Time Travel

27 Apr 2023

Time and Space… and podcast

I got my second iPhone at the end of 2016. I’ve no idea what I’d been using for podcasts on Android, but this is when I started using Apple’s native podcast app.

I struggle with podcasts. I feel like there are shades of that Douglas Adams quote about things invented after you turn 35 being mysterious and untrustworthy. Although podcasts have been around for longer than I think they have (checks Wikipedia and discovers since 2004 apparently) - but my original podcast is Wittertainment. I feel like I’ve been listening to the Kermode and Mayo movie show forever. But in terms of podcasts that’s probably cheating, as really, their BBC podcast is an augmented radio show - topped and tailed with extra content. So for someone like me I can pretend it’s as much a pre-recorded radio program as it is a podcast…


The Wittertainment podcast is weekly. And runs to two hours. And I never have time to listen. I mean, when do you listen to podcasts? On the commutes lots of us don’t have anymore? In the kitchen when doing the dishes? (actually, yes…)

Anyway - that second iPhone was an iPhone 6 with 128 GB of storage. Not how I’d have specified one - but it was offered at a too good to be true price, so I bought it.

Apple’s podcast app will automatically download episodes of shows you’re subscribed to… but is smart enough to stop if you’ve not listened to a show in a while. Well, my problem is I will listen to a couple of episodes, then get distracted again.

Checking my phone recently I discovered I had 170 + episodes downloaded.

too many podcasts!
More confusingly - the downloads start in 2016 - but this is a new phone I bought in 2020! I guess downloaded content was migrated between devices. Chewing through all the storage on my phone. And starting, you guessed it, in 2016. I don’t have a complete archive, some episodes have been listened to, but that’s a LOT of movie reviews and wittering. Clearly I have two options.

  • Nuke them all from orbit, and accept they’re never going to get listened to.
  • Actually start listening, and work your way through that backlog.

The sensible option is the first one. But - as Kermode and Mayo have moved away from the BBC - this podcast does have an ending to work my way towards. And I’ve not subscribed to the new show - not because I’m upset at anyone moving away from the BBC to take buckets of cash from corporate overlords… more I know I’ll end up not listening to the new show either, and will have a phone full of THAT show instead.

I’ve had a couple of weeks off back in February… and started listening to episodes from 2016 one sleepless night… and then continued whilst getting some DIY done.

It’s taken over a week to crawl my way into 2017 - and I still have over 100 episodes to go…

…mind you, I guess I should get some good movie recommendations for stuff I might find on streaming. And if I listen to them all, maybe I won’t need a 128 GB phone the next time I upgrade…

And actually - it feels like someone from Apple has decided to put me out of my misery. I’d just got to the end of this early December 2017 episode (with most of 2018 and 2019 still left to go…) and on checking my phone for downloads, discovered they’d all gone! And all the other gigabytes of episodes of shows I had saved up.

Probably for the best.

Anyway - as a recent subscriber to the Quietus I’ve got a new backlog of podcasts to work through instead.

So the real question is, what am I going to do with all that free space on my phone now?

Published on 27 Apr 2023 Find me on Twitter and Mastodon.