Apparently, podcasts are back! I missed the memo that hold me podcasts had even gone. I have been a big fan of the medium for years. Podcast consumption is now my #1 use case for my iPhone, beyond even photography.
We are all spoilt by a literal endless supply of completely free content, from some amazing talent. What's not to love? I listen to podcasts throughout my entire daily commute into and out of London, and often quite a lot of my day at work, whilst working hard, of course.
I've threatened previously to share my podcasts of choice, and I've finally got around to doing so. This list isn't exhaustive, I have a few more I'm subscribed to, but the below are some highlights.
The Frogpants Network, helmed by Scott Johnson, is what initially got me into podcasting. The term network is fairly loose in this instance. Frogpants is more of a collection of like minded podcasters, with a decade or more experience in producing some quality content. The overall theme is general geekery, which is just how I like it. The list below isn't exhaustive, but it covers a fair few.
- The Morning Stream - This is a daily morning show streamed live, or uploaded each day. It's my daily listen on my commute to work. I listen the day after each recording, being in England. The show covers a huge variety of subjects and will often include various cameos from other Frogpants stars. This is a great jumping on point if you want to try out the network.
- Film Sack - This is by far my favourite of all of the Frogpants shows. The show is a round table discussion of, usually bad, films that are available for streaming on Netflix. Always funny, sometimes profound, I cannot recommend this highly enough. Some particular highlights include the recent Minority Report and Clue.
- Current Geek - This weekly show, featuring Scott Johnson, Tom Merritt and a rotating guest, is a weekly injection of geekery from tech news, movies and gaming to name a few.
- Daily Tech News Show - DTNS does exactly what it says on the tin. This is a daily tech show from Tom Merritt and regular co-hosts Patrick Beja and Justin Young and covers the latest news in a compact 30 minute(ish) chunk.
- Diary of a Cartoonist - Diary of a Cartoonist is a chance for Scott Johnson to unwind and, usually, get a bit more serious and get some thoughts off his chest. Despite the name, the show is rarely about cartoon drawing.
- The Instance - The Instance podcast is fast approaching its 400th episode, and is the longest running show on the network. This is one of the more specifically themed podcasts available, revolving around the Blizzard MMO World of Warcraft. I've not played the game for months now, but still enjoy this podcast, which is a testament to the quality of the content and the hosts.
- Boop! - Boop is a new solo podcast from Scott Johnson. It's a bi-weekly gaming news roundup show. If you're into gaming of any kind, this one's for you.
- The Angry Chicken - TAC is another specifically focused podcast, this time following Blizzard's Hearthstone. It's a game I love, and this podcast compliments it perfectly.
- Comic Dorks!
Relay FM is more like the traditional podcast network that Frogpants. Founded just this year by Myke Hurley and Stephen Hackett, it follows a similar rough theme as Frogpants, in that the featured podcasts are of a fairly geeky nature. For such a new network, Relay has gotten off to an amazing start. The fact the founding members, and all show hosts are extremely experienced and passionate clearly helps here.
Analog(ue) - According to the Analog(ue) page on Relay.fm, this show, hosted by Myke Hurley and Casey Liss, ...is about how devices make us feel and how they change our lives for the better, but also for the worse. This sounds a little more restrictive than the actual content, however, as the show is often just a very interesting, more general, discussion between Myke and Casey and is a great relaxing listen.
Upgrade - Myke takes to the mic again for Upgrade, this time along with ex-Macworld lead editor and current Six Colors owner Jason Snell. This podcast is again technology focused, and looks at how various forms of technology ... shapes us over time ....
BONANZA! - You'll never guess who the main host of this one is ... Yes, Myke is back again, bringing along Mr Matt Alexander. This is the newest show on the network and actually has no theme at all. It's a general talk show, which inevitably will still involve various tech or geek discussions.
Clockwise - What's that? A show on Relay that doesn't feature Myke Hurley? This fairly short round table discussion is hosted by Dan Moren and Jason Snell, and various other guests. Each episode includes a discussion on four different topics, for ~5 minutes on each subject. The right nature of the format keeps this one very interesting and punchy.
Connected - This podcast was formally known as The Prompt, when Myke Hurley was part of Dan Benjamin's 5by5 network. It was the podcast that first introduced me to the podcasting talens of Myke, Stephen Hackett and Macstories owner and writer Federico Viticci. The podcast was reborn as Connected. The show is a weekly panel discussion on how technology affects all of our daily lives, with a particular focus on Apple and the ecosystem that accompanies it.
Inquisitive - Another Myke Hurley vehicle, Inquisitive features a special guest each week. The podcast then focuses on how the guest in question has worked to create various interesting products or services.
Virtual - Virtual is another ex-5by5 podcast, renamed from Directional to Virtual. This one, hosted by Myke and Federicco, is all about games, gaming and surrounding ecosystem. I have this podcast, when it was still The Prompt, to thank for convincing me to buy a Wii U. That isn't sarcasm, I really do love my Wii U ...
Independent / Other
- Accidental Tech Podcast - This is a bit of an odd one really. It's a very dry tech podcast, featuring Marco Arment, Casey Liss, and John Siracusa. The guys go into great depth about various tech related stories and share some really interesting insights along the way. The podcast is fairly heavy going, however, so might not be for everyone.
- The Talk Show with John Gruber - This is another very dry, yet insightful tech podcast, from the very talented John Gruber (and friends).
- This American Life - This American Life is a public radio broadcast, shared as a podcast. The team behind the show, headed up by Ira Glass is really fascinating. The show features 2-3 articles each week, across a plethora of themes. Each one is extremely well researched and presented. Cannot recommend this highly enough.
- Serial - Serial is a new podcast from the team behind This American Life. The show takes the well researched approach of the parent show, but goes 10 steps further. The show is split into seasons to investigate a single subject, in extreme detail. The current topic, a 15 year old murder case, is truly fascinating. If you only check out one podcast from my list above, make sure it's this one.
- Iain Lee - This is another slightly odd choice, being a local radio show from a County I do not live in, but I'm a big fan of Iain Lee and have followed him across various shows he's done in the past. While this is a local radio show, it very rarely goes into anything too specific to the County it's based in.
- No Such Thing as a Fish - This is a weekly podcast from some of the researchers behind the BBC show QI. Enough said I think!