As you may or may not know at this point, I'm what some might call a geek. A big one. I enjoy all things film, videogames, comic books, webcomics, anime etc etc. One of the things I like to listen to - perhaps too much are podcasts. You know, web-based audio shows. The ones I tend to listen to lean towards the geekier side of things but nonetheless have given me hours of joy.
Here are the 7 I enjoy listening to most.
- Diggnation - where it all started for me. Back in 2003/2004, I was living in Karachi, Pakistan and at home, we got several pirate TV channels. Basically cable connections connected up to a PC playing a repeating playlist of "hit american TV shows" - however apparently the guys who picked the shows were geeks as well as one of the shows they picked was The ScreenSavers from TechTV and after watching that, I wanted more. This was about the time where Alex Albrecht and Kevin Rose were hosting the show. Cut to 2005/6 and living back in the UK, I got my first ever Mac - the 20" iMac - how I loved that thing. First day I had it, I booted up iTunes, and go the podcast directory and see a picture of Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht looking inquisitive next to the logo for Diggnation. It was like the show was never cancelled. Been listening (now watching) since episode 1. Truly hilarious even when the discussion of the topics isn't the most in-depth.
- Weekend Confirmed - The spiritual sequel to 1UP Yours, this was the way I started my Saturday mornings for years - and still do. Garnet Lee and co-hosts Brian Leahy and Jeff Cannata continue on the work GL, Luke, Shane and John did in what anyone at the NeoGaf would have to consider the golden era of 1UP Yours. Of gaming podcasts really. In-depth discussion on the weeks news in gaming, on great games of years past and some legitimately good music as well. If you like videogames then you want to listen to this.
- This American Life - I'm not sure exactly what my first exposure to TAL was - I think it was the short lived documentary show they did and I really enjoyed it. So I decided to listen in on the radio show that started it all. I was enthralled. Most of the time anyways. Basically, the idea of the show, was to have a central theme, bring you several kind of stories on that theme and you sit back and enjoy. Some of the stories, I find to be boring at times - either the subject matter or just the reporter's voice is sleep inducing but more often than not it's good. You come for the good stories. You stay for the soothing tones of Ira Glass. I still have like 80 to go through. I should really do that at some point.
- WNYC Radiolab - A show I discovered thanks to John August's twitter - or maybe it was Moby's...I don't remember anymore but the point is, this is This American Life but better. For me anyways. It takes that same approach to 1 hour radio but the topics are those for scientists - they ask these questions we've all asked ourselves at some point (or just maybe never thought to ask) and try to find out the answer and some of those answers are truly astonishing. I listen to both Radiolab and TAL because they fulfill different purposes for me and answer different questions - it's just sometimes - Radiolab asks the more fun questions.
- The Bugle - Speaking of fun(ny), there is no funnier podcast, in my mind, than John Oliver and Andy Saltzman's The Bugle. A self proclaimed audio newspaper for a visual world focusing on the hilarity, insanity and pure bullsh*t that fills the news of the world each week. They try to sort through it all to find the biggest and most hilarious stories each week and give you their own, British, satirical and sometimes admittedly bullsh*tty take on it. But in the best way possible. I only wish it was longer.
- Smodcast (& related shows) - "Oh Sweet God." This is what I first thought after listening to my first episode of SModcast. This was not really knowing much about hosts Kevin Smith and Scott Mojer other than having seen Dogma and Mallrats. Colour me shocked, to have found the Canadian and Canadian-wannabe totally hilarious, dirty, honest and not for the faint of heart. Go pick up An Evening With Kevin Smith or The Best of SModcast if you want these same hilarious stories but are not so aurally inclined.
- The /Filmcast - I got into movies in a big way a couple years ago, and I found this small website Slashfilm that reported news on the films I were interested in. Geeky ones. I found out those guys had a podcast when they had their first big-time guest. SModcast's own Kevin Smith to review The Dark Knight (a film I love oh so much) and I was hooked. I've been listening to David Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley embarrass and humiliate each other week in and week out for years while at the same time talking about films in an intellectual (and not so intellectual way) that keeps you coming back for more. Of particular interest are those episodes in which director of Brick and The Brothers Bloom, Riann Johnson guest-hosts. The best episodes they've ever done.
So there's a list of the best I listen to each week I think. There are a couple more shows of course such as the Giant Bombcast (for the true gaming nerd), Iain Lee on Absolute Radio (a comedian who I've been following for a while now - always thought him funny and remains so - more for the British humour), iFanboy Pick of the Week podcast ( the latest funnybooks reviewed) and some more I'm probably forgetting as well.
Anyways, if you're at all interested in getting into podcasts or finding a new one to fill that half hour on the train each day, the ones above are definitely worth taking a look. If you've got some other suggestions, I'd love to hear them in the comments.
Keep on listening.