Last night, I was invited along to the Dave Fanning Show on 2FM to talk about podcasts. I’m no expert (is there such a thing as a podcast expert?), I’m don’t even have the most up date iPod, but I do have an avid interest and a curious nature that has me trying new things all the time. Podcasts are a great way of broadening your horizons quickly, easily and for free.
Dave (yeah, we’re on first name terms) asked me if there was a definitive list of the best podcasts. Well, it’s a hugely subjective thing. It’s easy to look at the most downloaded podcasts on iTunes – but they’re not going to be to everyone’s tastes. Even the list of nominees for this year’s Irish Web Awards won’t be for everyone. The great thing about podcasting, the central appeal of it is that it is niche based. If you are interesting in knitting, there’s a knitting podcast. If you love cheese, there’s a cheese lovers podcast. There’s something for everyone.
So, this is a list of both my favourite podcasts and the ones I’ve spotted along my journey that have caught my eye. I would love to hear what other people think and what podcasts everyone else likes to listen to.
Like most podcasts, the Comedy section will be a matter of taste. If you don’t like Jimmy Carr’s sardonic stand-up stylings, then you probably won’t think much of his podcast. But if you’re a fan of The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show, then you’ll undoubtedly love the Gift Grub podcasts. Here’s a selection I listen to and other people have pointed me towards:
Tommy Tiernan (iTunes link)
Jimmy Carr (iTunes link)
The Smodcast – Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier
Frankie Boyle has only done one episode of his podcast, but it’s been very popular. Worth checking out.
It’s also worth searching through iTunes for the countless Stand Up Comedy Podcasts.
The Rosie View – an Irish TV podcast from Roseanne Smith and Rosemary McCabe
There’s some great ‘Official’ podcasts for all the major US shows, but it’s also worth having a look at some of the fan podcasts for episode analysis and discussion.
Grays Anatomy Official Podcast (Not one I’m a fan of myself)
Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo – one of the best podcasts around
Simon Mayo also has his own daily podcast, The Daily Mayo
There truly are thousands of Music podcasts. It’s all about trying as many as you can to find the ones that suit your tastes.
I’ll open it up to the floor for recommendations on Music Podcasts.
I don’t know if you can actually learn a language this way. All I’ve heard is anecdotal evidence of how good this can be, but I don’t know anyone who’s actually done it. OneMinuteIrish used to be quite good, but hasn’t been updated in a while.
There’s a whole host of Learn a Language by Podcast options on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/ie/genre/podcasts-education/id1304
Stephen Fry’s Podgrams is educational. It’s also damn funny and could easily belong in the Comedy section. Any section really. He’s brilliant.
Stuff You Missed in History Class is genuinely interesting, entertaining and educational.
Learn guitar: There are countless guitar lessons available via podcasts on iTunes, including an Irish one from Tony O’Rourke
The TED video podcasts are just brilliant. Check out lecraic’s collection of favourites on Culch.ie
Irish Fireside is a great podcast for Irish Travel. Their most recent blog post is actually about travel podcasts which might be of use.
The Amateur Traveler – destination focussed and include interviews with travellers from around the world.
One podcast I wish I had known about while I was in New York earlier this year is The Bowery Boys. The series digs deeper into the city’s sights and history beyond the tourist staples. New out are episodes on Brooklyn’s Prospect Park plus a guide to Little Italy and the city’s most revered pizzerias.
One of the best audio travel podcast is on iKangaroo.com. They have an Angels and Demons walking tour of Rome, bringing you around the sights, art, architecture and history of the book’s locations in seven episodes totalling more than 80 minutes.
Best for budget travellers, the Indie Travel Podcast is ideal for those looking for money-saving tips.
Irish Web Awards Best Podcast Nominees 2009
- RTE Podcasts
- Nialler 9
- Playlist Mix
- The Persuaders (winner)
- Michael Hanley
- The Comic Cast
- Hostelworld Podcats
- Chopshop FM
- Devious Theatre
- Panic Dots
- View from the Quad
/Film who have a great movie related podcast also put together a blog post on how to do your own podcasts. It’s a fairly comprehensive guide for the user that doesn’t have a collection of expensive equipment and fancy software.
Venntertainment has also done a great post on Culch.ie about making your own podcasts.
Recommendations from Twitter
Before I went on the show yesterday, I asked on Twitter for some of your favourite podcasts. Here’s what you came back with.
This American Life was very popular, though it’s not one I’m familiar with myself.
The Smodcast got a lot of mentions.
The brilliant ramblings of the lads at Housekeepin‘.
A number of people, including myself, also like Ray Foley’s podcast.
And if you’re interested in hearing my stint on Dave Fanning’s show, it’s available from 2FM’s website in the Listen Back section. Thank you to everyone who texted me, tweeted and emailed me with congrats on the piece. My nerves were in bits but I really enjoyed it.
Now, come on, this list is just a tiny fraction of podcasts that one man found. What do you listen to and watch on your iPod? What should I be checking out?
Update: I have corrected the error where I said Nialler9 won Best Podcaster at this year’s Web Awards. It was actually The Persuaders. Nialler9 won for Best Music Site. Apologies for the confusion.