Coffeehouse Thread

25 posts

Podcasts - any recommendations?

Back to Forum: Coffeehouse
  • irascian

    With an hour's commute each day I tend to listen to a lot of podcasts, but it's frightening how bad most of them are. The best ones seem to be those edited down from the profesional broadcasters. So much for Adam Curry's "podcasting is taking over from the radio"!

    What podcasts do you listen to and which ones do you studiously avoid?

    Here's my list, and please bear in mind these are personal views. Your mileage may vary:

    VAGUELY WORK-RELATED:

    DotNet Rocks. Very variable in quality, mainly down to the presenters who drive the interviews. High quality audio but the long commercials needed to pay for the bandwidth and give Carl a full-time job are irritating and get tired very quickly. Too often the interviewer's lack of knowledge wastes a good guest or he shows such naivety the guest doesn't get a chance to shine. If it's not VB forms then things can get very messy very quickly. Listening to this week's show I was somewhat incredulous that two Microsoft Regional Directors and a technical guest could spend so much time trying to guess whether there was a "designer" version of "Cider" and then arguing over what it might be called. I know Microsoft have a lot of new products coming out but if you were at PDC (as at least two of the three presenters were) how on earth could you not know what "Sparkle" or the "Expression suite" was? Maybe Regional Directors are different in the US and Canada to what they are in the UK (or maybe I've just been lucky with my experience of UK Regional Directors?). The show is very hit and miss in terms of signal to noise ratio, but definitely worth downloading if there's a guest whose name you recognise or a subject you know little about and want to get the basics on. NOT SUBSCRIBED TO BUT FREQUENTLY DOWNLOADED ON A WEEKLY BASIS.

    ASP.NET Podcast Show. Possibly the worst podcast I've ever heard! I wonder if the broadcaster knows that the term "Wally" was used as an insult in the UK back in the 80's (as in "What a Wally!" meaning "What an idiot!").  I heard the first two and decided they were a waste of time. One show I heard with the inimitable Scott Guthrie as a guess made me squirm - it was such a waste of the great man's time and other podcasts have been of the "geek talks into microphone as if talking to his personal diary" variety. ASP.NET is what I've worked with for the last 4 years so I really had high expectations of a podcast around ASP.NET, but this is pretty much completely content free based on the shows I heard. It's now in it's 34th show and frequently promoted on the main Microsoft feed blogs so I decided to give it another go. I'm afraid 16 minutes into the 30 minute podcast I gave up on it. This should be called the Self Promotion show - in the sixteen minutes I heard (of the 30 minutes total) there was nothing about ASP.NET in it at all, just endless "I'm wonderful, I have lots of friends, hire me to do work for you, please click on my links" waffle. When sixteen minutes into the 30 minute podcast the presenter decided to actually try and discuss something that might be of interest to somebody other than his mother and close family we got a bunch of basic platitudes about how ASP.NET people don't talk to database people. Life's too short and despite the promising title and frequent ads on the blogs there's "nothing to listen to here folks... move along, move along". Even the sound quality's bad (it's like listening to someone on the end of a bad telephone line) and apparently this is AFTER it's been much improved after previous complaints. NOT SUBSCRIBED TO AND NOT LIKELY TO BE DOWNLOADED AGAIN

    Hanselminutes.com. Everything a podcast should be. Even with subjects I have no interest in the items are short enough and Hanselman is knowledgeable enough to make everything worth listening to. There's no fat here. They're only two shows in but if they keep this quality up this will be my priority download each week. The formula that I find so irritating elsewhere (to be specific Carl Franklin's naivety when you move outside the area of VB forms) works really well here and his questioning and conversation with Haneselman really brings the show to life, when it could so easily have turned into a boring monologue.  One of the rare occasions where I actually find the podcast more valuable than reading the presenter's main blog (and the presenter's main blog is an excellent one). SUBSCRIBED!

    NON-WORK RELATED

    William Gallagher's DVD Review. Short, sharp, sweet weekly DVD review aimed at UK purchasers. I don't often agree with Gallagher's choices (except for his constant championing of Battlestar Gallactica and his loathing of the last three Star Wars movies - bang on the button) but it's always informative, he always keeps the tone humorous and at just 10 minutes a podcast never a waste of time. Gallagher used to be a professional broadcaster, and it shows. SUBSCRIBED!

    Mark Kermode's Film Reviews (BBC) A bit of a misonomer because more often than not there's someone standing in for Mark. In some ways Kermode is the opposite of William Gallagher in that when he does host it most half hour shows include at least one 10 minute full-on angry rant. What's great about this show is the way the deadpan former BBC Radio 1 DJ (Simon Mayo?) takes the mickey out of him, or reads out "live" viewers emails challenging the rants. One could never call the reviews bland! They review the UK Box Office Top 10 each week, two or three of the week's new releases and often have a movie guest on too. SUBSCRIBED!

    Adam Curry's Daily Source Code - Adam should be on professional radio. He has a very professional style, good radio manner and an enthusiastic style that suckers you in.  But his continual over-hyping of podcasting, dissing of the professional broadcasting business he used to work in, and endless promotion of himself soon grates. It doesn't take many shows for you to twig that actually there is close to zero content in the spoken parts of each show - it's really just Adam reading his own diary entries out loud. There is (or used to be - I haven't listened to this for a few months) a 2-3 minute pop music extract quiz thing that was quite entertaining, a very good (but illegal) "mash-up of the day" where a couple of well known tunes get mixed together in a style that puts the likes of professional DJ remix services like Hot Tracks and Razormaid! to shame, but the rest is just endless self-promotion and do you really want to waste your commute listening to Curry taking calls on his mobile from his wife (or whatever interruption happens to be the interruption that day)? SUBSCRIBED INITIALLY BUT NOW UNSUBSCRIBED! 

    Mondays (Pwop Productions) A sort of non-technical offshoot of DotNet Rocks. Sometimes hilarious (when Mark Miller is having a good day, and Karen is actually on the show), other times just tedious (when they try and introduce a pre-written scripted piece of "comedy" that goes on forever). Generally the show is much too long and rather self-indulgent and often one feels they've turned up with nothing planned and are winging it too much without the talent to make that work. The worst aspect is the presenters laughing uproarously at the most unfunny, weak "jokes", and all the self-congratulations quickly gets irritating. INITIALLY SUBSCRIBED BUT NOW PREFER TO SPEND THE TIME LISTENING TO THE PROFESSIONALS (Chris Moyles, Chris Evans) DOING THE SAME SORT OF THING (but with real celebrities) ON THEIR BBC PODCASTS.

    So, like I said, for those of you who also download podcasts for your commute, what are your likes and dislikes? If you know any of the podcasts mentioned above what do YOU think?

  • eagle

    TinyThings - Mobile and Embedded stuff, Mike Hall has some too.


    IT Conversations has lots of great recordings and they do some events live.

  • David7738

    irascian wrote:

    Adam Curry's Daily Source Code - Adam should be on professional radio.


    Actually he is on Sirius Radio.

    irascian wrote:

    He has a very professional style, good radio manner and an enthusiastic style that suckers you in.  But his continual over-hyping of podcasting, dissing of the professional broadcasting business he used to work in, and endless promotion of himself soon grates. It doesn't take many shows for you to twig that actually there is close to zero content in the spoken parts of each show - it's really just Adam reading his own diary entries out loud. There is (or used to be - I haven't listened to this for a few months) 

    Actually this is what I listen to and not the podsafe music..

    irascian wrote:

    a 2-3 minute pop music extract quiz thing that was quite entertaining, a very good (but illegal) "mash-up of the day" where a couple of well known tunes get mixed together in a style that puts the likes of professional DJ remix services like Hot Tracks and Razormaid! to shame


    Entirely podsafe these days (I miss those clips)  .. I do like his trials and tribulations though.. warbly sound.. Burping and Sensayo (sp) have become fixed in my mind though.

    I do like the 'chris pirillo show', 'dawn and drew', 'diggnation' and anything that Steve Gillmor is involved with i.e. 'Attention Tech'

  • irascian

    David7738 wrote:

    I do like the 'chris pirillo show', 'dawn and drew', 'diggnation' and anything that Steve Gillmor is involved with i.e. 'Attention Tech'


    I checked out "Dawn and Drew" a few months back and thought it was dire. The episode I wasted half an hour of my life on sounded like two very boring friends after a lie-in on a Sunday morning having a sleepy and inane conversation over their morning breakfast cereal. I just don't "get" it (but I'm probably of a generation that isn't meant to "get" it).

    I was similarly unimpressed with the one Pirillo podcast I listened to. His voice was the main problem for me, and the content just didn't make up for it. Guess I should give him another go as it was quite a while ago.

  • irascian

    eagle wrote:
    TinyThings - Mobile and Embedded stuff, Mike Hall has some too.


    IT Conversations has lots of great recordings and they do some events live.


    I just don't have the time to get into mobile right now, but I'm a fan of Rory's so I guess I should make the effort.

    I checked out a couple of IT Conversations some time back and enjoyed a podcast from some conference about Web 2.0 with O'Reilly and a few other "major hitter" CEOs talking. It was slickly produced but I didn't really think I learnt anything from it - it was very much "10,000 feet" exec speak, generalisations and pontifications with little real content. I also heard one which I think they did with Joel Spolsky which was better but very dry. It all struck me as a bit like Charlie Rose - a little TOO earnest and professional in a "bland and boring" way, and rather self-important. I was subscribed to their RSS feed at one point but not many of the subjects were really of interest. However  I really should resubscribe to the RSS feed and see what they're covering.

    Thanks for the tips.

  • scobleizer

    Podtech.net and ITConversations are my favorites at the moment.

  • Red5

    I'm new to podcasting and just listened to my first one yesterday

    Digg Nation

    Just installed a new JVC stereo in the 94 Maxima, which has an aux input.  Perfect for listening MP3s from the PocketPC (iPaq).

    I'm looking for more podcasts to keep me awake on my commute so I'll be following this thread.

  • eagle

    IT Heroes/IT Interview Talk Show (RSS) Mick Murphy is a Microsoft TechNet presenter, a great guy and fantastic show.
    Generic Forum Image


    A  new show by a C9'er Frankie's Friday Flashback

  • IanD

    Ok, I will bite and plug my own show.

    The Media Center Show is aimed at digtial media enthusiats and focuses on Windows Media Center. It's a weekly show and I have a range of guest from the developers at Microsoft to OEM's, 3rd party developers and bloggers.

    This week Joe Belfiore, VP of the eHome division at Microsoft is on the show (I interviewd him at CES)

    If your into the concept of the digtial home, then the show is worth listening too

    http://mediacenter.thepodcastnetwork.com/

  • BenZilla

    I'm still trying to find a good game developers podcast.

  • Be#

    scobleizer wrote:
    Podtech.net and ITConversations are my favorites at the moment.


    What is the podcast feed url for ITConversations? Couldn't find one on their website.

  • Minh

    Be# wrote:
    scobleizer wrote:Podtech.net and ITConversations are my favorites at the moment.


    What is the podcast feed url for ITConversations? Couldn't find one on their website.


    You mean the RSS feed? If so,

    http://www.itconversations.com/rss/recent.php

  • abdu

    DNR has only one commercial towards the middle of the show. You can always fast forward it if it really bugs you.

    Other good podcasts:

    - Polymorphic podcast. .NET centric.
    - Venturevoice.com -
    - TWit.TV - Leo Laporte, Steve gibson, John Dvorak...  - Musings.

    You can also just convert video shows to audio only and they would work.... like dnrtv.com, msntv, channel9... etc. You don't have to watch these shows to get the content. If anyone knows good video shows, let us know. I use a portable video player to listen to podcasts and watch video.

    Abdu

  • abdu

    one more:

    Steve Gibson, Leo LaPorte do securitynow.com.  It can have some good info but Steve can really bore me with his talking style. When I have nothing else to listen to, that's my last.

    Actually I need a lot more podcasts because I also listen during work time (8 hours/day) and not just during commute so my podcasts demand is outsripping the supply by a big margin.

  • Lazycoder2

    Cocoa Radio - Sure they just interview Mac programmers, but they don't get very technical. Often the interviews are interesting insights into what it's like to be an independent software developer.

    Science Friday - A podcast version of the NPR feature.

    Ruby on Rails podcast - The interviewer is a little annoying, but again it's interesting to me to listen to other developers talk about how they write their frameworks and applications.

    The Onion podcast - Based on the Onion website and newspaper. It's pretty new, but it's great. Very funny stuff. With headlines like "God Worried Apocalypse May Not Live Up To Expectations"

    Penn Jilette - You'll either love it or hate it I imagine.


    If you've got some kind of portable video device. (I use TMPCP on my Palm E2) you can't beat Tikibar TV.

  • irascian

    abdu wrote:

    DNR has only one commercial towards the middle of the show. You can always fast forward it if it really bugs you.



    The iPod just isn't geared towards fast forwarding unless you know the precise duration of the spiel you need to fast forward past. It becomes a game of "oh, I fast forwared too far. Oh, I rewound too much now" - life's too short, especially when it's the same few component manufacturers each week with the same "Spread a little love" spiel from Carl. Last DNR I listened to had the same introductory spiel, two long ads interrupting the show and then the usual "Carl never sleeps" outro. I'm impatient, what can I tell you?!

    abdu wrote:


    You can also just convert video shows to audio only and they would work.... like dnrtv.com, msntv, channel9... etc.


    Again, life's too short. A show has to be really special to warrant that time and effort. It's bad enough I have to sit and wait for the thing to download and then transfer it without going through a conversion loop too. If I wanted to do that I'd transfer my DVD collection instead using a tool like DVD Pocket PC instead.

  • irascian

    Double post deleted. Doh!

  • abdu

    irascian wrote:
    abdu wrote:

    DNR has only one commercial towards the middle of the show. You can always fast forward it if it really bugs you.



    The iPod just isn't geared towards fast forwarding unless you know the precise duration of the spiel you need to fast forward past. It becomes a game of "oh, I fast forwared too far. Oh, I rewound too much now" - life's too short, especially when it's the same few component manufacturers each week with the same "Spread a little love" spiel from Carl. Last DNR I listened to had the same introductory spiel, two long ads interrupting the show and then the usual "Carl never sleeps" outro. I'm impatient, what can I tell you?!

    abdu wrote:

    You can also just convert video shows to audio only and they would work.... like dnrtv.com, msntv, channel9... etc.


    Again, life's too short. A show has to be really special to warrant that time and effort. It's bad enough I have to sit and wait for the thing to download and then transfer it without going through a conversion loop too. If I wanted to do that I'd transfer my DVD collection instead using a tool like DVD Pocket PC instead.



    That's why I don't use over hyped devices like the iPod. I have been using portable video player devices for around three years now.

    I can FF and see the time display and I can listen to videos without watching them and I can turn the display off to save battery juice. Therefore I don't have to convert them.

    However why would someone convert movies to audio only? The video shows I listen to have their mnain content in the audio potion.


Comments closed

Comments have been closed since this content was published more than 30 days ago, but if you'd like to continue the conversation, please create a new thread in our Forums, or Contact Us and let us know.