Podcasts I’m Listening to 2013

I’ve cut back a lot because I have less time to listen to podcasts. Here are the ones I have now:

 

Video Games

Giant Bombcast – This is a HILARIOUS podcast that is mostly about video games.  I say it’s mostly about video games because these guys often will go off on random tangents about what energy drinks they have, what they ate, what they did between video gaming, and other topics.  However, they always get back to video games and provide a really fun podcast.  Segments include What You’ve Been Playing, News of the World, New Releases and EMAILS!  My favorite parts are “What You’ve Been Playing” and “Emails”.  It can be a bit geeky in the same way that some of the tech podcasts I listen to are geeky, (Approx 2.5 hours long)

Public Radio

This American Life –  This is an AWESOME podcast and is often my favorite one to listen to each week.  Ira Glass introduces a series of stories that all revolve around a particular theme.  The production rocks and the stories are nearly always very interesting.  It’s hard to properly describe it – you just need to listen to a few episodes and you’ll probably be hooked.  (Approx 1 hour long)
Marketplace – This is a really good economics show.  They talk about news that happened that day as well as stories that have been pre-prepared.  This podcast has really helped me to understand the recession and why it happened as well as whether it is getting any better.  (Approx 30 min long)
On the Media –  Although not always perfect and although it leans a little more left than moderate, On the Media is a good podcast about media issues.  Examples include: truth in advertising, misleading news stories on the cable networks, debunking PR-speak from the White House, and other media literacy items.  I tend to enjoy it nearly all the time and it’s a good balance to news on both sides of the spectrum, calling out CNN as often as Fox News. (Approx 1 hour long)
Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me – This is a hilarious news quiz show that features guest panelists that rotate from a roster of regulars.  Former NPR news super-star Carl Kassel is the judge of the show.  It alternates between quizzing the guest panelists and call-in guests.  It’s been on for a little over 10 years and in the last few years has been taped in front of an audience (most of the time in Chicago).  My favorite part is when they ask their questions in the form of a limerick.  The only bad part is when they go on the road for their shows, sometimes the audio isn’t as good.  (Approx 30 min long)
Talk of the Nation –  Talk of the Nation is a call-in show that discusses news and politics Mon-Thurs and science on Friday.  It also has a special focus on Politics on Wed, although politics can be discussed on Mon, Tues, and Thursday as well.  The show usually has one guest on each side of an issue or one guest if they’re talking about a book or movie.  The hosts are very civil and keep opposing guests from the stupid fighting often seen on cable news networks.  They will also apologize for rude callers.  So I love this show to get a general view of the news without the BS of cable news.  I really like this show a lot.  The science section is of the same quality of The Naked Scientists, but they usually cover a bunch of stories and have a lot more call in with less time so they can’t be as thorough.  (Approx 30 min long)
Fresh Air – Fresh Air is one of NPR’s most famous shows.  It is similar in topic scope as Talk of the Nation, but without any listener call-in.  Also, it tends to have a heavier focus on cultural topics (books, movies, etc).  Terry Gross has been hosting Fresh Air for decades and is a master at interviewing her guests.  Every once in a while there is a guest host or the interview is conducted by a specialist in that industry.  (Approx 1 hour)

Computers and Technology

Tux Radar – A Linux podcast.  It’s the official podcast of Linux Format Magazine.  They talk about Linux and joke around.  It’s pretty good; I’d probably give it a 7.5/10. (Approx 45 min long)
The Commandline Podcast –  This is a pretty technical podcast.  If you aren’t a computer geek, you probably won’t enjoy it.  But if you ARE a computer geek, this show, by Thomas “Cmdline” Gideon, is a really well produced show.  Cmdline goes back and forth between a news-related podcast and a meditative-based podcast.  The meditative ones contain wisdom from Cmdline’s many years in the tech world. (Approx 30 min long)
This Week in Fedora – A short podcast in which each episode is an interview with someone working on the Fedora distribution of Linux. (Approx 30 min long)

Comedy

WTF with Marc Maron – This is a pretty solid podcast which mostly consists of Marc Maron interviewing comedians.  As with any interview-based show, the episodes are hit or miss, although more often than not they are really good.  Occasionally he does a live show in which he’s still interviewing people, but with 4-6 per episode it’s much less in-depth.  And, since it has an audience, the guest is performing more than being open.  The only irritating thing is that Marc starts off each episode with a rant/listener email reading.  Most of the time this is neither interesting nor funny.  Clearly the reason people are tuning is is to hear the interviews or they’d take up a minority of the show instead of the bulk of the show.  So I wish he’d do his rant at the end of the episode so that those of us who just want to hear a great interview with a comedian we like can easily skip the monologue.  (Approx 1.5 hours long)

Science Fiction Short Stories

Clarkesworld Magazine

Escape Pod

There isn’t much to differentiate these two podcasts.  They both feature great selections of short stories.  I added them to my podcatcher to get a dose of fiction among the more non-fiction podcasts I usually listen to.  Also, there’s something great about short-form fiction where you have to build the world AND tell the story in a very concise way.  The main difference between the two podcasts is that Clarkesworld has pretty much just one narrator who’s quite incredible.  Escape Pod tends to have a group of narrators.  Most of them are great – every once in a while there’s a less than stellar one.  Clarkesworld tends to end the story with the narrator’s interpretation and Escape Pod tends to end with reader comments from a few episodes ago. (varies. 15 min to 45 min)

Comic Books

Comic Vine Podcast – Tony, Sarah, and Corey talk about what they read that week, news, and then reader comments.  Sometimes they have a guest creator on as well.  If I had to give one criticism it’d be that, unlike the Bombcast they answer EVERY listener question so sometimes the podcast can go a bit long. (1-2.5 hrs)

ComiXology Blog Podcast – there are two types of episodes – creator interviews and one that’s very similar to the Comic Vine Podcast except it takes 15 minutes instead of 2 hrs.  The creator interviews are pretty great!  They don’t go as deep as Marc Maron does with his guests, but they do sometimes get some great tidbits out of their guests.  (15-30 min)

Author: Eric Mesa

To find out a little more about me, see About Me

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