Podcasting totally, I mean totally works for me. It’s gotten to where I almost never use my iPod for music. I play music through my home stereo speakers, but when I’m on the train, at the gym, or walking somewhere, I listen to podcasts.
I’ve noticed that people either totally get or totally don’t get podcasts and their allure. Let me summarize for those on the verge of joining the revolution: if you spend any part of your day in a boring place, podcasts will make that time more interesting. I look forward to running on a freaking treadmill, partly because it makes me feel good, but mostly because I know that I’ll get time to catch up on my ‘casts! No matter what your interests, there is some podcast of value out there that will speak to you.
The hardest part about being a podcast listener is building a trustable arsenal of content. The ratings services of iTunes or Odeo can be helpful, but unfortunately a lot of people also like crappy podcasts.
So I’m doing my part by sharing the ones that make me happy. I’ve updated the “Some Podcasts I Like” sidebar section to accurately reflect what I’m listening to do these days. Some of the stuff that was in there before had gone stale, and I’ve added some new items to my subscription list. I decided I’d give a little more information on each of them here.
- Buzz Out Loud is a great daily news roundup for technophiles. Molly, Veronica and Tom discuss the day’s news in a slightly irreverent manner. What makes this podcast great is the high production quality and consistent pace. A good lightweight show to stay on top of technogossip.
- Cocoa Radio features one-on-one interviews with Mac developers. It’s been pretty slow to release new episodes this year, but when they do come out, they’re usually worth hearing. The content is not very technical, so if you’re just a curious Mac-ophile, it’s worth checking out.
- Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders is a series of speeches and interviews from the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. I really like “speeches by smart people,” and they manage to hook quite a few of them into participating in this series.
- FLOSS Weekly is a two-on-one (kinky!) interview format focusing on Free, Libre and Open Source Software. Chris DiBona and Leo Laporte interview leading members of the open source community about their software, legal issues, and occasional tales of drunken debauchery.
- Inside the Net is the second of my TWiT addictions, this time featuring Amber MacArthur and Leo interviewing notorious or merely interesting personalities “from the web.”
- MacBreak Weekly. I just discovered this, even though I’m a total TWiT junky. MacBreak is a video podcast and well, I don’t do video. So I must have glossed over the existence of this Mac-focused audio news roundtable. Merlin Mann of 43 Folders is a regular, along with Leo, Alex Lindsay, and Scott Bourne. This is basically like TWiT (see description below), but all Mac focused. Good stuff!
- Nerd TV has been dormant for a while, but is apparently on the verge of a “new season” rechristened as Supernerds. I said I don’t do video, but Robert X. Cringely’s excellent interview series is thankfully also available as a plain mp3 podcast.
- TED Talks. I have to admit I was skeptical about the TED conference. Hearing the way people talked about it, I assumed it was just a big, elite, members-only mutual-back-patting society. And maybe it is, but they have some killer speeches. This podcast contains absolutely mind-altering stimuli in the form of capsule (20 minutes or so) lectures by leaders from the academic and technical worlds.
- This Week in Tech. The granddaddy of all tech podcasts. I used to listen to Leo Laporte on the radio when I was a kid, growing up in the bay area. I never could have imagined I would be listening to him 15 years later on several of my favorite podcasts. TWiT is the canonical tech news roundup, featuring a rotating cast of regulars and special guests. Leo really knows his stuff, and has a pro-Mac bias. My only complaint is his current dumb fixation on calling the shows “Netcasts.” Speak our language, Leo! Don’t go changing waterfalls.
- Venture Voice is also fairly slow to update, but features great interviews with an entrepreneurial angle. Host Greg Galant does a good job of playing the passive instigator, calmly asking questions that bring out the interesting stories his guests have to tell.
Well! If you’re new to podcasting, that ought to be enough to get you started. And from that list, you can probably gauge pretty well what my tastes are. Given that, is there something you just know I’m missing? Please comment if you have other quality shows to share.