Sunday, February 17, 2008

Weekly Podcasts for the Podcast Binge Listener

Last November I began a three part series about my addiction to podcasts. That post covered my favorite daily podcasts. This is the second installment in the series and will cover my favorite weekly podcasts. The final chapter will cover podcasts of varying frequency.

In the first installment, I might have left out some of the selling points of podcasts, so here's a brief outline:
  • Podcasts are free.
  • Podcasts allow you to listen to what you want when you want. No need for the TV Guide or PreviewChannel.
  • Podcasts allow you to fast-forward or rewind. Listen to what you like, skip what you don't.
  • No matter what your interests, there are almost certainly podcasts that cover them.
Remember when you got your first cell phone, or your first DVR, and you had this epiphany where you realized you had no idea how you'd gone that long without it? I've had the same experience with podcasts. Whether is driving to/from work, running errands, doing chores around the house, talking to my boss, walking the dog, walking to the cafeteria for lunch... I now fill these mostly forgettable parts of my day by educating/entertaining myself.

As I mentioned in the top of this post, this post focuses on my favorite weekly podcasts, so here they are (in no particular order):

The Economist: You've probably heard of the magazine, and if you've ever read it you know the value of its content. I can't find a direct link to the podcast page, but if you search for "the economist" in iTunes it should be easily identifiable in the podcast results. Calling the frequency of this podcast "weekly" is a bit of a misnomer, as subscribing to this one feed actually gives you three separate weekly Economist podcasts. The three podcasts are: "From the Paper", a review of a few of the top articles in the magazine that week, "The World Next Week", a discussion of the events to come, and "Democracy in America", a discussion of the 2008 election. They are all well worth the listen, each episode 10-15 minutes in length.

Lostcasts: For the fan of LOST who can 't get enough of the show but doesn't have the time or will to navigate the plethora of "they're in a separate universe on the tip of Donald Sutherland's fingernail" theories, the tagline of this podcast is "We search the forums so you don't have to." It's essentially three dudes who get together a few days after each new episode and discuss the discussions about LOST. Each episode is about 60 minutes. To someone who doesn't watch LOST, that probably sounds like counting sheep. But if you're a big fan of the show, not only will you enjoy the podcast but you'll probably enjoy the show even more, as you'll catch some of the less obvious references and patterns that the podcast clues you in on.

Slate's Political Gabfest: You may know slate.com as a popular online magazine run out of D.C. focusing on news, politics and culture. Each week, three bright minds get together to discuss and argue about the week's biggest political news. They move at a quick pace, and they offer both objective and opinionated views. 30 minutes in length, and I look forward to it every Friday.

The NYTimes World View: Also delivered every Friday, this 10 minute podcast covers a story from one of the many international correspondents for the Times. Quick and informative. While news is often covered 10 times over by multiple publications, but this podcast usually produces fresh content, or at least a fresh take.

T.W.i.T (This Week in Tech)
: A weekly discussion of what's moving in the world of technology. 60 minutes with renowned tech pundits Leo Laporte, John C. Dvorak and others. A show for geeks, by geeks.

There are plenty other podcasts to which I listen. If you're interested in a specific category, I'd be happy to help you find something to your liking.

10 comments:

Coovo said...

Duuuuuude podcasts.

Since I have now upgraded computers, I keep seeing this orange square-like icon with white lines withe the letters RSS. If I scroll over it it says, subscribe to this page.

What is up with this?

Sweet post Roller. I look forward to using this new computer to hone in on the podcasts.

Roller said...

Dude yeah RSS. So let's say every day you check 4 websites for new content. Wouldn't it be easier if something essentially checked those 4 sites for you and gave you a list of everything new? That's essentially what RSS allows you to do.

A publication can create an RSS "feed". A "feed" is basically a syndication of content. It can be text (like a blog), audio (like a podcast) or video (like a video).

Then a user has some software that organizes all of the user's feeds, and every time the software is started (or otherwise told to), it goes out and looks for new content from all of the feeds to which the user has subscribed.

Clicking the little icon you talked about is usually saying you'd like your browser to manage all of your subscriptions (or at least, that particular feed). iTunes is another "feed reader", in that it manages all your podcast subscriptions.

There are plenty of other ways to manage these as well, including my favorite - Google Reader. I'll post more about that soon.

Ryan said...

Rolls, I know you recommended digg awhile ago, but it has only recently become a normal place I check consistently. It seems dominated at times by weirdos, but there is still great info there, as well as the odd, interesting and cool pics/videos.


When is the Loop and the Lou going to invest in podcasting?

Coovo said...

Soon, Ryan, Soon.

The problem with the delay is Roller put me in charge of podcasting development and I had no idea what I was doing. I wrote a a 50 page movie script around a character named Pod and have been trying to cast someone for the role ever since. Boy, was I way off.

The first podcast is scheduled for Fall of '08, when we look back on the craze that was Beta VCRs.

Marty said...

whoa...so I take it I'm not up for the part of POD anymore...but I've even been growing my hair out for the role and everything....man someone give me a nutrageous bar

Marty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roller said...

The Coovos are on fire I tell ya. Marty, never fear. Coovo's script is a movie about a dude who's trying to cast roles for hosts of an upcoming podcast he's producing. The bad news is that Fabio is also auditioning. The good news is that the main character is George Washington Carver's bastard son.

Rye, yeah, you pretty much pegged digg. I would wager that the type of content is the result of a slightly younger audience than say, slashdot. But still, I definitely see cool stuff on digg that I wouldn't otherwise find. I used to visit the site every day, now I mostly get its content through Google Reader.

And since I've pimped Google Reader in two consecutive comments, I promise I'll do a post on it this weekend. I'm sure you're all anxiously awaiting... Marty nervously munching his Nutter Butters.

Ryan said...

Rollz, I don't think Marty's ever nervous when he's eating chocolate covered anything.

p.s. When marty isn't munching candy bars to refuel, he's moonlighting as the Lakers' Sasha Vujacic. Clever pseudonym, Marty. If you rearrange those letters, you get "reeses peanut butter cups".

Marty said...

Ryan...you're good. I didn't think anyone would notice since I was so busy touring with the Foo Fighters, when I wasn't filmimg "My Name is Earl" and rehearsing Pod's lines for the upcoming casting call. However, I have been playing a little ball lately and let me tell you, Kobe loves him some Butterfinger B.B.'s--not the full bars though...those stick to his teeth a little too much...and he should pass it to me more.

Marty said...

Ryan...you're good. I didn't think anyone would notice since I was so busy touring with the Foo Fighters, when I wasn't filmimg "My Name is Earl" and rehearsing Pod's lines for the upcoming casting call. However, I have been playing a little ball lately and let me tell you, Kobe loves him some Butterfinger B.B.'s--not the full bars though...those stick to his teeth a little too much...and he should pass it to me more.