With over 40,000 miles behind the wheel this year alone, plus air miles, we have a lot of time on our hands searching for new music, audiobooks and our favorite, podcasts. Podcasts have taken over as the reigning audio champion when traveling around here. The good ones will keep you guessing, laughing, fill you full of tech news, teach you how to shoot better photographs, maybe change your spark plugs, or tell you an amazing tale. We’ve listened to hundreds of them, with few sticking around long enough to make our favorites list.
We didn’t set any rules as this is our first annual Favorite Podcasts list. It doesn’t matter if it’s on the iTunes Top charts or something that just launched last month. The only thing we agreed on is to only choose podcasts that we have a hard time waiting for new releases to drop. Good ones always keep us coming back wanting more.
With over 800 episodes and going strong, The Joe Rogan Experience is our #1 Podcast of 2016. Most of you know Joe from the UFC, but how many of you know he is also a Stand-Up Comedian, Archery Enthusiast, Hunter, one of the founders of Onnit and is the most modest smart person we’ve ever listened to. His shows are very informal, a simple conversation between two or more people discussing whatever comes to mind. Usually, there is Caveman Coffee around, often we hear the clink of beer bottles, and just maybe a little Mary Jane to glide it on home. What we’re getting at is this one isn’t for the children. Topics include everything from fighting to the cosmos. Doctors, Lawyers, Magicians, Comedians, Fighters, Therapists, Extreme Athletes, Scientists, Activists, Politicians, and the guest list goes on and on. If you want some laughs, checkout any of the episodes featuring fellow comedian Joey Diaz. Want to test the limits of your brain? Grab something with Gad Saad, Sam Harris or Dr. Rhonda Patrick.
We’re Alive was a random find while checking out the Overcast Podcast App. It came up as a suggestion based on other podcasts we selected and boy are we happy it did. If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead, you’ll love We’re Alive. After getting thoroughly addicted to this zombie apocalypse story over the summer, we have to place it as our #2 Podcast of 2016. We were lucky in that the entire series had ended before we even got started. That meant we could plow through 152 episodes that started way back in 2009. Not a moment behind the wheel was spent without tuning in to find out what was going on with Michael, Saul, Peggy, Riley, Kelly, Datu, Burt, Lizzy and all the others. The story written by KC Wayland is nothing short of greatness as is the character acting. We’d love to give you a full rundown of how it goes but that would spoil it. The story keeps you locked in, wanting more, developing a love for some characters, and pure hatred for others. There’s nothing like this on the Podcast App store, we guarantee it.
Don’t miss We’re Alive: Lockdown AFTER YOU FINISH the regular We’re Alive series. It’s a six part mini-series that explains what went on with another group let’s say.
Unlike several other photography related podcasts we’ve listened to, we actually like this one. Why? The host, Sharky James is a down to earth guy with a huge photography brain that isn’t trying to impress you or show off how much he knows. That seems to be a big problem in the photography world. Twice-weekly, he provides an insider look into everything going on in the photo world. New products, lawsuits, how-to articles, interviews, and you can even leave him voicemails he will answer on a future episode. PetaPixel Photography Podcast (err Sharky) gets our #3 Podcast of 2016 spot for being a good guy and getting straight to the facts. NEXT.
If you follow technology and you don’t know the name Leo Laporte, you don’t actually follow technology. Leo has been ‘the expert’ when it comes to personal computers, smartphones, tablets and more for years. From the Tech TV days into his TWIT Network of shows, we can’t really count how many actual productions he does weekly. As most of you already know, we love Apple products here at AGW, which means we want to keep up to date on all the latest iOS news. iOS Today gets our #4 Podcast of 2016 spot because of not only great content, but humorous hosts. Megan Morrone recently joined Leo after Sarah Lane departed for Techcrunch. We thought the chemistry between Leo and Sarah would suffer when she left but Megan has done wonderfully filling her shoes and then some.
Every episode includes the duo sitting down for a discussion over the latest news surrounding everything that runs iOS. Mac’s, MacBook’s, iPad, iPhone, etc. The episodes are recorded live every Monday so you can watch or listen as you see fit. There is typically a topic for each show though they tend to wander off. Before signing off, they each pick their favorite app of the week and make it their App Cap. Yes, they wear silly hats while talking about them. If you have an iDevice of some kind, grab this one.
If you end up in Las Vegas as often as we do, you should checkout the Vital Vegas Podcast. Scott Roeben gets our #5 Podcast of 2016 spot for being the kind of guy we want to share a cocktail with. He drinks and laughs his way through every episode talking about new restaurants, hotels, talking to people on the street, visiting a brothel, interviewing wealthy casino owners, and confirming unfounded WTF rumors. His love for Captain Morgan Rum is only second to his love of the Listical (his magic name for a list of happenings). We know a thing or two about Vegas, but nothing compared to Scott. He works downtown which means a majority of this podcast centers around the downtown scene. Want to know when a new pizza place is opening? This is the place to get that sort of information. He’s 30 episodes in and every one says its the conclusion of season one. That should tell you everything you need to know about his humor. Enjoy.
StartUp was a suggestion from a friend earlier this year. He was in the process of building a new business and had run through every guidebook, YouTube video, website and podcast he could to get help. Conversation after conversation, he kept referring back to this podcast. After grabbing a few episodes we were quickly hooked. StartUp is a series of conversations with entrepreneurs and small business owners about what its really like starting a business. Everything from building an audience, when to take risks, making mistakes, stories of how other successful owners made it, and how some failed. It’s an honest and refreshing mix of interviews we’ve grown to love. With that, we give it our #6 Podcast of 2016 spot.
If you haven’t already, you’re going to notice a theme here. We love stories, especially when they get creepy. Lore has to be the creepiest of them all. Why? The stories are supposedly real. The host, Aaron Mahnke, explains that even though many of them seem fantastical, they were originally told in such a manner. Since the first episode in March of 2015, Lore has spent the majority of its life near the top of the iTunes Podcast chart. Every week two tales are recorded containing dark tales of death, mysterious creatures, and unusual places. Just yesterday we finished an episode about a lady and her baby rabbits. We’re just going to leave it at that. So creepy you don’t want to miss it. Lore has recently been slated to become a TV show due to its popularity. We can’t wait. Lore clocks in with our #7 Podcast of 2016 spot.
Most of us know the name Tim Ferris. He’s the mastermind behind the 4-Hour Workweek and basically a human guinea pig. His life has become a search for what is possible, impossible and improbable. Then, he figures out a way to do them all without killing himself. Many of The Tim Ferris Show episodes feel like a lesson in self help, but we see nothing wrong with that. We could all use a little self love in our lives. We suggest you make episode 124 with Jamie Foxx your first. Tim and Jamie spend over two hours getting raw, diving into Jamie’s childhood, how he found music and comedy, his grandmothers love, workouts, being a dad, and a pretty crazy who’s who party before they were famous. 133 with Edward Norton was also amazing, as was 151 How To Overcome Fear. Tim and his curious mind grab our #8 Podcast of 2016 spot.
If the world of trucks and dirt turns you on, give a listen to The 4×4 Podcast. This roundtable style podcast airs a couple times every month talking trucks, overland, where to wheel, upcoming models, how-to mods, expeditions, cooking on the trail and more. Dan, Craig and Rich seems like good guys and much like Scott from Vital Vegas, we’d like to share a drink with them as well. It’s obvious all of them have a strong background in getting off-road. We’d be able to see right through it if not. Their first-hand experiences shine with great information, discussion and dissection of topics. There aren’t a lot of choices in the world of podcasts for specific 4×4 enthusiasts. Of those you can find, The 4×4 Podcast is tops and gets our #9 Podcast of 2016 spot.
Gimlet is knocking it out of the park when it comes to podcasts. Two of their shows have made their way into our top list this year. This time we’re talking about Reply All, a show all about the internet. Alex and PJ are what you would imagine as your typical college geeks falling asleep in class from too many all-nighters hacking while on Jolt Cola. Okay, that sounds bad but we really do love the guys. Every week the guys find a crazy story floating around the internet, do some research, and present it with amazing storytelling. Sometimes the stories are brief and comical, other are in-depth features that take them months to track down. If you’ve always wondered what the truth is behind some of the crazy things you read online, give Reply All a go. It squeaks into our #10 Podcast of 2016 spot.
Are you ready for the zombie takeover? What if the power grid goes out and you need to survive? Are you prepared for the earthquake they say is coming that will wipe out half the planet? Sorry if we made you nervous. On a serious note, everyone needs to be prepared for disaster to some extent. Whether that’s packing up enough food and water for your family in the garage, or setting up Go-Bags in your car for 3-5 days of safety per person. In The Rabbit Hole Urban Survival Podcast covers both of those topics and much more and thus earns our #11 Podcast of 2016 spot. You’ll learn everything you need to know about camping safety, surviving animal attacks, how to construct weapons from nature, prepping, strength and conditioning, how to choose proper gear, bugging out, and more.
Archive 81 hits us in all the weird, creepy, uneasy vibes after just a single episode. The story begins with a man telling us that his friend has disappeared. He was sent hours of audio that his friend recorded while working as an archivist. The episodes include replays of the tapes he was sent in hopes to discover information about what happened to his friend Dan. To say the tapes are strange wouldn’t be enough. Imagine working in a hotel like building with haunted floors, monsters, people who cannot be recorded by any audio equipment, and your only friend is a rat. We’ve said more than we probably should have. The entire first season is already complete and we hope they find funding for the next. This one kept us on the edge of our seats earning its way to be our #12 Podcast of 2016.
Less than two months old, Up and Vanished has quickly grabbed hold of us. This investigative podcast is about the true story disappearance of Georgia beauty queen and school teacher, Tara Grinstead. This is an 11-year old cold case file, making it the longest in the history of Georgia. Host Payne Lindsey, is a film director by trade and now an amateur investigator. What makes this podcast unique is that its a current ongoing investigation. Payne is doing all of his research and interviews between episodes to give us more information. He’s out there meeting with Tara’s neighbors, friends, police offers and more to try and find out what happened to her. As of today, we are six episodes in and it’s starting to get very interesting. People are starting to talk, others are shutting him out, blame is being pushed around and mysterious evidence is showing up. Episode 7 can’t come quick enough! Up and Vanished grabs our #13 Podcast of 2016 spot.
With only four episodes so far, we really hope Kevin Rose finds the time to continue The Journal. Kevin is considered one of the top tech influencers on the web today. We remember his early days on G4 Tech TV sitting on a couch talking tech behind a laptop. These days, he is a “Top 25 Angel Investor”, according to Bloomberg and also the mind behind Hodinkee and DIGG. He’s our kinda guy with a love for watches, fine writing instruments, notebooks, menswear and keeping the body in check. The Journal is a compliment to his popular newsletter by the same name. If you’re interested in grabbing that, you can sign up right here. Both outlets share what he is most passionate about, favorite stories from the web, his love of design, and ways of becoming a better you. We can easily see The Journal grabbing a higher spot next year if it takes off. For now, it sits as our #14 Podcast of 2016.
This may come as a shock to most of you, but the one thing we love most about Lance Armstrong is his honesty on The Forward Podcast. Since coming out on Oprah about using banned substances during his Tour de France reign, Lance is a changed man. It’s a shame so many people threw his name away not remembering if you take away the titles, he still helped millions of people fight cancer and still helps others to this day. His new podcast has been jam packed with great guests talking everything from sports to politics. Our favorite episode is his most recent with Michael Morton. Imagine being wrongfully convicted of murdering your wife, spending 26 years in prison, then being exonerated by DNA evidence years later. Quite an incredible story. Give The Forward a shot, it’s our #15 Podcast of 2016.
We hope you find a few new selections to add to your upcoming travels. There are quite a few others we would have liked to share with you but then this list would go on and on. Do you have a favorite podcast that didn’t make the list? We’re always looking for something new to keep our interest. Be sure to drop a note in the comments and we will give it a look.