Podcasts Primer

Posted by in podcasts, what I'm doing

I mentioned way back when that I had other projects I wanted to work on. It’s a short list, but still too long to post in its entirety here, but one of the things I’m interested in dipping my toe into is the world of Podcasts.

For those who aren’t aware, podcasts are essentially radio shows. If you’ve ever listened to NPR, they follow that format where it runs for a certain amount of time, uninterrupted. I love them. I find myself listening to them while I’m doing freelance work or when I’m at the gym. You can download them to your computer, phone, or stream them on an app all at once if it’s an older one, or according to their schedule. There’s a small variety of different kinds of podcasts (to my knowledge) and are all intriguing in their own way. Serial, for example, is more expose style on court cases that could have some notoriety for various reasons such as a potential miscarriage of justice in the case of Adnan Syed or controversy around an army deserter.

Interview style podcasts are popular too, where the hosts will interview famous in certain wheelhouses like video games, fashion, etc. There are some podcasts where people just talk back and forth amongst themselves, shooting the shit, sometimes with guests like 2 Dope Queens, but the type of podcast I’m interested in is story style (forgive me as I’m coining this terms on the fly. they might be called something else, else where). This is similar to the expose style except they’re works of fiction.

A lot of story style podcasts follow the format of a Serial like broadcasts where you’re essentially listening to a documentary on a certain event except it’s never actually taken place. The Black Tapes and Limetown good examples of this. They’re so engaging and well written that it’s sometimes easy to forget that this is all fake.

The next kind of fictional podcast is a little more immersive. This type is set up like actual local radio broadcast meant to feel like you’re a member of the town. You’re introduced to members of the town, the goings on, and the mysteries surrounding your new home away from home. Kings Falls AM and Welcome to Nightvale are two pretty good examples of this style.

The last  story podcast type I’m gonna talk about (are storycast or fictcast a thing because I think they should be)  is the most immersive, in my opinion. Reminiscent of radio shows in the time before TV, these fictcasts(I like it, so it stays) are a story, plain and simple, but instead of you reading it yourself, it’s voice actors, sometimes foley effects. Elysium and We’re Alive are prime examples of the style. This is the kind I’m most interested in and the sort I want to write myself.

I’ve got the basic idea and some limited background in sound design, so I figure I could at least make an honest go of it.

There are, of course, outliers that don’t fit into any of these categories like Audio Diary of a Super Hero which is exactly what it says on the tin. I haven’t listened to many that don’t fall under one of the previous headings, but this one deserves an  honorable mention.

This is everything I know about podcast so far, but in the coming weeks this is gonna grow and I’m gonna try to keep a running log of that change in knowledge here!

So what do you think? Are there other kinds  of podcasts that I missed? Are there any good examples of them? Let me know what you think!