So I wanted to make everyone aware that I have started a podcast with a friend of mine. If you are interested checking out our podcast about technology and random tech stuff feel free to checkout Batmobile Logic. I hope it is interesting, funny and informative.
Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me is the second of the two NPR podcasts which I listen to. It is a comedy/news podcast. They cover the news of the week while making fun of it and in generally being quite entertaining. If you’re looking for some general news or just a funny podcast I would recommend this one.
At this point in my Podcasts! series we enter the realm of NPR related podcasts. There are actually a few podcasts put out which I have found to be quite enjoyable. We will begin with This American Life. The only really good way I have ever found to describe This American Life is as the Readers Digest of podcasts. What do I mean by this? Basically it is an eclectic collection of stories. Every week it is generally some nice and timeless topic which is covered. It is always covered in such a way that anyone can approach it and still find it interesting. So I recommend this podcast to anyone out there looking for something simple and informative to fill some time. One note is that this podcast does tend to sway bit to the liberal side. This though is not to bad so far I have only felt the need to skip one episode due to these opinions. If you are curious it was an episode about guns which was put out when the media was being flooded with anti-gun propaganda and I really did not need to hear the same thing from yet another place.
Link: This American Life
The Judge John Hodgman Show is a parody court show style podcasts put out by the Maximum Fun network. It is done with John Hodgman (You know the guy who wrote those books covering all of human knowledge?) and Jesse Thorn. As pointed out earlier this show is a parody of the TV Court shows that are on TV with John Hodgman playing the Judge and Jesse playing the part of the bailiff. Each episode they have listeners call in to argue their complains about generally either silly or mundane arguments. These have gone from whether two brothers should fix their house to keep out bats to if a couple should open up their action figures they got as gifts. In the end there is a lot of comedy either provided just by the silliness of the actual argument or John Hodgman’s musings. If you enjoy John Hodgman’s comedy style this podcast is a must listen. If you have not heard of him before but enjoy comedy look no further for the funniest podcast on the Internet.
Link: Maximum Fun
No Agenda is a podcast like no other. It is a show with well no agenda and they try to dissect what is going on in the news. This leads to a show with lots of real in-depth news though also quite often some quite hilariously over board theories about why events go down. They do all this while mocking the morning DJ style shows with silly bumpers and liberal use of a sound board. One of the key factors though to this show is that it has no advertising and only will take money from producers (what the show calls their listeners). The claim is that with no advertising they are not forced into have any agenda unlike the mainstream media. I find this podcasts to easily be one of my favorites as at times you cannot tell if it is a comedy podcast or a news one. Also the combination of John C. Dvorak and Adam Curry is not matched in any media. If you feel even remotely interested based on this post give it a try just listen to a few episodes and I bet you will be hooked.
Link: No Agenda
Linux Outlaws is a podcast about Linux. It generally covers all sorts of Linux and other FLOSS related releases and news. Also at times provides a uniquely European and No-Agenda style political views. I have found this to be the best general Linux news podcast out there as they tend to discuss all the important issues. Dan & Fab have a slightly different style of podcasting having more in common with the No-Agenda show (review to follow) then it does to the more traditional TWiT podcasts. This means if you don’t like silly bumpers and Fab having way to much fun the time sound board sometimes then some shows might wear on you a bit. I tend to enjoy those parts though and if you don’t all I can say is I am disappointed in you. If you don’t get the joke just watch or listen to an episode or two and you will figure it out… probably. In the end if you want an entertaining podcast with Linux news well this should be the one.
Link: Sixgun Productions
Security Now! is a podcast which mostly covers computer security. Steve Gibson who is the show host has quite a bit of experience with security and the deep internals of the computer. This podcast while mainly setup to cover security topics also tends to cover all sorts of topics around how computers and the internet work. It has a very interesting setup where every other week they do a show which listener questions are answered. On the other weeks generally a topic relating to security is covered more in depth. Steve’s explanation of security topics is very thorough and after say an episode on SSL you end up with good understanding of the topic. Also at the beginning of every show they cover the recent security news and patches. Overall this is the best show on security for nerds and non-nerds. This is also the best podcast to check the back episodes if you want to learn about computers and the internet in general.
Tech News Today is a daily tech show that covers the daily news. Think of it as the morning news, but done by people who know what they are talking about. Oh and they are talking about tech stories and not silly stories. They do a good job of covering all the relevant news and even have a nice calendar section where they try to sum up what is going to be going on. The panel used for this show is a mix of regular hosts and a guest host. This means that each show has a tendency to have a different dynamic and might even have slightly different views on topics. It is a great general news show and since it’s daily you will never find yourself out of date… Well except for the weekends.
This Week in Tech is a general roundtable style discussion show which mostly covers the topic of technology in the last week. This was one of the first podcasts I listened to and I still keep coming back. Leo Leporte hosts this show every week and quite often John C. Dvorak is on the show. Personally I find it most enjoyable when Dvorak is on the show since he seems to keep things more down to earth. The show covers all sorts of interesting things in the news and is a good way to get an overview of what the important news was for the week. This is definitely my top technology podcast recommendation as it generally covers the weekly tech news quite well. Another nice thing with this podcast is that it is done live Sunday evening and I find it quite got to enjoy while preparing and eating dinner.
It’s not really all about the apps, but Apps are always a good thing to start out with. Since the main place you will be listening to a podcast will be on a mobile device I give you the best of the iOS and Android Apps. I should point out at this point I am not looking at Windows Phone 7 or Blackberry since my understanding is the best options there is really just the built in apps. Also I have not used either in awhile.
Podcasts is the main app on iOS for listening to podcasts. It was pulled out of the iTunes and Music around a year ago and had a really shaky start. Though it has recently become a much better app. They got rid of the silly reel to reel on the player. It is well integrated into iCloud and podcasts seem to get updated well in the background when your using the app, but not actually entering it. I recently moved back using this app over Downcast mostly for the nice integration. Also this app has a great finish to it. This is by far the nicest looking of the apps for listening to podcasts.
iTunes Store: link
Downcast is a $1.99 podcast app available on the iTunes store. It includes pretty much all the bells an whistles you could imagine. One of the key features in my mind is the dynamic playlist it has. Basically you can hit play and when you finish a podcast if any podcasts of higher priority has downloaded instead of going to the next podcast it will jump back to the start of the list. This is the only app I have seen this feature in and it is a stand out feature. My one issue with the downcast app is that it seems to have issues with downloading on a regular basis. I would get up in the morning and since I had not opened the app in awhile it would not have downloaded any of the podcasts that were from the day before. This is not a issue if you open the app more then me, but most of the time I just use the lock screen play controls so I would have this issue quite often. The one other feature that I should point out is the show notes are much better currently in Downcast to the point where it even supports hyperlinks (this is not the case in the Podcasts app).
iTunes Store: link
Doggcatcher is the best of the podcast apps on Android. Android has a huge number of podcast apps, but over the course of my usage of Android I found Doggcatcher to be the only one with all of the features that I wanted. It worked amazingly well with downloads as you could simply set it to refresh every hour when on wifi. Since Android has background apps this meant that while your battery was lower at least you could rely on having all your podcasts in the morning. The one downside with Doggcatcher is the fact that it is not the prettiest app and it has a very utilitarian design. This is not really a big issue except since Android requires you to unlock to change your music you will end up staring at the blue app quite often.
Google Play: link