I listen to a lot of podcasts. For the last several years, my sanity during the morning and evening commutes has been maintained by a trusty list of shows that are currently of interest. Recently it occurred to me that I’ve never actually posted about the shows that I enjoy, which seems odd considering that I’m such a proponent of word-of-mouth advertising for the medium! First of all, I do almost all of my listening on a mobile device, my Samsung Galaxy S5 using Shifty Jelly’s Pocketcast app. I think I paid $3.99 for the app, but since I’ve already paid, I’m having trouble determining if that price is still accurate (simply shows as “installed” in the Google Play store page). At any rate, it was a small price to pay for an app that does exactly what I need with suitable customization that I literally use every single day.
As I’m plotting this post out, I’m wondering what revealing my listening habits will say about me. I guess I’ll await your comments!
Here are the podcasts that I’m currently subscribed to, and a short description of each:
LOTRO Players News – I used to be on this podcast, and still enjoy the game and community related information contained within each episode. Though I don’t play often, I still very much feel like a part of the LOTRO community. I guess you can take the boy out of LOTRO, but you can’t take the LOTRO out of the boy!
LOTRO Reporter – Might hold the record for the podcast that I’ve listened to the longest. My LOTRO podcasting friends Carrie and Layanor just keep plugging away every week, covering Turbine announcements and releases.
Beyond Bossfights – This is my podcast. I kind of have to sub to make sure the feed continues to update, but I also listen to it to make sure the audio quality is acceptable when listening through a pair of earbuds.
The Audacity to Podcast – In a meta world, I subscribe to several podcasts about podcasting. Podcasting coach and evangelist Daniel J Lewis offers tips and suggestions for podcasters, as well as encouraging words for when the hobby is weighing you down!
The School of Podcasting’s Morning Announcements – Another podcast about podcasting, Dave Jackson highlights several podcast related news stories from the previous week, makes recommendations, and interviews podcasters to see how ‘casting has affected their lives in the “because of my podcast” segment.
Cat Context Podcast – Produced by fellow games blogger Liore, I like this show due to the playful banter between hosts. I’ve always enjoyed Liore’s quirky sense of humor, and it is on full display during this show. I enjoy it even though I don’t typically play the games being discussed. Cat Context is a member of TGEN.
AggroChat – Another member of TGEN, Belghast’s AggroChat has always impressed me by both the depth and breadth of the show’s gaming content. There appears to be no limit to the number of games nor the depth of understanding by these hosts. The collective time spent gaming and thinking about games by this crew is astounding!
Through the Palantir – This LOTRO Specific show my Ivan found it’s way into my playlist when I was playing LOTRO a lot and looking for more commentary about it. The releases have been very sporadic (last one was early February) so I’ll probably unsubscribe soon. I’d honestly forgotten that this one was on the list!
Ear Biscuits – YouTube stars Rhett and Link interview other YouTube creators about their lives, techniques, strategies and stories. This is a different side to Rhett and Link, not as wacky as the characters on their daily “Good Mythical Morning” show, and I find myself wishing to emulate their interviewing style. It’s encouraging to hear other content creators talking about their early struggles and big breaks.
Battle Bards – Syp, Syl and Steph step us through the world of MMO musical soundscapes! I love the premise of this show and the execution is very solid. I’ll admit to not listening as much as I’d like, but when I do, the hosts provide a fun and informed look at the music within the games we all love. Battle Bards is a member of TGEN.
Too Long, Didn’t Listen – I started listening to this MMO Reporter Network show back when Casual Stroll to Mordor was still in my rotation. CSTM host Merric teamed up with Syp to provide 30 minutes (15 minutes per topic) of game-related talk. The co-host chemistry was very apparent, and the conversations were fun. This show was one of many from where I drew inspiration when creating Beyond Bossfights. Later, Merric and Syp were replaced by Brian Brushwood and some other guy. They’re ok, but I don’t get the same “these are my buddies” feel that was present with Syp and Merric. I haven’t seen a new show in the feed for a few months, so I wonder if podfade is imminent.
MMO Reporter – This show from the MMO Reporter Network covers all games and MMO’s that currently interest the hosts, as well as recent news events. Though I’m not always interested in every game being covered, the humor and banter are enough to keep me checking in from time to time.
LOTRO Academy – Another long running LOTRO Podcast, academy focuses on various topics from a teaching standpoint, explaining things such as legendary items, food, stats and more. This is another of the shows that’s been in my feed for a very long time, and may rival LOTRO Reporter as the show that I’ve listened to the longest!
Podcasters Roundtable – a bi-weekly roundtable of experts in the podcasting field. This show tackles common questions and hot topics in the field of podcasting, even pulling in audience members to be guests on certain shows. I like this show because it pulls all of the podcast coaches I follow into a single discussion.
Podcast Answer Man – Cliff Ravenscraft is one of the most successful and well known podcast consultants. In this show, Cliff provides pep talks and advice using a very personal slant. I found the style good when I first started podcasting, but lately I’ve tired a little bit of the motivational speeches. Perhaps my inner cynic is getting the better of me? At any rate, I’ll listen to this show when the topic looks interesting.
Light the Beacons – Another LOTRO podcast that includes in-depth descriptions of certain quest lines and instances in the game. Host Braag also incorporates comedy bits, and I usually find myself laughing out loud at least once per episode. The best part about this solo show is that you can tell Braag is just kicking back and having fun with the whole thing. If the show itself doesn’t give that away, than the “clank” of the beer bottle being set down on the computer desk will.
The Feed by Libsyn – This is a show put out by media hosting company Libsyn that gives tips on using the service, podcasting news updates, and stats and trends from their platform. This is a show that I will sometimes listen to if I’m in an analytic frame of mind, but I’m not a regular listener.
Game On by MMORPG.com – I co-host this podcast and we talk about MMO and game related news and give our opinions about the various happenings in the industry.
Couch Podtatoes – I only catch about every other episode of CP, mainly because Izlain is just so darn consistent about getting it out every week and I try to vary my listening habits slightly. When I do listen, I find that I enjoy a lot of the topics that Izzy and Eri dare to tackle. No topic or view is too controversial, and I admire that boldness. Equally interesting is when Doone or another guest joins the show and things get philosophical. Couch Podtatoes is a member of TGEN.
Bel Folks Stuff – While Bel’s AggroChat often feels out of my league, I thoroughly enjoy his other show, Bel Folks Stuff. While this show is not consistently released, I feel that Bel does a fantastic job interviewing his guests and bringing the human element into the hobbies of gaming, blogging and podcasting. This is one of those shows that I wish was released more often!
Guild Wars Players News – This podcast was started by some of my friends who I used to podcast with on LOTRO Players once they moved to Guild Wars 2. I enjoyed the early episodes, but kind of faded away when I stopped playing GW2. Recently, it’s been announced that the show will be re-vamped with new hosts (one of whom I know to be an excellent podcaster), so I might still pop in from time to time to see how things are going!
Serial – The sensation that thrust podcasting into the limelight last year from NPR Chicago. I had to see what all the fuss was about. And you know what? It’s pretty darn good. Season 1 took us through a questionable case involving a 1999 murder conviction. Serial uses solid storytelling and numerous sound bytes from people involved in the case as reporter Sarah Koenig plays private investigator through a drama that never really concludes. If nothing else, Serial shows us the potential for using podcasting to tell a persuasive story over a number of closely tied episodes. Oh yeah, and a large crew and NPR budget help, too.
Return of the Retro – My friend Randark does a neat little show focusing on retro gaming. I remember some of the “old school” days of video gaming and enjoy the concept of a retro focused podcast. In some of the shows, the game is described while being played (for the live Twitch viewers) but I only pull the audio version.
This American Life – Another of NPR’s creations, TAL is a weekly podcast that picks a topic and tells a story (or multiple stories) relating to that topic. I enjoy that they (as in Serial) do a nice job of injecting the human aspect into a sometimes politically charged topic. At times, I do detect the intentional liberal slant that I’ve heard some folks complain about, but typically I think Ira Glass does a nice job of giving equal time to highly charged topics. It’s really the human stories that attract me to this show.
Massively OP Podcast – Yet another MMO news podcast in my feed, this one from the folks over at MassivelyOP.com. I like how knowledgeable the hosts are on gaming related topics and how they balance this knowledge with well-grounded opinions, whether they be positive or negative. This is not a hype everything show, nor is it a bash everything show. I feel that the honesty and humor of the hosts carries each and every episode.
How is This Movie? – One of the more recent additions to TGEN, film enthusiast Dana Buckler takes us behind the scenes of his favorite movies and franchises. One thing I really like about this show is that not only does Dana tell us about the movies themselves, but he provides us with many personal stories detailing his experiences with the film at hand. In this way, each episode is nicely framed within a place/time context that helps us to understand why Dana feels the way he does about the films.
The Secret History of Hollywood – Thanks to Roger Edwards for turning me on to this show. It is incredible in it’s depth and research. It details films and Hollywood from the “golden era” and takes us down many side streets while slowly meandering through the main topic of conversation. And I do mean slowly. The latest episode clocks in at 297 minutes. Luckily, the episodes are released several months apart, which is good because it’ll probably take that long to get through the previous episode. But make no mistake, the quality is there. I liken it to a Ken Burns documentary, focusing on a single subject but unearthing various side stories along the way, each one eventually intertwining back into the main topic.
Burton and Scrooge – Speaking of Mr. Edwards, his new show, which is definitely NOT Contains Moderate Peril, but which uses the same hosts, voiceover artist, transition music, and demeanor as Contains Moderate Peril did, is another of my favorite weekly podcasts. Roger and Brian delve into gaming and entertainment topics in a humorous and sometimes curmudgeonly fashion. The biggest difference is that they now tell the audience to “sod off” with increasing regularity. Always a glutton for punishment, I make sure to listen every week. Burton and Scrooge is a member of TGEN
The MMO Show – Another MMO gaming show that focuses on weekly news and opinions from the hosts who always happily provide information on their beverage of choice. The glue for this show is the hosts. They’ve played together for years and even meet up in real life for leisure and planning activities. The chemistry shines through in this weekly offering. They’re (still) gaming as life allows!
The Tolkien Professor – Corey Olsen, David Kale and Trish Lambert host various shows through this feed, including the recently concluded Riddles in the Dark, where hosts and audience members tried to guess the direction that Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films would take upon adaptation. More recently, these three have launched a “Silmfilm” project, where they’re laying out their own plans for a (pretend) film/TV series adaptation of Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. Dr. Olsen is the ideal host for this podcast considering it takes both knowledge and a sense of humor when dealing with a fandom this intense!
Whew! That list was much longer than I thought it would be. See anything that interests you? I’d encourage you to give it a listen! There’s Plenty of podcasting goodness out there if you know where to look.
microphone by SparkCBC on Flickr Creative Commons