“Serial” gained fame after its episode about Baltimore resident Adnan Syed. Photo courtesy of serialpodcast.org.

In the simplest of terms, a podcast is a talk back radio kind of style, similar to talk radio that you can download onto your phone. There are thousands of podcasts that will be interesting to thousands of different viewers. Due to this large range in topics, it’s hard to narrow down a list of potential podcasts to follow to only a few. However, below are some of this year’s more popular podcasts ready to be downloaded and listened to.


For the “Making a Murderer” fans out there, this podcast will be perfect for you. This murder mystery-esque podcast is filled with investigative journalism and the exploration of shady happenings in the world around us. Sarah Koenig and her crew investigate these strange goings-on. For example, in episode one in the second series, “Dustwun,” Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl leaves a U.S army outpost in Afghanistan later to realize he was over his head. The murderous podcast has two seasons. Serial has become the most popular podcast of all time. The case that originally shot the podcast to fame was the Adnan case. Adnan Syed, a man convicted of murder in Baltimore, and his case were held up to criticism through the popular podcast.

Sodajerker on Songwriting

“Sodajerker on Songwriting” discusses the songwriting process with numerous famous and well-known artists. Simon and Brian, the Songjerker songwriting team, originated in Liverpool in the United Kingdom, birthplace of one of their idols, The Beatles. Some of their past podcast interviews feature Rufus Wainwright, The Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr and the Bacon Brothers, featuring actor and musician Kevin Bacon.

Welcome to Night Vale

“Welcome to Night Vale” is a twice-monthly surrealist podcast. The style is in the form of community updates for the town of Night Vale. The podcast discusses local weather, news, announcements of the Sheriff’s Secret Police and other eerie happenstances that have occurred in the town. There’s even been a novel based off of this unique podcast called “Welcome to Night Vale.” For the “Supernatural” and “Under the Dome” fans out there, “Welcome to Night Vale” will be perfect for you.

TED Radio Hour

“TED Radio Hour” is based off  of TED Talks sponsored by NPR. “TED Radio Hour” discusses inventions, new approaches to old problems and different ways to think and create. Each individual show is centered around a specific theme, such as the source of happiness, for example. The most downloaded TED Radio Hour is the episode “Seven Deadly Sins.” The episode is  unique—while most episodes have three to four speakers, this episode has seven, each of whom discuss a specific deadly sin. A new segment comes out every week.

Podcasts are an easy and fun way to listen and learn about the world around you. Most podcasts are easily downloadable through devices such as iTunes, Soundcloud, YouTube and the app Podbank.