Part time capsule, part recommendation.

Two Christmases ago, I received an iPod Touch (3rd Gen) from my girlfriend.  I needed a new mp3 player and, being the awesome woman she is, my girlfriend was able to grab one for me.  I stole my sister’s FM tuner the next time I was home and I began listening to the world of podcasts.  My hour commute to and from work (round trip) became a minor annoyance as I could lose myself in whatever new content was delivered to my device.  Even when I ended up with an iPhone, I kept up with my podcast listening and, in fact, expanded it even further.  I’m listening to a podcast in almost all of my free time, or whenever I need some kind of background noise to focus my mind.

Yesterday, I realized my disk space was getting rather low and to help clear up some space, one thing I took care of was the accumulated pile of podcasts in my hard drive.  I got rid of the entire playlist, but they were still in my iPhone.

“Of course.  If I just delete them from the computer, the episodes I have will sync right back into the computer.”

So, after seeing how wrong I was, I ended up eliminating my entire podcast list and I had to rebuild it from memory.   I don’t see this list changing too much, so I partly wanted to create it to serve as a “backup” in case something ever happened and I had to re-download all of these podcasts.

A side benefit is to promote some podcasts that I feel are worth listening to.  A few accept monetary donations, and if I had the money to, they’d all get some because they’re 100% worth it.  I’ve got to go with trying to promote though, until my lottery-playing career pays off.  I listen to at least 13 hours a week of podcasts to break up that drive, and as I said, I love the constant stream of new content.  These podcasts are some of my personal favorites, and I would highly suggest checking them all out.


Subject Matter: History, and how it pertains to modern problems/events.

Frequency of Updates: Not sure yet.  Looking at past history, it seems rather infrequent.

Content: I’ve just started listening to this podcast yesterday (04/09) but I like what I hear so far.  Three professors SLASH history buffs debate different points in history and how they are still relevant to our world today.  This episode dealt with the Civil War, and it served as a call-in show for just about any question.  They had some interesting discussions about racism, causes for secession, religious ideals, etc…for the time period and they managed to find neat connections to modern times.  Even though it is one of my newest additions to my list, I like it a lot.

I’ve listened to it for: A day!



Best of the Left

Subject Matter: Progressive subjects, liberal causes

Frequency of Updates: Roughly three times a week.

Content: A really interesting format for a political show.  Jay, the guy who runs the podcast, cuts up tons of different sources and puts the pieces together around a certain subject.  The war in Libya, Congress problems, climate change, gay rights, whatever the “hot button” issue is, Jay usually finds the clips and puts them out there for people to digest.  He adds in his commentary only towards the end, which I like a lot.  It helps keep the show from being bogged down with opinions, but rather it lets everything speak for itself and sit in your mind.  Obviously, it has a liberal/progressive slant, so I know it won’t fit everyone’s point of view.  Personally, I like it because I feel like I keep up on some of the big issues and I get to hear it from sources I usually don’t listen to.  Even though it doesn’t quite line up with my personal beliefs, I think it’s worth listening to.

I’ve listened to it for: Probably close to a year now?




Subject Matter: Video games and savings

Frequency of Updates: Once a week (Tuesdays-ish)

Content: A newcomer.  I used to listen to it, gave it up, and came back recently.  They cover new releases in video games, commentary on new releases, and they include really good deals that are available in stores/online.  The thing I like about it the most is it feels very low-key.  Just three guys chatting about video games and having fun.  It is very informal and it feels a bit closer to the “average user” videogamer perspective.

I’ve listened to it for: A month



Common Sense

Subject Matter: Politics, independent

Frequency of Updates: Once every two weeks.

Content: To be honest (sorry Dan if you ever read this! :P) I thought this was like a conspiracy theory podcast at first.  A lot of the things Dan Carlin says in the course of an episode, especially in the first one I listened to, sounded somewhat paranoid.  The more I’ve listened though, I can see that isn’t the case.  Dan sees the problems in America and with the way we run our system, and usually he offers a pretty sensible explanation as to why we’re here and what we can do to fix it.  I love his off-beat message and ideas, which keep bringing me back to him.  He sounds VERY independent in his position, going both right and left on certain issues.  He might be closest to a libertarian, but I don’t think he’d ever admit it.

I’ve listened to it for: Eight months




Subject Matter: General interest

Frequency of Updates: Once a week (Wednesdays)

Content: Hard to describe what this is about.  Every episode is about a half-hour around a topic that the producers thought was interesting.  Twitter, molecular gastronomy, the NFL strike, they’re all over the board.  They really do a great job of finding the issues people don’t really think about and bring them to light, or they take a common idea and twist it on its head.  Just an interesting show overall!

I’ve listened to it for: About seven months


Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy

Subject Matter: Nerd subjects, mostly through Sci-Fi authors

Frequency of Updates: New episodes every two weeks, old episodes uploaded on “off weeks”

Content: The hosts of the show both are editors for different Sci-Fi/Fantasy anthologies.  For the most part, they get an author on to talk about their latest book and structure the discussion around a theme (traditional fantasy, zombie, supernatural, etc…).  After the interview, they’ll discuss for the second half on their own feelings about the topic, and wrap it up.  I like this a lot because I’ve been exposed to authors I normally would have passed up in Borders.  My “Wish List” on Amazon has tripled because of the different book recommendations.  I’d suggest that if you’re a sci-fi reader, you need to add this to your listening list.

I’ve listened to it for: Seven months


Giant Bombcast

Subject Matter: Video games, professional

Frequency of Updates: Once a week (Tuesdays)

Content: These guys are hilarious!  They work for GiantBomb, a wiki/review site for video games.  They’re big enough to get plenty of attention from the game companies, but they’re not a huge operation when compared to, say, IGN, Gamespot, or even Kotaku.  They riff on video games every week, and you can always count on them to go on hilarious tangents.  If you have any interest in video games, check them out!

I’ve listened to it for: About 1 year


I Should Be Writing

Subject Matter: Aspiring fiction writers, tips

Frequency of Updates: About two a week, one content, one feedback

Content: Mur Lafferty hosts a podcast all about inspiring wannabe writers and teaching them the pitfalls to avoid when it comes to writing.  Mostly, the focus is on motivation and concentration.  Because of her connections, she’s able to get interviews with authors, who then help give their own perspectives on writing.  I’ve always had a secret interest in writing, so I like listening to this in the hopes that one day, I might just end up actually writing a story!

I’ve listened to it for: Four months


Jordan, Jesse GO!

Subject Matter: Comedy

Frequency of Updates: Once a week (Varies)

Content: I would use this space to recommend the entire MaximumFun family.  I listen to three of the five or six podcasts they put out once a week.  JJGo changes from week to week, but Jordan and Jesse both invite a guest every week and hilarity ensues.  Crude, but hilarious, this podcast is just pure fun in audio form.

I’ve listened to it for: Eight months


Judge John Hodgman

Subject Matter: Settling disputes

Frequency of Updates: Once a week (Wednesdays)

Content: One of the newer MaxFun podcasts.  John Hodgman serves as the Chief Justice in his own courtroom, settling disputes that people can’t solve on their own.  Whether chili is a soup or a stew, if a husband can run a marathon, who should own a stuffed animal, he hears a bunch of crazy cases and he treats it with his special brand of deadpan humor.  Nice little half-hour shows to enjoy.

I’ve listened to it for: Six months


My Brother, My Brother, and Me

Subject Matter: Advice

Frequency of Updates: Once a week (Mondays)

Content: I haven’t fully made up my mind on this MaxFun podcast, but so far its been good.  Three brothers offer advice to people who e-mail their problems.  Think of them as three drunk Dear Abbies?  They usually offer a silly/ridiculous answer and then a more serious answer.  Some of the best comedy comes from mining the Yahoo! Answers and trying to answer THOSE questions.  They’re a bit more off and on with my tastes, but like all MaxFun podcasts, worth trying.

I’ve listened to it for: Two months


This American Life

Subject Matter: General interest storytelling

Frequency of Updates: Once a week (Sundays)

Content: Ira Glass hosts a podcast dedicated to bringing a set of stories around a single theme.  Usually, the theme sounds pretty simple, but he manages to make different types of stories fit in ways you wouldn’t normally imagine.  Very story heavy, and they vary from serious to absurd.  Usually serious.  I like it for the interesting sets of stories he usually digs up though.

I’ve listened to it for: Eight months


We’re Alive: A Zombie Story of Survival

Subject Matter: Story telling, fiction

Frequency of Updates: Once a week during a chapter (three parts), one week break in-between chapters.

Content: I talked a lot about this last week, so I don’t have too much to add.  If you like zombies and, essentially, audiobooks, check this out.

I’ve listened to it for: Eight months


We’re Not Dead

Subject Matter: We’re Alive discussion

Frequency of Updates: Once a week (Varies)

Content: WND serves as a nice breakdown of each We’re Alive episode.  It’s a community/fan podcast that the producers have somewhat absorbed into themselves as well.  The voice actors sometimes come on and discuss with the hosts too.  If you really get into We’re Alive, this podcast is a nice companion to help you catch the things you might have missed the first time through.

I’ve listened to it for: Three months


Writing Excuses

Subject Matter: Writing tips for fiction writers

Frequency of Updates: Once a week (Sundays)

Content: Similar to ISBW, Writing Excuses is a round-table discussion about different issues facing writers.  How to include romance, creating believable characters, etc…ISBW is great for helping the author out with their issues and problems in the real world, whereas this, I think, helps writers with their stories a bit more directly.  Nice and short too (about 15-20 minutes) so you can really get a quick snippet of help.

I’ve listened to it for: Three months



Subject Matter: Transformers

Frequency of Updates: Once a week (Varies)

Content: In case it hasn’t come up yet, I’m a huge Transformers nerd.  Yes, I have a collection of toys and yes, I do buy from the toy aisles in stores :P.  This podcast is really top-notch with coverage, humor, and discussion.  TFW is definitely one of the best Transformers fan sites out there, and Vangelus and crew put on a stellar show every week.  Also, the rat bastards talk about some non-Transformers toys and you’ll end up wanting to research and/or buy those too!  Obviously not for everyone, but this was one of my first podcasts I ever listened to, so it holds a special place in my heart.

I’ve listened to it for: Almost two years, even before I had the iPod.


You Look Nice Today

Subject Matter: None?

Frequency of Updates: Sporadic is a very generous term.

Content: Like JJGo, YLNT is mostly a comedy/stream of consciousness podcast.  They talk about whatever comes to mind, no real format or topic, but usually hilarious.  The biggest knock against them is they update…well…almost never.  I’ve subscribed since December of ’09, and in that time, they’ve released four episodes on iTunes.  The last one was in November.  When it updates, its a real treat but until then, its hard to recommend this for steady content.

I’ve listened to it for: Well, TECHNICALLY about a year and a half.



I’m always on the lookout for new podcasts!  Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments.


Peace out.