Replace podcasts with audiobooks and the answer is yes. I put podcasts in the same realm as blogs and I will not spend any time on them. Not even if they sound interesting like the Mike Roe one mentioned above.
If you enjoy history, you might like history podcasts. Some of them are superb.
Mike Duncan took years of podcasting to tell the history of Rome from the founding to the fall of the Western Empire.
He kinda set this type of long-form history podcast up for success in terms of accuracy, accessibility, listenability, depth of knowledge and research, etc.
Duncan started as a amateur historian, but his podcast is so well regarded that he was able to publish some serious, well-reviewed history books.
Someone else is doing similar for the Eastern Empire.
A British history podcast, done by a former lawyer, has been going for the better part of a decade and still has some years to cover before it gets to 1066 and the Norman Conquest. And it’s v good stuff.
Other people have done this for Japanese, Chinese, Islamic, and other cultural and political histories.
I tend to run these (and audiobooks) at 1.5x-2.0x recorded speed. My speed choice depends on what works best for a given narrator’s style.
(Long form audio spoken word recordings got started after WWI, intended for the sight-impaired and the war-injured/disabled population. I think that’s where the tradition of spoken word narration at the slower end of normal human speech speed got started.
Disabled audiences of that time were grappling with their disabilities and with the cumbersome and poor quality technology of the time as they listened; so, without the listener having the option of a 15-30 second jump-back as we do now, the narrators tended to make it easy for the listeners to keep up. That slower speech speed tradition persists today in professional spoken word recordings.)
Most of us can happily listen now to the quicker versions all playback software offers now.
The playback software is so good now that the recording (audiobook, podcast) sounds normal, even when speeded up considerably.
These history podcasts I’ve mentioned go well with Carlin’s history podcasts.
Carlin’s podcasts take you there imaginatively, as tho you were living thru the events. I was entranced by his podcasts re the Celts.
The podcasts I mentioned above do include some immersive stuff, but are more focused on facts; time-lines; political, cultural, economic, military pressures; with cited sources and mentions of the limitations of extant sources.
If you want more, just google “best history podcasts” and click on a few people’s lists. That will give you plenty to pick from. Some of these podcasters have a (usually modest) membership level and some extra paid-member-only material, but almost all their content is free.
Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcasts are paid. And the content is good. He usually does a limited, but very vivid series with a single focus. And each episode is longish.
I can’t remember how I first stumbled onto Mike Duncan’s Rome podcast, but I found it so interesting that I’d like to listen thru it again.
One more time ‘round with Cincinnatus, Scipio Africanus, and Aurelius.
After my good experience w that one, I try to do a new deep-dive history podcast every so often.
For some reason, I was a little bored by history for much of my reading life; now I can’t get enough of it.
I’ve been listening to podcasts for 15 years now. Back then there were no celebrities or big business just creative people with something to say. Most podcast played in the background while I worked or played video games, but a few are worth paying more attention to:
“Overthinking It” (overthinkingit.com)
“The Bugle” (thebuglepodcast.com)
“No Such Thing As A Fish” (nosuchthingasafish.com)
Most of the podcasts I listen to are gibberish that probably don’t deserve the time. For the ones that contain information useful to me, I usually find myself accidentally tuning them out and rewinding a lot.
Those, I could probably concentrate solely on them to good effect, but what I usually do is play Minecraft in a half-engaged way instead. It lets me twiddle my thumbs and changes my perception of the passage of time, without requiring very much actual attention, making it easy to devote my mind to whatever is being said, without all the lapses induced by doing chores or driving.
Music podcasts I like to listen to very carefully. But who has time for that?