Podcast: The audio theatre for your mind

By Mohammed Rayaan Published on May 29, 2018 01:43 PM IST

We love watching visually enhancing movies. Now, imagine just hearing these dialogues, background noise and music. This is what podcast does. Ever since the launch of iPod, online audio streaming has catapulted a whole new level of subscribers. The word 'Podcast' was suggested as a portmanteau of 'iPod' and 'Broadcast' by The Guardian reporter, Ben Hammersley.

HOW TO LISTEN TO A PODCAST

It is as simple as recharging your phone. There are several shows that cover politics, audio dramas, comedies, news, interviews, motivational talk shows and more. You can download them from the plethora of free apps available on PlayStore like Spreaker, Podcast Addict, SoundCloud, etc. If you own an iPhone, then the iTunes is a perfect place to start. So, plug in your headphones and start listening. Here are top four popular podcast shows that have over a million downloads.

WE'RE ALIVE: A STORY OF SURVIVAL

It is a post-apocalyptical fictional audio drama about a group of survivors fighting zombies. Based in Los Angeles, California, it features many voice actors. The series is known for its engaging sound effects and suspenseful plot. Every episode is 15 to 30 minutes long while the finale of every season is almost an hour. The producers on their website (www.werealive.com) declared the show was downloaded 60 million times on iTunes. The positive reception made the producers create other spin-off shows, We're Alive: Lockdown and We're alive: Goldrush.

THE TRUTH

This anthology fictional audio drama has each episode that runs up to 10 to 20 minutes. The series takes the listener to the most unexpected places - from mysterious underground tunnels to secret nuclear sites. It also features different voice actors for every story. It has been featured on many public radio programmes in the United States like This American Life, Studio 360 and Snap Judgment. (www.thetruthpodcast.com)

GOOD NIGHT STORIES FOR REBEL GIRLS

This non-fiction podcast is based on the New York Times bestselling book of the same name written by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo. It has inspired millions of women around the globe to dream and aim higher. The podcast narrates the story of women who defied odds to make a dent in the universe. As the story begins, the listeners are trapped by the smooth background music and sound effects that sync perfectly with the pace of the story. (www.rebelgirls.co)

SERIAL

This non-fiction story, hosted by Sarah Koenig, created a sudden explosion of podcast thrust around the globe. With more than 200 million downloads, Serial has changed the arena for non-fiction storytelling. In Season-1 , Sarah Koenig investigates the murder of Hae Min Lee. She interviews people related to the victim and suspect and tries to piece the facts together. In Season-2, the series explores the story behind the controversial return of US soldier, Bowe Bergdahl, after being a prisoner of the Taliban for nearly five years. The show has garnered critical acclaim and has won several awards. The theme music of the show has been praises. (serialpodcast.org)