How Swell Completely Changed My Listening Habits and Brought Me Back to Podcasts

I have been all over the board on podcasting.  At first, I thought it was way too much work for way too little return.  Then I started doing one, and I realized I was right.  Later, I did the EELS show with Dave and Mike.  That was great fun, but I didn’t have to do the back-end work.

Over time, my I lost my podcast mojo,  So I sort of forgot about podcasting for a long while.

Until I tried a new app.  Swell Radio.


The story I read described Swell as the Pandora of podcasts.  That was appealing to me, because I have found the hardest part- and in fact the deal-stopper for me- of podcast consumption is trying to find stuff you want to listen to, while avoiding the universe of stuff you don’t.

Swell claims to make that easy, with an algorithm that learns what you like, based on what you listen to, for how long, and a very Pandora-like thumbs up button.  I started using it in my truck, on the way to and from work, and on the longer drives to the farm and back.  In what seemed like an instant, I was hearing content I really enjoyed.  Over time, the selections got even better.

I’ve listened to many more podcasts in the past month than I did in my other 639 months combined.  Sure, part of it is that there are more choices now than in the past (NPR, for example, puts out a ton of great content ).  I actually listened to (almost) an entire 90-minute (!) episode of TWIT while driving back from the farm.  Swell has a very handy and necessary 30-second skip feature, which allows you to skip the ads and the Android topics.

Think I’m kidding about how much I like this app?  I haven’t turned on XM radio in my truck in over two weeks and I haven’t listened to anything else in my shop in almost a month.  This weekend, I listened to a great podcast about flow while putting together the best workbench, desk, awesome piece of furniture ever.

Words cannot describe how much I love this
Words cannot describe how much I love this

My only complaint so far with Swell is that it doesn’t have Clockwise, which is my favorite podcast by a considerable margin.  Come on guys, get your excellent podcast on Swell.  Update: It’s there, after all.

Yes, I tried Stitcher.  I actually spent an hour or so searching for and adding podcasts that seemed interesting.  It was OK, but it still seemed too hard.  Swell makes it much easier to get up and listening, and I like the interface and experience better.

So, I’m into podcasts, once again.  This time with feeling.

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