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August 12th 2014 7:53 pm

Favorite podcasts: August 2014 edition

It's been awhile since we've done this sort of thing, but I wanted to see what podcasts everyone is currently listening to (are you still listening to podcasts, even) and where you're listening to them.

Here are some of my favorite podcasts at the moment:
  • 1914: Day by Day: World War 1 started 100 years ago this summer. The BBC is doing a day by day podcast that explains what was happening in Europe 100 years ago to the day. It's awesome! They're about 5 - 8 minutes in length and are just really well done. Check it out: www.bbc.co.uk­/podcasts­/series­/1914
  • Lexicon Valley: Slate has a wide variety of interesting podcasts and they have to be one of my favorite places that are making them right now. Lexicon Valley is by 2 quirky dudes who talk about the etymology of words and phrases. I really like it. www.slate.com­/articles­/podcasts­/lexicon­_valley.htm...
  • TWiT: This Week in Tech is an old standby for gadget nerds. Leo and friends do a good job summarizing the week's news, though the shows tend to run a bit long (~2 hours). I don't listen to this as much anymore, but it's still probably in my top 5. twit.tv­/show­/this­-week­-in­-tech
  • Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!: This really isn't a podcast, it's just a recording of each week's current events quiz show. It's funny, relevant, and a good way to pass some time. www.npr.org­/rss­/podcast­/podcast­_detail.php­?siteId­=...
There's a number of other more specific podcasts related to politics and sports, but they're so specific and esoteric, I don't think they're worth mentioning here.

Anyway, most of the podcasts I listen to are while I'm at the gym or running. There's really no other place for me to listen to a podcast -- I read on the bus and it's hard to listen to a podcast at work since I'm usually typing and working on other things. Where do you listen to podcasts?

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I'm a bit of a podcast fiend. I have 22 feeds in my podcast app (the great Doggcatcher for Android - http://goo.gl/V0fGAj ).

Here's a sampling, with my favorite three podcasts first and the others randomly ordered:
  • Judge John Hodgman - Far and away my favorite podcast in the universe. Comedian John Hodgman presides over friendly squabbles and dispenses judgment that is as funny as it is wise. I started listening because Hodgman cracks me up. I kept listening because I was so impressed with this advice for the people who come on his show.
  • Pop Culture Happy Hour - A weekly discussion about pop culture as filtered through a bunch of NPR writers. The panelists are great, especially Glen Weldon.
  • We Have Concerns - This one snuck up on me. Jeff Cannata (formerly of The Totally Rad Show) and Anthony Carboni (formerly of other Revision3 shows) simply talk about some article they read recently and what the implications are. The comedy hits me just right, and it's a series of wonderful 20 minute presents.
  • Daily Tech News Show - Just what it says, it keeps me informed in nice 20 minute segments five times a week. I'm a big Tom Merritt fan.
  • Cordkillers - Talks about cord cutting. I like Tom and Brian Brushwood so I tune in.
  • Bullseye - Host Jesse Thorn conducts great interviews.
  • Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me - Actually, my wife listens to this FAR more than I do. But if Mo Rocca is on the panel I listen in.
  • This American Life - I only recently got into this (late to the game, I know), but I've been really enjoying it. If I'm certain that I won't be interested in the topic of the day I'll skip it, but I'm often pleasantly surprised when something ends up more interesting than I think it'll be.
  • How Did This Get Made - Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas talk about bad movies. And they're super funny.
  • Oh No Ross and Carrie - The hosts investigate everything from Scientology to oil pulling to reiki.
  • Jordan, Jessie, Go! - Just two funny guys chatting with a guest. I'm not sure how else to describe it. And I'm getting sleepy now.

I've fallen out of love with the TWiT network after being a die-hard fan since the very beginning when it was just Leo recording in the top floor of the old cabin (which I've actually been to). I haven't liked the direction of the network lately, and This Week in Tech has some frequent panelists that drive me up the wall (Dvorak now derails the show every single time).

Often, people will gravitate to podcast networks. My wife listens to almost every single NPR podcast in existence. I'm starting to get a good mix.
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Thanks for sharing your recommendations! There's definitely some ones in here that I'm going to have to check out.

And I completely share your sentiment with TWiT. Dvorak is frequently obnoxious (and I'm also convinced that he's insane -- not to mention he's wrong about everything in technology ever). It's starting to lose me.
That said, I've been to the old TWiT cabin up in Petaluma, too! Cute place. The new studio is right up the street. It's ridiculously huge. And impressive. You have to hand it to Leo for making that whole thing work.
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I definitely give Leo credit for building what he's built. I think he's great! My problem with him is that he's doing everything he can to turn his baby into the same kind of old media institution that screwed him out of his spot on the Screen Savers. He's trying to serve - first and foremost - the live video audience, which is probably their smallest audience. He's also trying to be more of a 24 tech news network. Neither of these things are what made his network the success it's become, so that makes me a little sad.

Also, while I like Kevin Marks on "This Week In Google," I don't think I can express how obnoxious the birds chirping in his patio are through every episode he's on :)
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nice to informations,
I prefer to the 1914 : Day by Day, interesting and powerfull
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I wish wish wish I could get into podcasts but they're so hard for me to focus on while working or even traveling. Currently my favorites, when I can get the attention, are Forumla1Blog.com (www.formula1blog.com/) and the Giant Bombcast (www.giantbomb.com/). I find both of these to be the perfect amount of insight and humor to their respective areas, and the comrade amongst all the hosts is just great.

I'm also pretty excited for RelayFM (relay.fm­/hello) which is a new network from Myke Hurley. Federico Viticci, Myke Hurley and Stephen Hackett all did the Prompt on 5by5 and are taking the show to RelayFM, as well as Myke heading up a few other shows.
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There's no way I could listen to podcasts while I work. I never do that. Podcasts are, for me, what I listen to during chores and while I'm driving around dealing with the DC area traffic.
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"while I'm driving around dealing with the DC area traffic."

No wonder you're able to listen to so many podcasts!
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Ha! Yeah, that's definitely a major reason.

The other reason is that I like listening to podcasts when I do housework. I recently spent a day setting up furniture in one of our rooms, and I had my phone playing podcasts the entire time. I listen when I'm mowing the lawn. It's nice to have something to entertain me while I'm doing boring things.
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While I don't listen to podcasts, I can pitch in on your other question (where do I listen to them) because I am an avid audiobook listener.

Main place: The long drive between home and work (an hour each way).
I do also listen while bike riding and cleaning my apartment. Waterproof sport headphones have really proved useful for these. :D
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I still listen to around 12 podcasts, mostly while driving, walking around from place to place at work, and while doing household chores. I have been using DoggCatcher for years, but recently decided to try AntennaPod and have actually ended up liking it better (and being open source is always a good thing).

I will say that I no longer listen to TWiT every week, but I read the description first to see who was on it and what they talked about. I have been skipping it a lot. I listen to This Week in Google, but I am getting close to deleting it from my list. I used to enjoy it, but it just feels like work to listen to it lately. To be honest, the main reason I have continued is because we use Google Apps for Education at work and this has historically been a good way for me to keep up with Google's constant, pointless changes to everything without having to do the research myself. Today, though, while listening to last week's episode, I told myself I need to see if there are any other podcasts out there that can fill this need.

The one TWiT Network podcast I never miss and still look forward to every week is Security Now! While I look forward to FLOSS Weekly, I skip it when the topic doesn't concern me.

The podcasts I enjoy the most (aside from my favorite, which I am saving for the last paragraph) are Linux Action Show, Linux Unplugged, Bad Voltage, and Linux Outlaws. Being a Linux nerd, that may seem to be bias, but the hosts on these are good and make them extremely entertaining most weeks. I even get funny looks when I laugh out loud at them in public. :) To prove my point, I also listen to BSD Now and TechSNAP and enjoy those, but they aren't in the same tier because the hosts aren't as funny or don't have the same chemistry.

My new favorite podcast, which I have only been listening to for about 2 months after having tried it over a year ago without it clicking for me at that time, is Back to Work with Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin. I don't care what they talk about, I will listen to it. They have me laughing out loud in public a lot. This is the first podcast where I have saved episodes until I was in the car with my wife so she could listen... and she loved it.

Keeping up with these is about all I can manage with my current schedule. I sometimes wish I was a janitor or night watchman so I could listen to a lot of the others people have recommended to me over the years. :)
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JRE - Joe Rogan Experience - Really awesome podcast! Joe Rogan is a comedian and a UFC commentator that has various guests from all parts of the industry and walks of life. The shows usually last around 3 hours.
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The Bugle!

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