh, look, I’m home again.
Right now, British History 101 is my favorite history podcast, mostly because Skaggs picks interesting topics that history books often gloss over, like exactly what one has to do to receive the order of the garter. The show has a great overall tone. There’s no condescension to listeners, but you don’t need to keep a massive calender of events in your head to follow it.
I also like TudorCast, Ancient and Midevil History and The Biography Show, for more non-pretentious, informative podcasts produced by independant history buffs. Both TudorCast and AMH are on extended hold right now, but BH101 and The Biography Show are still producing new episodes. I think of myself as a classicist, but really I think I’m just interested in not-American history. Any recommendations for other history podcasts?
Podictionary, a vocab podcast, sounded good at first, but I only made it through a couple episodes before unsubscribing. Each interesting three-to-five minute word etymology comes with an abrasive advertising minute. It may sound odd to complain about ads in a podcast when I run ads on my site, and even British History 101 is ad-supported, but that means that once in a half-hour podcast, he mentions how great his podcast host is. Other podcasts also suggest buying paid subscriptions. Maybe it’s just the grating announcer voice I don’t like.
I also follow a podcast review blog, Anne Is A Man!, which first made me think that some distant crossdresser had amazing podcast taste, but it turns out that Anne is a man’s name in the Netherlands. I imagine the blog title occuring around the 3,000th time he had to explain that.