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Welcome back to Athens, everyone. Whether you’re a newly arrived Bobcat or have been here for a while, I hope summer has been swell.
Let me introduce myself: I’m Liam. And I love podcasts. You may listen to podcasts obsessively (as I do), or you may have no clue what a podcast is. No matter how much you know, I’m here to help.
Podcasts are usually audio (and sometimes video) recordings of people talking about, well, almost anything. If you like something, there’s probably a podcast out there talking about it. Seriously. There are podcasts for insomniacs, butchers and even flat Earth conspiracy theorists.
With fancy, modern smartphones and computers, podcasts can be streamed straight into your earbuds through a variety of apps, like Apple’s podcast app and Stitcher Radio for Android users. You can listen to them whenever you want. Did I mention podcasts are free?
There is probably not a better time to get into podcasts, and hopefully this column will help you discover new ones to listen to on your way to class or stumbling from the bars. Each week, I’ll review and give you my take on podcasts on just about everything, whether it’s interesting or god-awful. And trust me, there are a lot of bad podcasts out there.
But to start out, this week is for the pod-newbies. Yes, I’m looking at you, ‘mister-what-in-tarnation-is-a-podcast.’ Welcome to your first class: Podcasting 101. So pay attention, and grab a seat near the front.
Here are a few podcasts I think are great listens, and more important, why they’re great listens.
“Serial” is said to be the first podcast to make it big. As of February 2016, the show had more than 80 million downloads, and some even said it introduced droves of new people to podcasting in general.
The host, Sarah Koenig, investigates the murder of Hae Min Lee and the people involved from back in 1999, and the story is truly gripping.
Without spoiling too much, this podcast is great because of how the story is told. Koenig is an open book, as she broadcasts her thoughts on the closed murder investigation and the twists and turns that come of it.
If there was a podcast I would recommend to someone, it would be this one.
Rating: 5 out of 5 earbuds
You might have heard about “S-Town” in the news a few months ago, because this podcast got really popular. In a matter of a month after its release, the podcast received more than 40 million downloads worldwide. And there’s a reason: It’s just that good.
Created by the producers of “Serial” and the hit radio show “This American Life,” this podcast follows host Brian Reed as he tries to help a man who believes his town of Woodstock, Alabama, is full of murder and corruption.
The true story follows the many members of the small town as they argue with each other and even go on a hunt for buried gold. Not only is the story captivating and intimate, but it also is well told by Reed. Not many podcasts have been able to combine both elements.
This is truly one of my favorite podcasts, and I’m being vague about the plot as to not spoil anything. Please, just go listen to it.
Rating: 5 out of 5 earbuds
“WTF with Marc Maron” is a bit different from the first two podcasts mentioned in that it’s set up in more of a talk show format. Though, that doesn’t mean it’s any worse.
Stand-up comedian Marc Maron hosts this podcast as he interviews anyone willing to come on the show (with some of my favorite episodes being his interviews with Louis C.K.).
This podcast is enjoyable just from the fact that Maron has no filter — he cusses and jokes about anything and everything. But Maron is also a fantastic interviewer, which is what makes this podcast one of my favorites. He’s able to get people to talk about topics they normally wouldn’t mention. It’s worth the listen.
Rating: 4 out of 5 earbuds
— Liam Niemeyer is a senior studying journalism in Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Have you given any of these podcasts a listen? Let Liam know by tweeting him @liamniemeyer.