About

a++ recommends new must-listen episodes from the best podcasts.

Created by Mooj Zadie. Built by Reed Kavner. Our editors are Stan Alcorn, Phil Jasen, Eleanor McDowall, James T. Green, Erin Teare, Liza Yeager, Claire Mullen, Greg Spitz, Mooj Zadie, and Callen Zimmerman. You can contact us at aplusplusfm@gmail.com. Thanks for visiting.

FAQs

What is a++?

You know that feeling of looking at your phone, scrolling through your podcast app, and realizing you've listened to all your favorite shows and there's nothing left to listen to? I never have that feeling anymore. Instead, I'm tapping titles, reading episode descriptions, listening to intros, trying to decide: Is this the one I listen to? Or is this the one I skip?

This is the podcast problem — really, the too-many-podcasts problem — that a++ is trying to solve. The site pools the collective knowledge of award-winning radio makers and discerning radio listeners, known as our editors (see above), to flag only the must-listen episodes.

What is a must-listen episode?

When listening to episodes, we ask our editors to keep a few central questions in mind: Is the story surprising? Does it keep us intrigued from start to finish? If the answers are yes, we recommend the episode. Otherwise, we choose to skip it. Our editors’ tastes sometimes clash with each others’. And that’s OK. This isn’t a definitive list of good radio. Only what we think is worthy of flagging. So the next time you decide to catch up on your favorite podcasts but aren’t sure where to start, you’ll have a road map.

To keep things in order, by reverse chronological date, we will skip re-run episodes.

How soon after a new episode’s release will you review an episode?

We will listen to and either recommend or pass on an episode within 24 hours of its release.

Will you be adding more shows to a++?

Yes! The site is in beta. We plan to add more shows and features in the coming weeks.

Why aren’t you recommending X show?

Lots of reasons. Most likely because we’re still searching for the best editor to curate X show. Or it’s a serialized show — like say Serial — and therefore we can’t recommend an episode without recommending the whole show and that defeats the point. Or I think every episode is stellar — ahem, The Memory Palace — in which case, again, what’s the use?

Can you recommend X show / add X feature / recruit me as an editor?

Maybe. Email us! We’d love to hear from you.


a++ Podcast

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Browse Shows

99% Invisible

Exposing the unnoticed aspects of architecture and design that shape our world.
  • 297- Blood, Sweat and Tears (City of the Future, Part 2)
  • 296- Bijlmer (City of the Future, Part 1)
  • 294- Border Wall
  • 293- Managed Retreat
  • 291- Thermal Delight
  • 287- The Nut Behind the Wheel
  • 285- Money Makers
  • 283- Dollhouses of St. Louis
  • 279- The Containment Plan
  • 275- Coal Hogs Work Safe
  • 274- The Age of the Algorithm
  • 272- Person in Lotus Position
  • 268- El Gordo
  • 261- Squatters of the Lower East Side
  • 260- New Jersey
  • 252- The Falling of the Lenins

The Allusionist

Why we say the things we say.
  • 72. Hey
  • 69. How the Dickens stole Christmas
  • 65. Eponyms III: Who’s That Guy?
  • 64. Technobabble
  • 58. Eclipse
  • 52. Sanctuary

Criminal

Stories of people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.
  • Episode 86: Willie Bosket
  • Episode 84: Masterpiece
  • Bonus Episode: Like a Page from a Book
  • Episode 80: Photo, Hair, Fingerprint
  • Episode 78: The Botanist
  • Episode 75: The Gatekeeper
  • Episode 73: Carry A. Nation
  • Episode 71: A Bump in the Night
  • Episode 68: All the Time in the World
  • Episode 64: 420
  • Episode 62: Wildin
  • Episode 61: Vanish
  • Episode 59: In Plain Sight
  • Episode 56: Don't Let Me See You In The Whirl
  • Episode 54: Melinda and Clarence
  • Episode 53: Melinda and Judy
  • Episode 52: The Checklist
  • Episode 51: Money Tree
  • Episode 49: The Editor
  • Episode 47: Brownie Lady
  • Episode 46: Tiger
  • Episode 36: Perfect Specimen
  • Episode 33: Deep Dive
  • Episode 32: It Looked Like Fire
  • Episode 28: P.D.I.D.
  • Episode 23: Triassic Park
  • Episode 20: Gil From London
  • Episode 17: Final Exit
  • Episode 15: He's Neutral
  • Episode 12: Break The Internet
  • Episode 9: That Crime Of The Month
  • Episode 5: Dropping Like Flies
  • Episode 4: Call Your Mom
  • Episode 1: Animal Instincts

The Daily

Go deep into today's headlines with reporters from The New York Times.
  • Friday, Apr. 13, 2018
  • Tuesday, Apr. 3, 2018
  • Friday, March 30, 2018
  • Monday, March 26, 2018
  • Friday, March 23, 2018
  • Friday, Mar. 16, 2018
  • Tuesday, Mar. 13, 2018
  • Monday, Mar. 12, 2018
  • Friday, Mar. 9, 2018
  • Monday, Feb. 26, 2018
  • Friday, Feb. 23, 2018
  • Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018
  • Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018
  • Friday, Feb. 2, 2018
  • Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018
  • Friday, Jan. 5, 2018
  • Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018
  • Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017
  • Special Episode: The Year in Sound
  • Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017
  • Monday, Dec 18, 2017
  • Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017
  • Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017
  • Friday, Nov. 17, 2017
  • Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017
  • Monday, Nov. 13, 2017
  • Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017
  • Monday, Nov. 6, 2017
  • Friday, Nov. 3, 2017
  • Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017
  • Monday, Oct. 23, 2017
  • Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017
  • Friday, Oct. 13, 2017
  • Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017
  • Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017
  • Monday, Oct. 2, 2017
  • Friday, Sept. 29, 2017
  • Wednesday, Sept.27, 2017
  • Monday, Sept. 25, 2017
  • Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017
  • Monday, Sept.18, 2017
  • Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017
  • Friday, Sept. 8, 2017
  • Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017
  • Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017
  • Monday, Aug. 21, 2017
  • Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017
  • Friday, Aug 11, 2017
  • Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017
  • Monday, Aug. 7, 2017
  • Friday, Aug. 4, 2017
  • Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017
  • Friday, July 28, 2017
  • Friday, July 21, 2017
  • Thursday, June 22, 2017
  • Friday, May 26, 2017

The Gist

Mike Pesca discusses news and culture.
  • Rejecting Jared
  • America Adrift
  • He Got Trump’s Taxes
  • Killed, Then Counted
  • Hobby Lobby Is Just Getting Started
  • Can You Win as the Party of Purity?
  • Next Falls Franken?
  • The Problem With America’s Rich
  • Prisons of Profit
  • The Family Man
  • Free to Be You and #MeToo
  • Marc Maron and Brendan McDonald

The Heart

Mini docs and docudramas about bodies, feelings, and love.
  • Man Choubam (I Am Good)
  • God + The Gays
  • Bodies: Meat
  • No: Answers
  • No: Inheritance
  • No: Advance
  • Pansy: Twirl
  • Diaries: BFF
  • SE: Salt in the Wound
  • SE: Hands on the Wheel
  • SE: Ten Foot Pole
  • SE: Not the Right Time
  • Mariya
  • Ghost: You
  • Ghost: Emily

Heavyweight

Jonathan Goldstein revisits the moment everything changed, and then confronts it.
  • #12 Jesse
  • #10 Rose
  • #9 Milt
  • #7 Julia
  • #2 Gregor
  • #1 Buzz

Home of the Brave

Mini documentaries from Scott Carrier.
  • Basin and Range

Longform

Non-fiction writers on how they tell stories.
  • Episode 282: Jenna Wortham
  • Episode 281: Michael Idov
  • Episode 279: Seth Wickersham
  • Episode 277: Kiera Feldman
  • Episode 273: Zoe Chace
  • Episode 271: Kara Swisher
  • Episode 269: Jodi Kantor
  • Episode 268: Jim Nelson
  • Episode 265: Michael Barbaro
  • Episode 264: Vanessa Grigoriadis
  • Episode 260: Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah
  • Episode 257: Jay Caspian Kang
  • Episode 256: David Gessner
  • Episode 254: Maggie Haberman

Love + Radio

Interviews with an eclectic range of subjects, from the seedy to the sublime.
  • 44 Years
  • Reunion
  • The Boys Will Work It Out

More Perfect

Mini documentaries on Supreme Court cases from Radiolab.
  • Mr. Graham and the Reasonable Man

Nancy

BFFs Kathy Tu and Tobin Low discuss queer culture.
  • #26: Different in Two Ways
  • #20: My Brother and Me
  • #18: The Swimsuit Issue
  • #14: Kathy Goes to Camp
  • #12: Everything Changed

Planet Money

Fun stories about the economy.
  • SPACE 3: Rocket Shopping
  • SPACE 1: We're Going To Space
  • #805: War And Peace And Cows
  • #794: How To Make It In The Music Business
  • #792: The Ransom Problem
  • #786: Rest of the Story 2017, Vol. 1
  • #785: The Starbury
  • #783: New Jersey Bails Out
  • #772: Small Change
  • #767: Georgetown, Louisiana, Part Two
  • #766: Georgetown, Louisiana, Part One

Radiolab

Sound rich stories that blur the boundaries between science, philosophy, and human experience.
  • Border Trilogy Part 1: Hole in the Fence

Reply All

Wild stories from the World Wide Web.
  • #114 Apocalypse Soon
  • #113 Reply All's Year End Extravaganza
  • #112 The Prophet
  • #106 Is That You, KD?
  • #103 Long Distance, Part II
  • #102 Long Distance
  • #97 What Kind Of Idiot Gets Phished?
  • #96 The Secret Life of Alex Goldman

Rough Translation

Stories that follow familiar conversations into unfamiliar territory.
  • Om Alone In India
  • The Congo We Listen To
  • Brazil In Black And White

This American Life

Explorations of human nature and current events.
  • 640: Five Women
  • #633: Our Town - Part Two
  • #632: Our Town
  • #626: White Haze
  • #625: Essay B

This is Love

Stories of sacrifice, obsession, and the ways in which we bet everything on one another.
  • Episode 2: Something Large and Wild
  • Episode 1: The Run