My strange podcast list…
Firstly, the app I use to listen to them — Pocketcasts. Best around for me. I used Doggcatcher initially, but I do prefer this one. I like the web browser version as well.
The A list
Daily Tech News Show — this is my go-to tech news podcast. Excellent presenter in Tom Merritt, virtually always good co-hosts, always interesting. And they have several times read out my email and discussed it. #gottaloveit Patreon supported (yes, I support them), so no ads for things that are utterly irrelevant to me down here. What’s not to love?
Has improved dramatically with the dumping of the Australian-produced Sunday edition (non-radio people doing it, and it made it unlistenable) and the far less frequent fill-in guests whose major qualifications seemed to be a large number of YouTube subscribers.
The Gist with Mike Pesca — Slate describes it thus: “A daily afternoon podcast about news, culture, and whatever else you’ll be discussing with friends and family tonight.” Of course, I’m not going to be discussing it with anyone, but (speaking as a radio professional of a lot of years) Mike is my favourite non-tech presenter. Witty, irreverent, hardly ever badgers his guests. Since the 2016 election, doesn’t fall into the trap most Democrats do of being stupidly one-eyed. His closing muted rant each day is a wonder to behold. I’m an Australian, it’s mostly about the US, and I still think it’s great.
This Week in Google — this is a somewhat badly named show, in that it’s more about everything in tech than strictly about Google. Great host in Jeff Jarvis, who is a journalism professor (CUNY) and is fascinating regarding a lot of things, but especially the situation in Europe re publishing. Has been better this year than previously. (NB: Jeff is great to listen to, and read when he publishes to his blog, but is simply a Hilary shill on FB, making it unfollowable. His lack of anything approaching evenhandedness on FB is a bit of a worry for a journalism prof., if obviously typical of the US.) Stacey Higginbotham has just joined as co-host, and is also excellent.
Windows Weekly — A show about Windows, funnily enough, but the two hosts — Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley — are the best in the Windows world. It’s been a fascinating trip through the dev of W10. This is NOT a fanboi show, it’s very evenhanded, so be warned.
What The Tech — A show about tech! Has Paul Thurrott, so often it’s about what Windows has screwed up this week. Overall tech-agnostic.
Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly — A new show about … stuff. Liking it so far. “…a podcast about the economy, technology and culture. Hosts Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood will use their expertise to connect the dots on the topics they know best, and get help from listeners and experts about the ones they want to know better.”
You Are Not So Smart — ”You Are Not So Smart is a fun exploration of the ways you and everyone else tends to develop an undeserved confidence in human perception, motivation, and behavior.” Look, it’s hard to describe but endlessly fascinating, terrific presenter.
Hello Internet — OK, I don’t really know how to describe this podcast, but I really like it. Two blokes talking. One is an Apple nut, and every so often makes hilariously bad justifications as to why he loves Apple (which he thinks make sense), and I like it anyway. Just listen.
The B list
I’ll listen if I get time
All About Android — for Android news (I know, it’s a misleading title). Excellent presenter in Jason Howell (anyone seeing a theme here yet?) but I’m well over the shrill and podcast-clueless Florence (good journalist for Android Central, but consistently unprepared for this show and persistently talks over others). Also has dropped to the B list because Android is now so much more stable that there’s just not much compelling news any more.
MobileTechRoundup — Kevin Tofel, thus good. Mostly about phones, and so on. Unfortunately, it concentrates WAY too much on high-end phones. Is this day and age, we don’t NEED to buy high-end to have good gear, so it should expand its horizons.
Material — About Google, and Android, and so on.
Around the NFL — best NFL podcast I’ve found, but they could be a bit tighter in their production, it rambles too often. (In season, this is A-list. Off-season, it’s self-indulgent crap.)
Invisibilia — (Latin for all the invisible things) is about the invisible forces that control human behavior — ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. It’s pretty interesting. First series is over, hoping it continues, but if not, listen to the first series anyway. (Appears to have died.)
America’s Test Kitchen Radio — Cooking podcast. Always learn things. They need to mention sous vide more.
Everything’s Coming Up Podcast! — Simpsons podcast. Only listened to a few so far, is good.
Happier — practical advice re habits, etc. Better than the title would suggest.
REMOVED — Tech News Today — more tech news. I prefer DTNS. Good example was June 27 with the “self-driving cars nearly crashed!” coverage. The DTNS explanation was far more balanced and accurate. Removed in 2016 due to the new hosting arrangements, despite Jason being one of the hosts.
REMOVED — This Week in Tech — weekly tech roundup, but it’s VERY variable in quality due to the guests who they have on. Way too often they have a cartoon guest, while discussing important topics. I have almost unsubscribed multiple times. It’s all well and good to describe the show as “getting my friends in to chat about tech,” but there’s a minimum level of quality that this all too often takes no notice of. Getting clueless non-tech people in because you’re friends with them and they run some YouTube channel and consider themselves to be comedians shows a serious lack of judgment, or getting people in because they’re massively rich angel investors you’re sucking up to is pathetic when it negatively impacts the show. More and more often I’ll just look at the guest list and “mark played.” Needs a producer strong enough to tell Leo to stop having crap guests. Removed after the mid-September edition where it had a crazed Apple fangirl making a complete mess of the show because “exploding Samsung Notes.” So juvenile I finally unsubscribed.
REMOVED — Freakonomics Radio — Fascinating look at life via the perspective of economists. Despite that description, was awesome. Unsubscribed due to a couple of disgraceful, utterly unjournalistic fawning episodes that were simply a platform for Charles Koch to spew his billionaire “socialism” with exactly no pushback to his moronic, utterly-dumb ideas. It was the last straw for a podcast fast running out of steam and ideas.