What Is A Magic Podcast, Anyway?

By Damian Jennings - Thursday, May 30, 2019


We’ve had a few people asking what a podcast is, so this short blog post will fill you in.

Basically, a podcast is like a radio show. Except, rather than listen to it when the radio station decides to broadcast it, you can listen to it whenever you want.

You can listen right here in your browser if you want, just by clicking the play button by the podcast. But, I’d recommend you listen in a podcast app. Why? Because, every time there’s a new episode of a podcast you like, the app will automatically download it for you and you can listen to it whenever you’re ready.

A brief history of podcasting

Believe it or not, podcasting as we know it started 19 years ago in 2000. It’s all to do with RSS feeds. Wait, don’t go. I’ll explain. RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a way of a website pushing content to you as soon as it’s updated. Blogs use this technology. If you have a blog reader app, like Reader, you’ll know you need to do nothing, it will just sit there, listening for a website to shout “Hello, here is a new story for you”. It will then automatically download it.

The idea of attachments (enclosures) for RSS (like audio files used in podcasts) was dreampt up by Tristan Louis and implemented by Dave Winer - who created RSS. So that’s the history. RSS existed already, and Louis had the idea of being able to stick an audio file into the RSS feed.

In 2004, Guardian writer Ben Hammersley coined the term podcasting. In 2005 Apple added podcasting to iTunes 4.9. This let users find and subscribe to podcasts easily. Doc Searles started tracking how many results Google had for the word podcast. In September 2004, there were 24 results. Today, there are 2,2000,000,000.

Magic Podcasts

The Magic Newswire Magic Podcast - The Magic Newswire

The first magic podcast I heard was MagicNewsWire from Dodd Vickers. It was great and Dodd is a brilliant host. He interviewed just about every important magician in the 225 episodes the show ran for.

Discourse In Magic Magic Podcast - Discourse In Magic

Magicians Jonah Bannins and Tyler Williams interview magicians with an aim of asking questions that will make the listeners better magicians.

The Magic Word Magic podcast - The Magic Word

Scott Wells runs this show, best known for his "live" reporting at magic conventions around the world.

Two Magicians, One Mic Magic Podcast - Two Magicians, One Mic

Inspired by podcasts like WTF and Nerdist, Nick Paul and Simon Coronel chat together about being working pros.

The Magicians' Podcast Magic Podcast - The Magicians' Podcast

Richard Young (half of double act Young and Strange) does seasons of this show. Intitially focused on UK magicians, he's now gone further afield to the States. Episode 100 will feature an interview with David Copperfield.

And last but not least...

The Insider Magic Podcast - The Insider

This is Vanishing Inc's magic podcast. A weekly, 30 minute show where the host, Damian Jennings, interviews the best magicians from around the world.

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Podcast Apps

There's a lot of choice when it comes to podcasting apps. The easiest way for most people to get into it, is Spotify or Apple Podcasts. These two make finding and subscribing to magic podcasts really easy. Other notable mentions include Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Overcast and Google Podcasts.

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Whatever you're interested in from motorsport, to cooking to true crime, there's a podcast out there for you that you're going to love. So download one of the apps I recommended, and start looking for podcasts. I promise you this, doing your daily household chores will never be the same again now you have podcasts to enjoy.


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