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Old 02-27-2023, 03:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default ISB Seeks Input for His First Steps into the Podcast Universe

I need some help taking my first steps into the world of podcast listening and would appreciate the community’s thoughtful input. I didn’t want to hijack former podcast threads so I’m starting this one hoping to yield some positive results. I began compiling the data below in January of 2019 and have been slowly refining it in an effort to invest my time most-effectively.

First, permit me to frame my circumstances so you can provide the appropriate contextual insight.

As many of our veteran members are aware, I’ve never owned a television, do not use any streaming services, (save for the occasional manual viewing on YouTube), and am for the most part removed from popular culture of the past 25 years outside of my niche and specialized interests. As I do not generally consume media with any frequency, I often find the act burdensome or like a chore unless the content really grabs me and is digestible in small once-weekly increments. One example of this is the original Twilight Zone franchise which I’ve been exploring here and there and enjoying very much. Consequently, I find the sheer volume of available podcast material daunting without a carefully-considered and evaluated point of ingress.

Another curious idiosyncratic characteristic of my media habits is that I find far greater satisfaction in the archival act of researching and compiling the material than actually consuming it directly. A classic example of this would be the RetroBox server I compiled and constructed, indexing and showcasing 227 of the most popular children’s television programmes broadcast between 1965 and 2005 in their entirety wherever possible, sourcing material from DVD archives or from VHS broadcast rips wherever official consumer releases were not issued. Another project which gave me similar satisfaction was building my library of Old Time Radio broadcasts such as The Goon Show, The Shadow, The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and other classics of their era.

But perhaps the most critical element of my listenership is my difficulty concentrating on spoken word content. This may be a property of my childhood ADD. As such, 90% of the audio content I consume is instrumental and, as Eno famously stated, "as ignorable as it is interesting." I find it otherwise difficult to listen to and retain spoken word content, particularly if the act is one of background listening while I’m engaged in a more consciously-focused activity.

Resultantly, the only radio show I’ve been able to engage consistently is my archive of all 1,338+ transmissions of the veteran radio programme, Hearts of Space, which has been broadcasting for over 40 years. The programme comprises one-hour episodes of drone and world-ambient musics as is a delight to listen to either actively or passively.

There have been two exceptions to this rule which may shed some light as to what podcast content I might enjoy.

The first is No Such Thing As a Fish, a podcast hosted by the fact-finding “elves” of BBC Two’s Quite Interesting, formerly hosted by my beloved Stephen Fry. The podcast, the television show, and the book series which followed each explore bizarre and unexpected facts of the world. The panelists are British comedians, so their responses are often delightfully entertaining. I enjoy their humor and the obscure trivia they present.

The second exception is the YouTube series, Best of the Worst created by Red Letter Media. It is the only thing I watch on the website but I try to take in one episode a week. The hosts watch and review films ranging from B-movies to absurd instructional videos, many sent in by fans. After viewing and riffing on the films, a rotating panel comedically discuss what they just watched. It’s a showcase of obscure and forgotten VHS culture much in the spirit of Mystery Science Theater 3000 - a show I loved in my youth. (Their own cinematic effort, Space Cop, is a dry humor treasure.)

I should also mention that, as 99% of the content I consume is from my own server, I am accustomed to experiencing all content commercial-free. Hopefully, whatever podcast I do decide to experience will be available in its entirety for download to host and enjoy locally.

With the fundamentals out of the way, I’ll attempt to summarize my podcast research to date. My key subjects of interest are atheism, obscure culture, dry and off-beat humor, Linux, the Free Culture movement, hacker culture, and ambient music. I gathered information by using Google and various podcast-focused search engines as well as polling my local and online social media communities for their recommendations. From these I compiled the following:

Atheist-Themed Podcasts:

- The Atheist Experience
- Freethought Radio
- Cognitive Dissonance

Note: I've gotten wind of the sexual misconduct allegations against Andrew Torrez of Opening Arguments which was popular among my local atheist community so I'm steering clear of that one.

From Brian Eno’s Long Now Foundation:

- Long Now: Seminars About Long-term Thinking
- Long Now: Conversations at The Interval

On Linux and Hacker Culture:

- Hacker Culture by J R Swab
- Hacking Culture by Matthew Tift

and ListenNotes offers an article on 7 Podcasts a Linux User Should Follow.

Podcasts Recommended by Persons in my Social Circle:

- And That’s Why We Drink
- No Sleep
- The Weird Darkness
- Last Podcast on the Left
- Science Vs
- Podcast at Ground Zero
- StarTalk
- SModcast with Kevin Smith
- Black Tapes (Supernatural, Ghosts, Spirits, Demons dramatization)

And from my fellow INTJs:

- Philosophize This!
- Freakonomics
- Introvert Dear
- The Minimalists
- How Did This Get Made
- The Next Next Generation World Podcast
- The Hilarious World of Depression
- Academy of Ideas
- Ground Zero Media
- 99% Invisible
- Flash Forward
- Stuff you should know
- Hidden Brain
- Radiolab
- Snap Judgment
- S Town
- Tribe of Mentors
- Optimise Life Daily
- The Overwhelmed Brain
- Personality Hacker
- Sean Carroll - Mindscape
- Terrible, Thanks for Asking

I also found that The Internet Archive maintains a library of 4.6 Million Podcasts.

After a local friend recommended it, I tried tuning into the first episode of Welcome to Nightvale and enjoyed the calming voice of the host, who is potentially mimicking Stephen Hill of Hearts of Space. I liked the abstract mystery element of the storytelling as well. I may try episode two in the months ahead.

As I’ve stated, ambient music aside, it is difficult for me to engage media for more than about an hour a week. And I struggle to maintain my focus on spoken word content, particularly if I am engaged in a simultaneous activity. It feels like a chore - like I’m studying the material for a future test, which has prevented me from enjoying podcasts thus far.

I’d appreciate your insights. It may take me some time to explore your suggestions, but I’d welcome them and will do my best to at least give them a try.

Thank you all.

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Old 02-27-2023, 04:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A joyous update, and astonishingly soon after my original post! MB delivered in spades!

One of our veteran members PMed me a list of podcasts within minutes of my posting. I'm not sure whether they wish to remain nameless but I'd like to sing their praises for the wealth they so kindly bestowed.

The message contained links to a number of programmes, chiefly centered around the exciting world of field recordings - a realm I'd only dabbled in previously.

Field recordings are a magnificent solution for my problems surrounding focus and my trouble with dialogue-driven discussive podcasts. Field recordings complement my affinity for ambient music, easing the transition from my server archives to the podcasting platform.

I'll share the list they so kindly provided below.

framework radio:
https://frameworkradio.net/
(if you join as a patron, you are sent voiceover-free shows)

Cities and Memory:
https://citiesandmemory.com/

Headphone Commute:
https://headphonecommute.podbean.com/

The Lake Radio:
https://thelakeradio.com/

low light mixes:
https://lowlightmixes.podbean.com/

Slow Radio:
https://podcast.app/slow-radio-p394487/

… and this may have more talking than you’re looking for,
but they are generally only one hour long:


Sound Propositions:
https://soundpropositions.com/podcast/

I briefly surveyed the resources above and was intrigued by the soundscapes that greeted me. And I was pleased to find that nearly all of the links permitted me to play the audio in the background while minimizing the browser window on my Android device, demonstrating that I will not need a dedicated podcast app to enjoy the content.

It will be a major adjustment exploring the thousands of available episodes from these links without my usual methodology of documenting and journaling every specific track. But I suppose that if one particularly seizes my attention I can take note of the site and the episode number to promote further quality listening.

This could potentially open me up to a whole new world of sonic exploration. I'm so grateful for this contribution!

I'll still welcome the thoughts of our other members, whether for other quality global field recording resources or for other podcasts you think I'd enjoy.

Cheers!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chula Vista View Post
You are quite simply one of the most unique individuals I've ever met in my 763+ months living on this orb.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trollheart View Post
You are to all of us what Betelgeuse is to the sun in terms of musical diversity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exo_ View Post
You sir are a true character. I love it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Batlord View Post
You, sir, are a nerd's nerd.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marie Monday View Post
Just chiming in to declare that your posts are a source of life and wholesomeness
The Innerspace Connection | Essential Recordings | Top Archives | Hot 100 Albums | Top 550 Artists
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Old 02-27-2023, 06:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've listened to a myriad of podcasts over the years. One of my particular favorite subjects revolves around mysteries, disappearances, and murders. Disappearances in particular are a constant obsession of mine - and each case is usually different. Why did they go missing? Were there any telltale signs? Where could they be now? Was there foul play or did they disappear of their own accord?

One of my favorite podcasts of this genre is Trace Evidence - it's very verbally/informationally heavy, without much theatre or exaggeration. The thing I like most is the very level-headed and logical way the host of the podcast introduces/approaches the theories that could explain the disappearance, and how he subsequently either gives them merit, or largely dismisses them. You can find the podcast on most major podcast streaming services, in addition to Youtube. Here's an example:



Here's a little brief on the case:

In the early hours of Aug. 30, 2013, 19-year-old Bryce Laspisa was on his way to his parents’ house in Laguna Niguel, California. At 2 a.m., he called his mother to tell her that he was pulling off to the side of Interstate 5 in the Sierra Pelona Mountains. It was the last Michael and Karen Laspisa heard from their son.

What should have been a three-hour afternoon drive turned into half a day of waiting. When the doorbell rang the next morning, the Laspisas hoped to see their son waiting for them. Instead, they received news no parent wants to hear: Laspisa’s car had been found wrecked near Castaic Lake.

There was no trace of Laspisa, and too this day, none has been found.


By the way, I'm an ISTJ, so my love of details may be a little bit more prominent than yours.
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Old 02-27-2023, 08:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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As you're interested in socialism I'd say the most in-depth podcast out there would be Revolutionary Left Radio. The host is a Maoist and as an anarchist myself I often don't hold his views but the pod explores the breadth of socialism and can go into excellent detail. You might not be into every episode but there's bound to be ones that pique your interest.

And just as a personal recommendation I gotta shout out Behind the Bastards, which might not be your cup of tea as it's pretty conversational and comedy heavy but if you ever wanted to hear about the worst people in history, from genociders to grifters to cult leaders, then it's got you covered. And the host is an anarchist so the bias might be up your alley.
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Old 02-28-2023, 06:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you SGR and Batty!

I vacillate between anarchism for some aspects of governance to strongly socialist for others, so that might be eye-opening to explore.

I think our mystery member's suggestions for field recording podcasts are the best fit for my inquiry, but now and again I can tune in to spoken-word podcasts for a change of pace.

Thanks!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chula Vista View Post
You are quite simply one of the most unique individuals I've ever met in my 763+ months living on this orb.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trollheart View Post
You are to all of us what Betelgeuse is to the sun in terms of musical diversity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exo_ View Post
You sir are a true character. I love it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Batlord View Post
You, sir, are a nerd's nerd.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marie Monday View Post
Just chiming in to declare that your posts are a source of life and wholesomeness
The Innerspace Connection | Essential Recordings | Top Archives | Hot 100 Albums | Top 550 Artists
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Old 02-28-2023, 02:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Further research yielded something of note so I thought I'd share for any interested parties.

While searching the nearly 79,000 field recordings in the audio category on The Internet Archive, I found that most of the results were tagged as "radioaporee." Googling that expression led me to this -

radio aporee ::: global soundmap project
https://aporee.org/maps/

And Wikipedia's page for "sound map" cites the same URL under "External Links."

The site offers an interactive map of the world with field recordings sourced from each location, playable directly in a mobile or desktop browser.

And another similar site is:

https://earth.fm/
Another global map with searchable properties

Check them out!
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chula Vista View Post
You are quite simply one of the most unique individuals I've ever met in my 763+ months living on this orb.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trollheart View Post
You are to all of us what Betelgeuse is to the sun in terms of musical diversity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exo_ View Post
You sir are a true character. I love it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Batlord View Post
You, sir, are a nerd's nerd.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marie Monday View Post
Just chiming in to declare that your posts are a source of life and wholesomeness
The Innerspace Connection | Essential Recordings | Top Archives | Hot 100 Albums | Top 550 Artists

Last edited by innerspaceboy; 02-28-2023 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 03-11-2023, 11:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I spent a week exploring the rabbit hole of Numbers Stations recently. Of course the ultimate and definitive sound recording on the subject is The Conet Project. I've had the official download of the box set for years but only recently gave it the attention it deserves.

If you haven't already, be sure to pick up the updated Fifteenth Anniversary edition from 2013 which introduced "1111 CD5" - a fifth bonus CD comprising 26 tracks of polytonal noise stations. And make sure your copy includes the 79-page PDF of the booklet - it has lots of useful information.

I've found a few really cool independently published books on numbers stations, but they were small-run publications and cost around $240 USD for a copy. Original physical copies of The Conet Project are similarly rare.

After watching the BBC documentary Tracking the Lincolnshire Poacher and a number of other short films on the subject, I tracked down newsletters by ENIGMA2000 for the latest reports on numbers stations, and then I researched SDRs and discovered websdr.org - a wonderful software defined radio service to tune in to the frequencies mentioned in the newsletters live.

I was excited to learn that, as recently as January 20, 2023, hackers have been hijacking long-standing stations like The Buzzer and hiding images in the spectrogram. I'm glad that even after all these years numbers stations are still topical.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chula Vista View Post
You are quite simply one of the most unique individuals I've ever met in my 763+ months living on this orb.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trollheart View Post
You are to all of us what Betelgeuse is to the sun in terms of musical diversity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exo_ View Post
You sir are a true character. I love it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Batlord View Post
You, sir, are a nerd's nerd.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marie Monday View Post
Just chiming in to declare that your posts are a source of life and wholesomeness
The Innerspace Connection | Essential Recordings | Top Archives | Hot 100 Albums | Top 550 Artists
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