Talking points

The platform where many users go to to listen to other people’s podcasts, Apple is now plotting to start making its own. According to Bloomberg, the tech giant is in conversation with media companies about creating shows exclusive to Apple podcasts. It follows a similar move by the music streaming service Spotify and continues Apple’s efforts to move into “content” following the launch of Apple TV+.

On a podcast-adjacent subject, last weekend’s Guardian’s Review supplement has looked at the booming appeal of audiobooks, considering the source of their popularity as well as highlighting some of the year’s best. Meanwhile, the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime author Mark Haddon writes on why he can’t stop listening to them.

Picks of the week

Edward Wayne Edwards, the subject of the Clearing podcast, pictured here with his family.

Edward Wayne Edwards, the subject of the Clearing podcast, pictured here with his family. Photograph: Courtesy April Balascio

The Clearing

April Balascio was always suspicious of her father’s temper and habit of making the family move house every few months. But when she was 42, she discovered that Edward Wayne Edwards was a murderer. Now her story is the subject of Gimlet’s new true-crime podcast. From April’s guilt over her initial suspicions (“What a horrible person, to think that about your dad”) to him laughing nervously at the police as they begin their investigations into the case, the first episode has plenty to hook listeners in. Hannah Verdier

Spectacular Failures

“Try again. Fail again. Fail better,” said Samuel Beckett, very much ahead of 2019’s trend for admitting your screw-ups (see also Elizabeth Day’s How to Fail podcast). Where bankrupt or crisis-hit business is concerned, however, there is often less empathy and more schadenfreude. This podcast from American Public Media and the University of Minnesota treads the line between shocked and analytical as it considers Kodak’s doomed move into digital film and a defunct Christian amusement park among other turkeys. Hannah J Davies

Photograph: filadendron/Getty Images

Photograph: filadendron/Getty Images

Ever get the sense that the online world is making you buy stuff you don’t want? Yeah, me too. It turns out there’s a name for it; “dark patterns”. These techniques – which tap into decades-worth of learnings from behavioural psychology – are the subject of the latest collaboration between Chips with Everything and Science Weekly. Thankfully, Jordan Erica Webber and Ian Sample find out what we can all try and do to fight back. Max Sanderson

Chosen by Danielle Stephens (Audio Producer)

A mural of late journalist Lyra McKee in Belfast city centre.

A mural of late journalist Lyra McKee in Belfast city centre. Photograph: David Young/PA

Another week, another Irish county: that’s the set-up for the United Ireland podcast. And in the latest episode, hosts Una Mullally and Andrea Horan talk all things Derry. This year, the Northern Irish county saw Lisa McGee’s Derry Girls find international acclaim, but also found itself mourning the loss of the murdered journalist Lyra McKee, which is the main focus of the episode.

Una and Andrea have an incredible conversation with Lyra’s partner, Sara Canning, about how the journalist’s death shook the entire country. They also chat with journalist Susan McKay about how not even Brexit can keep the county’s humour and heart down – which, as someone who has never been to Derry, is a really lovely listen.


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