My Podcasts Problem

Several times a week, my iPhone gets push notifications regarding new episodes of podcasts being available.

I listen to a lot of podcasts -- so many, in fact, that I tend to get overwhelmed by what’s in my queue. I get a lot of enjoyment (and learn a lot) from tuning in to these shows every week, but there’s much anxiety to be felt when I think about how I’m going to get through them all. My problems are twofold:

  1. Finding time to listen; and
  2. Keeping a manageable number of subscriptions.

I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve been known to delete episodes of shows because my unplayed count seemed too daunting. An obvious “solution” to my trouble would be to just unsubscribe from some shows, but that’s untenable to me. As I said, I get a great amount of enjoyment from each one of my shows, and I hate the idea of sacrificing one or two just because I can’t keep up. As of this writing, these are the shows I listen to:

  • The Talk Show with John Gruber
  • Build & Analyze
  • The B&B Podcast
  • The 512 Podcast
  • Hypercritical
  • Back to Work
  • Amplified
  • The Impromptu
  • Salt & Fat
  • The Sensitive Nice Guy Show

That’s 10 shows. While it may not seem like a lot, believe me, it is. What I normally do is listen to one episode on the way to work every day and one every night before bed. The problem is, though, that most (if not all) these shows record every day, so there’s always something new to download. Thus, even when I think I’ve done a pretty good job at whittling down my unplayed count, there’s always something to tick it back up. It drives me crazy, and I find myself constantly striving for Inbox Zero, so to speak.

A Brief Interpolation About Podcast Apps

I think this tweet says it all:

It was this tweet that prompted me to download Pocket Casts. I really like it a lot. In fact, despite my lofty praise of Instacast, after using Pocket Casts for about a week, I like it even better than Instacast. There are two reasons for this. First, I think Pocket Casts is better-looking than Instacast. The UI is reminiscent of the Tapbots aesthetic, which appeals to me. Secondly, I find Pocket Casts navigation to be less gopher hole-y than Instacast insofar that I don’t have to dig through so many options/menus to do what I want. My only quibble with Pocket Casts would be that, unlike Instacast, the app doesn’t tell you when episodes have finished downloading.

So to conclude this mini-review, check out Pocket Casts. It's $1.99 on the App Store.

Anyway, getting back to my dilemma, I think what I need to do is dedicate more time to podcast-listening. That seems like the most logical way to alleviate my stress and reduce the backup.

Whatever happens, one thing’s for sure: this is definitely a first-world nerd problem.