Engineering Audio Underload

I gotta have more pod.A few years back, my daily commute was 2-3 hours in Boston traffic. I did that mind numbing routine for 2 years. After enjoying a 2-20 minute commute for most of my career, it was a shock to the system. I would have gone insane but for the discovery of podcasts.

I voraciously consumed podcasts on all sorts of niche interests. Seriously, you can find podcasts about anything. Poultrycast, for example.

Could never find much related to Mechanical Engineering or CAE, though. If you are into SolidWorks, Lou Gallo’s Solidworks:Heard is great. I never miss an episode of Engineer vs Designer. Tecplot sporadically does some good CAE and visualization discussions on Tecplot Radio. After that, I start running out of options. Please comment below if you can recommend others!

After logging all those audio miles, I became a podcast connoisseur. I know what makes good pod. And, I can judge a new podcast within 2 minutes for a knee-jerk unsubscribe decision. So, I decided to create my own podcast. Haven’t been able to devote the time I originally wanted to it, but am starting anew now.

We need more CAE coverage in the podcast world. It’s a greenfield. If you like talking about this stuff, consider starting your own podcast. You’ll have at least 1 subscriber out of the gate. It’s pretty simple (not necessarily easy) to accomplish- and doesn’t have to cost much money. Drop me a line if you’d like some pointers.

Meantime, here are some of my favorite non-CAE podcasts to accompany your next jog, drive, lawn mow, or ballet:

This American Life
The Moth – Great place to learn about great story-telling.
Risk – Great place to learn about great, dirty story-telling.
Hardcore History
Freakonomics Radio
Joel Osteen
Everything NPR – there are tons of shows to choose from, most great
The Adam Carolla Show (tied for my personal favorite with This American Life)
The Dave Ramsey Show
The International Spy Museum
The Memory Palace


You can listen to podcasts online directly from the publisher’s website. More commonly, people use an iPod and subscribe to the feed through iTunes. I did that for many years. For the last 2 years, though, I consolidated and just listen on my smartphone. This way, I never have to run back home and sync an iPod to my computer to get more episodes. They just come in over the air.


If you are on Android, I recommend BeyondPod. There are lots of choices, and they range from free to dirt cheap. So try a few and pick one you like.

Pod Ninja

One day, I discovered the playback speed option in BeyondPod. It allows you to speed up playback without a chipmunkesque pitch shift. I find that I can transparently listen to just about any content at 1.35x. Often, I find my self bumping the speed up as my mind gets accustomed to the speed. On some content, I go as high as 2x. So, I can consume 90 minutes of content in 45 minutes. I don’t lose any comprehension or enjoyment. The only downside is my wife’s eye rolling at my geekery.

Image by Incase



  1. Marcus Rademacher · ·

    Here’s a few from my list:
    Common sense (also Dan Carlin)
    Infinite Monkey Cage
    Decode DC
    Intelligence squared US debates
    Wait wait don’t tell me
    StarTalk Radio
    A bunch from the TWiT network (

    1. Thanks Marcus! I picked up some new ones to try.

  2. Thanks for the mention. Podcasters are podcast listeners.. I have been an avid Podcast listener since 2004 and consume 15-20 shows a week on various topics in tech. I listen to many of the TWiT shows on Windows, Mac, Open source, TnT but the beauty is consuming the topics, no matter the niche, I want. I wish more would dive in. When I started podcasting in 2006 I was coding my own RSS.xml feed but now anyone can podcast and post from there phone!
    I know nothing of the audio industry but it is about content and there are a lot of smart people that have awesome stuff to share so post it! ~Lou

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Lou. Your latest GrabCAD episode was great.