(@thetruthfiction) – The Truth is the bellwether of fiction podcasts. I feel it stands alone, twice as tall as 2nd place. I like it because Jonathan and team (writer Louis Kornfeld especially), create this entire alternate universe, and then stage a drama in that world, in 20-30 minutes. It’s incredible. It’s the Black Mirror of audio (not sure which came first, maybe Black Mirror is The Truth of video?).
(@Radiolab) For many, Radiolab is crème de la crème of podcasts. They’ve pushed style and sound design, the two-host-banter and just overall narrative storytelling to new heights. There are wide-ranging topics, often during a single show, and whatever they do, they usually do with exceptional flair and fun. You probably have listened before, but if not, give it a try. Truly fantastic stuff.
(@darknetdiaries) – Darknet Diaries is your True Crime: Hacker Edition podcast. Jack and team research the stories thoroughly, speak to the players, often hackers, or those who have been hacked, ex-military, spies, government-officials-who-must-remain-anonymous. They are compelling stories in the modern tech world we live in. Representative examples: Olympic Destroyer, Xbox Underground (Part 2)
(@howsoundtweets) – Howsound bills itself as the “back story to great audio storytelling.” I like it because it reminds me of my professors in college, the approach to the audio, the tape-sync and gear advice, the how-to-interview, how-to-approach-sound-design. It’s more for the practitioner than other podcasts but Rob does a good job and I re-listen to older episodes a lot. Representative Examples: Avoiding Cheesy Sound Design, Barf Draft With an iPhone.
(@snapjudgment) Glynn Washington has a good personal story to open most of their episodes, and these are always my favorite parts. Billed as “storytelling with a beat” these are often hard-news-ish and detailed, usually from a first-person protagonist angle, usually with minimal “reporter” narration. A unique style that has served it well. I’ve seen their live show, too, and it was a lot of fun.
(@storyboundpod) A podcast of stories read by actors or the author of the story. I like these fictional stories, but I like the sound design and music even more. Definitely in my wheelhouse. Representative examples: Sandworm, Victories Greater Than Death
(@dist1nc7ive) – this one is mine, but I do listen to it, and I do recommend it. The reason I made a podcast like this is because I wanted to listen to one like it. And, honestly, I go back and re-listen sometimes. Is that self-centered? Maybe, but it helps me refresh on some of the stuff I’ve done, and renews my confidence because I find them enjoyable.
1/11/2021 – Added Storybound, added screenshots, added a few representative examples