Podcasts and Me

Darren ByrneLast 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.

Comedy

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

Ricky Gervais

Gift Grub

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.

TV

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.

The Official Lost Podcast

Unofficial Lost Podcast with Jay and Jack

Grays Anatomy Official Podcast (Not one I’m a fan of myself)

Movies

/Film Movies Podcast

Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo – one of the best podcasts around

Simon Mayo also has his own daily podcast, The Daily Mayo

Movie Trailers

Music

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.

Nialler 9

The Playlist MixKilkennyMusic.com’s Ken McGuire introduces new music from around the web.

I’ll open it up to the floor for recommendations on Music Podcasts.

Languages

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

Educational

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.

The Discovery Channel’s podcasts

The Coolest Stuff on the Planet

Hobbies

Photography 101

Learn guitar: There are countless guitar lessons available via podcasts on iTunes, including an Irish one from Tony O’Rourke

Technology

The Week in Tech

The TED video podcasts are just brilliant. Check out lecraic’s collection of favourites on Culch.ie

Tourism

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

Other resources:

/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.

Dave Gorman

Happy Tree Friends

@DaveHarper1888 suggested The Lost Bhoys and Celtic Underground.

@Raptureponies suggested Stuff Mom Never Told You and NPR Culturetopia.

@Kevnmur suggested the Guardian Football Podcast.

@Rochenstein had a few gaming podcasts to recommend – RebelFM, Giant Bombcast, Gamers with Jobs and Geekbox.

Ego

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.

About Darren Byrne

Blogger, writer, movie buff, amateur dramatist and all round nice guy. When I'm not spouting about on Culch.ie, I can be found Tweeting inanities @DarrenByrne or @Culch_ie. I am the admin behind Culch.ie and if you want to contact me for anything, drop me a mail.
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11 Responses to Podcasts and Me

  1. Lottie says:

    The One Minute Irish Podcast is okay but you have to either listen to or muddle past the 5 minutes of self-promotion adverts at the beginning every time. I just got fed up of it.

    Dave Gorman’s Sunday PC’s are great. just really nice funny conversational shows and very easyto listen to.

    I hadn’t heard of Rosie View until yesterday. I will have to give it a listen today.

    I may have to turn my back on the Kermode/Mayo Podcasts. Kermode is actually of the view that Jennifer’s Body was a good movie. Pfffft!

  2. Jen says:

    ok so I’ve got a lot of listening to do! Looking forward to hearing you chatting to dave too.
    This post could help me a lot with work so cheers.

  3. @ Lottie Its a one minute podcast with five minutes of ads?! Wha?

  4. Phil says:

    I don’t listen to enough podcasts as I can’t get myself to turn the music off.

    This American Life is brilliant though.

  5. Will Knott says:

    I listen to a LOT of podcasts, some are very technical, some are nerdy, and some are fun.

    don’t forget that RTE have a large podcast section. I usually end up hearing most of my news after the broadcast. Just because there are the readio shows does not mean that its wrong.

    Going through my Aldi finest* mp3 player I have…

    *********Tech
    Spark. http://www.cbc.ca/spark Spark is the tech show for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.. and its brilliant. Its (now) an hour long show about tech trends and how they impact on the social sphere. Since its for a mainstream audience its not that scary.

    Search Engine (Jesse Brown)
    Really messy CMS, but start at http://bit.ly/31Zb8p
    Used to be on CBC but the show is now on a rival. Shorter and a lot more quirky. After all a few 1,000 researchers (aka listeners) sending in tips give an interesting show. While is very Canadian, it does make you wonder if Ireland has the same problems.

    Security Now
    grc.com/securitynow
    In theory is a 2 hour long show about security, worms, browser and cross scripting exploits bugs and nasty things on the net which will wreck your computer. In practice its an one and a half hour show of that, with (usually) 30 mins of tech goodies, and scf-fi books, kindle news, building PBP8 machines and sci-fi movies. Mr. Gibson is a tech god and spends a fortune on interesting tech. Crypto-link also wounds interesting.

    SDR News
    sdrnews.com
    SDR or Slashdot, Digg and Redit News. The latest from tech news from the social news aggregation sources. These are stories that made it to the not, not the latest news from inside the aggregation sources.

    Java Posse
    Mac Craic
    Alt .NET podcast
    Software Engineering Radio podcast
    Hanselminutes (latest MS news)
    Microsoft Sysadmin Podcasts (may have the name wrong here)
    Does exactly what you expect it to

    *********Nerd and News
    The Economist. Technically not a podcast but they release an audio edition of their magazine. http://www.economist.com/audioedition/
    Be warned, not cheap.

    TED
    ted.com
    Inspirational and sometimes technical. Most people know about the streaming content, but is also a video podcast.

    Scientific American 60 second news
    Just one story, told in usually about a minute with terrible puns, and I like puns. On the otherhand, if those school kids in Clare don’t win a major award for a tinnitus cure then something is wrong.

    FIR
    For Immediate Release
    PR news. Actually interesting, mainly because I hear about stuff here either shortly after I’ve seen the damage on the web, or shortly before. Have a few of these.

    *********Fun (OK, my version of it)
    Mark Kermode’s film review (even its usually Andrew, Floyd or Boyd)

    The Onion Radio news.
    http://www.theonion.com/content/radio_news/onion_radio_news_announces
    Remember those fake news articles on the radios in Grand Theft Auto. Those, but usually up-to-date.

    New York Times podcasts
    http://www.nytimes.com/ref/multimedia/podcasts.html
    I listen to the News headlines, Music review, Book review and Science Times
    Their Times Talks long form podcasts are also great, but you need to be interested in the subject or the interviewee

    Guardian Podcasts
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/podcasts
    Should be in all 3…
    I listen to their Daily news, media, Film reviews, science weekly and technology weekly.

    Slate.com
    (no URL as their CMS keeps moving it and slate.com/podcast is actually their RSS feed)
    Politics, culture, sports, finance (all weekly) book clubs (monthly) and the weird and wonderful articles slotted inbeween.

    *********Not a complete list. I have a few “dead” ones that just show up every so often with new episodes.

  6. Keleher says:

    Great post, Darren.. I like ‘The Rose View’ .. lots more to check out now, thanks !

  7. Bngr says:

    Being anti-apple and anti-ipod, what place is there for podcasts for me.

    Are podcast just like an mp3 file that you download but in that discrimintory apple format?

  8. Peter says:

    Great post Darren and congrats.

    When I eventually have more than 1.5 seconds free (hopefuly int he next 10 years or so) I will actually check some of these out!

  9. Liam says:

    Good to see stuff on Irish podcasts.

    (The Persuaders won Best Irish Podcast at this years IWA’s, no?)

  10. Will says:

    Bgnr, For a podcast feed to exist in itunes, it has to have an RSS feed so that iTunes can find it.

    Translating that in to English, if it exists as a podcast feed in iTunes, there should be another feed somewhere else. Usually all audio podcasts are available on another site.

    Video podcasts seem to be different. If anyone knows where I can get the MIT lecture series without iTunes, do let me know.

    Having said that, I might have to bite that Apple’s shiny goodness sooner than later.