Podcastmania: My Top 10 (or so) Favorite Podcasts

It’s hard to believe that it’s been two years since I first discovered podcasting thanks to iTunes 4.9. At the time I was predicting that podcasting would take off in a big way.

Well, I think it’s safe to say that it has (although I’m sure it’s still something of a niche medium to most people).

A few months later I wrote about my top 5 favorites podcasts and I’ve been meaning to update that list ever since. So here goes.

It’s worth noting that many of these podcasts are simply the podcast version of radio shows, so it’s not surprising that they made my list.

However, as a consumer I really don’t care where a show originated, as long as the content and recording quality are good.

Movie Podcasts

I’ve tried out a number of movie podcasts, but only two have stayed on my ‘must listen’ list — Filmspotting and Mark Kermode’s film reviews. Both of these benefit hugely from the entertaining banter between the two presenters.

Keep an eye on Adam and Sam from Filmspotting; I predict great things for them and their show (TV one day maybe?).

I would have included Ebert & Roeper; however, even though the show continues on TV there haven’t been any new podcast episodes for some time — maybe for good?

Slate’s Spoiler Specials is worth a mention from a novelty standpoint, although recently they’ve mostly been reviewing episodes of 24 which I haven’t been watching.

Pocasts on News & Current Events

I don’t consider myself a political junkie, but I do seem to get my fill of news-related podcasts. Washington Week and Diane Rehm Show: Friday News Roundup are great ways to keep up with what’s been happening during the week (in the US, of course).

On The Media is a great way to hear about what’s going on in (you guessed it) the world of the media.

I’ve been listening to Left, Right & Center but it’s getting a bit samey with the co-hosts trotting out pretty much the same talking points each week.

Comedy Podcasts

I haven’t had too much luck with comedy podcasts, but Real Time with Bill Maher and The Now Show are always entertaining. Although it’s off the air right now, The Now Show (which has a British focus) is hilarious — get it.

For something a little different, try The Leth & Sex News — often laugh-out-loud funny, although I wish the sound quality was better.

Video Game Podcasts

Ah, I love my video games. I’ve tried a bunch and two stand out from the crowd for me — 1UP Yours and Game Theory.

I used to listen to the PC Gamer podcast but I just got tired of the fact that they didn’t talk about actual games very much. C’mon guys, there’s only so much Jack Thompson a man can take!

Web Design Podcasts

The UIE Brain Sparks podcasts are definitely worth subscribing to if you’re into usability (and if you’re not, shouldn’t you be?).

They’re still finding their way as far as format and presentation is concerned, but they typically contain a few nuggets that make your investment of time more than worthwhile.

What Else?

I’m always on the lookout for new suggestions, so if you have any personal faves, please let me know in the comments.

Oh, and by the way, I’m one of those rare people who don’t own an iPod. I actually have a Rio Karma. It’s a great bit of kit, although it’s a little bulky by today’s standards.

I’m trying to come up with a good reason to upgrade, but I just can’t find one. It works too well. 🙁

10 thoughts to “Podcastmania: My Top 10 (or so) Favorite Podcasts”

  1. My favorite web design and web related podcasts

    .Net Magazine (Practical Web Design Magazine in the US) with Paul Boag
    You Suck at Web Design (wacky web design humor)
    [email protected] (Leo Laporte and Amber MacArthur)
    ShoeMoney – Skills to pay the bills

  2. *Andy* — thanks for the suggestions!
    I’ve tried to listen to a couple of episodes of BoagWorld, but I found it too meandering for my tastes. Too much ‘wittering’, for want of a better word. Perhaps the hosts have tightened it up since then?
    [email protected] sounds interesting though. I used to listen to TWiT but I found it a little too geeky for my tastes and there seemed to be a lot of navel gazing going on.

  3. Hi Christian,
    Thanks for recommending our podcasts. We’re currently looking at the format of the casts and plan to tighten them up substantially.
    Thanks for encouraging our behavior,

  4. Christian,
    It’s all a matter of personal taste, I suppose. Since I have an hour of commuting to do each day, I prefer to fill it with my nerdy podcasts rather than sports talk radio or music – it makes me feel like I’m doing something semi-constructive! If BoagWorld rambles on too much for your tastes, then you wont like [email protected] – they talk about a lot of nonsense as well, but I still find it entertaining and informative. Cheers!

  5. Hi
    I have only just started to see the benefits in Pod casting.
    I have just been sent a Kayak fishing Podcast and it was really really good and contained very valuable information.
    I guess I could also listen to Podcasts while at work!

  6. I tried to subscribe to the Brainsparks podcast but they seem to be having many MySQL issues right now. I tried emailing them but the form spit back some ‘insufficient disk space’ errors even though the form confirmed my message as sent. Just though I’d mention it in case anyone else here is trying to subscribe or if anyone here has the ability to contact them about their problem.
    Great blog BTW, been lurking through the RSS feeds for a little while now. Thank you.

  7. *Andy* — I agree with your sentiment, which is why I enjoy the UIE podcasts.
    I just tried the latest Boagworld podcast and the first seven minutes or unrelated chit-chat completely turned me off.
    I skimmed through some other sections of the podcast and couldn’t find anything to draw me in. I guess this one’s not for me.
    I have downloaded [email protected] so we’ll see how I do with this one.

  8. *Jared* — I know you’re busy but it would be great if you could broadcast more often. I also enjoy the podcasts of conference presentations that I was unable to attend.
    *Jesper* — thanks for commenting! You could always try subscribing through iTunes, I suppose. It’s funny when the site of a usability consultancy has usability issues, eh?!

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