5 Podcasts Worth Checking Out

Anyone who’s known me for any length of time will tell you that I love podcasts.  I’ve been listening to them since 2005 when Ron D. Moore was doing one for Battlestar Galatica.  And before that I was listening to home-grown talk radio shows on Shoutcast internet radio.

So it would be safe to say that I’ve seen a lot of shows come and go.  I’ve gotten really intense about some show, and then I’ve just fallen out of love with them.  Currently, I have 21 feeds in my podcatcher.  Here are some of my current favorites that I think are worth checking out:

  1. This Week in Tech.  The granddaddy of podcasts.  Leo Leport has been podcasting longer than most, and it shows in this slickly produced two hours-or-so, roundtable, tech show.  In fact, Leo is so good, I didn’t like the show or the TWiT network at first because I liked the grungier, hacker shows of the early internet radio days.  But you can’t argue with the fact that by just listening to this show, you will be caught up with all the most important goings on in the technology world.  The commentary is never dry and it is done in such a way that you don’t have to have a degree in computer science to understand what’s going on.
  2. Fat Man on Batman. I make no mystery of the fact that I love Batman.  I also love Kevin Smith, the director of some of my favorite movies (Dogma, Clerks, Chasing Amy.)  So my love of this show should come as no surprise. Every week, Kevin interviews someone connected to Batman.  He’s done writers of the comic, voices on the Animated Series, Adam West, hell there’s even an episode where he interviews Stan Lee.  Don’t know what Stan Lee has to do with Batman, but I’m not going to argue with Stan the Man.  I’m always surprised by how thought-provoking, funny, and emotional the interviews are as Kevin doesn’t just focus on this person’s involvement with Batman but what in their life brought them to the bat.  It’s one of the best comic book podcasts I’ve ever heard, even if they aren’t always the main topic of conversation.
  3. AutoPilot! Each week, a different pilot episode of a long running television series is reviewed, and contrasted against the series as a whole.  The hosts do a good job of making each episode interesting even if you haven’t seen the show they are talking about (Who the hell remembers Airwolf?) What I like about the show is that each episode is kept tight.  The hosts never stray from the topic at hand, and move from point to point deftly and with little effort.  Given how many podcast can seem like a self-indulgent ramble, it’s a refreshing change of pace.
  4. The Linux Action Show! With as fractionalised as Linux is, it’s a miracle that this show is as focused as it is.  If you want to get a sense of what is going on with Linux and Open Source technology, this is the only show to listen to.  The hosts do a good job at picking the right stories to talk about, the right projects to review, and make a very dry subject matter interesting with humor but without losing any depth.
  5. Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project.  In college, Mythbusters was like a religion.  Everything used to shut down for a new episode or a marithon on Discovery. The show always reminded me of how me and my father were when we would be on a job together trying to figure something out.  He’d be looking at it logically, I’d be making jokes.  Adam Savage is one of the more interesting people on still allowed to be on television, and it’s great to have these twenty minute podcasts were he talks about building things or his favorite movies.  Each episode has something I’d never thought about before in it.

That should be enough to get you started.

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