Podcasts have changed the way I consume media. Until about a year ago, I used to listen to radio on and off throughout the day, mostly news and talk channels. Then I discovered tech podcasts. Now I get the news first thing in the morning on the radio and that’s about it. Why? Well with podcasts you can listen to what you want, when and where you want. You can pause it, replay it, or fast forward through an item or ads you aren’t interested in.
Another big plus is that if you have a tech query and you can’t find an answer on a forum, many podcasters are happy to try to answer questions if you email them. Very often they will read out your email if they think that other listeners can help. If you have a suggestion or a show topic they’ll be delighted to receive them, or drop them an audio message for example as an mp3 attachment to your email. Very often they’ll play it. Not like radio at all!
Podcasts are real easy to download. I use podcatching software called Ziepod. You could also use Juice or iTunes. Then I copy the files over to my trusty Samsung YP-Z5 1GB mp3 player. Ziepod is one of my essential applications. I’ll mention more in later posts.
So, what do I listen to? Well, I’ve already mentioned three tech podcasts in my second post but here’s a complete list with a little info about each one. I’ll start with the unmissables:
Mike Tech Show: Going since March 2005, this show covers tips, tricks, cool sites and software. Mike has a great aura of enthusiasm for all things tech. He talks clearly and explains things well. The podcast archives and show notes are a terrific resource.
The Knightcast: Knightwise has developed the knack of recording a podcast on his daily commute. I’ve no idea what other road users think as they pass this guy seemingly talking to himself in his car! Living on the edge of real and cyberspace, Knightwise concentrates on making tech work for you. He’s clearly an expert on networking, security, virtualization and Linux. Great podcast and excellent music. I’ve discovered many new artists through the Knightcast.
The Aussie Geek Podcast: What can I say. For me this is probably the best all-round tech podcast. The hosts have brought their wealth of experience gained doing the Global Geek Podcast to this new labour of love. Covering tech news, applications, sites and services, the Word from the Wise (a weekly rant from Knightwise; brilliant) and listener feedback, I look forward to this show every week. Great banter between the hosts Dave, Cait and Keith, language aplenty as they make their points and always some new site or app to check out after they finish. Highly recommended!
Podnutz: Started around March this year, Podnutz and Podnutz Daily are THE podcasts for PC troubleshooting, and setting up a PC and laptop repair business. On Podnutz, Steve has a different guest each week, although his solo show on computer repair was really instructive. I’m not a technician, but I’ve learned so much from this one on how to stay out of trouble and what to do if things go wrong. Highlights for me so far were the shows with Carey Holzman and Scott Mueller.
Podnutz Daily: When I heard he was starting a daily show as well as the weekly, I thought to myself this guy must have great energy and I just hope he doesn’t overdo it. However, Steve’s pulled it off brilliantly. He clearly has the podcasting bug. There’s a live TV link while he does the podcast. He covers the repairs he has done throughout that day. Again a great resource for anyone interested in PC troubleshooting and repairs. CitizenX has done a terrific job on the show notes recently so this should be another useful resource for troubleshooting.
This Week in Tech: TWIT is one of the first shows I listen to each week to hear the latest from the tech world. I don’t think Messrs Laporte, Dvorak and Norton need any introduction. A different panel each week, always topical, lively debate and often very funny. I’m one of the listeners who happen to enjoy Jason Calacanis’ appearances.
PC Mag Radio: This really is a great show. I enjoy the banter between Robyn, Sascha, Lance and Co. Great source of info on new hardware developments, phones, applications, etc.
Windows Weekly: Leo and Paul Thurrott discuss the latest developments in the Windows/Microsoft arena, phones, internet TV and anything else tech that takes their fancy. Paul really knows his stuff. What he doesn’t know about Windows isn’t worth mentioning!
Net at Night: Leo and Amber McArthur look at some new sites on the Internet. Always very entertaining and usually they uncover a new app or service worth checking out.
PC Mechanic: Dave gives a quick resume of a couple of important tech issues. Short but well worth a listen.
Alternageek: Linuxchic and Techmonkey with their insightful look at recent tech news, social networking, cell phones, etc. One for the geek. Some of the stuff goes over my head but very good all the same.
WNYCs RadioLab: Wow! Thanks to Download Squad for mentioning this one on their blog earlier this year. This podcast will really get you thinking. Since I’ve been listening they’ve covered: songs which you can’t get out of your head, the infinite universe, genetic engineering, shopping malls, deception, and a brilliant cellist called Zoe Keating, all in great audio with intriguing sound effects. Really thought provoking stuff and well crafted. You must try this one!
Going Linux: Now that I’ve managed to get Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex to see my network, I’ve just started listening to the Going Linux podcast. Just the thing for anyone using Windows who is considering learning about or moving to Linux. I’m going though all the archived shows at the moment.
Now to the shows I catch when I can:
Geek News Central: Todd’s take on tech. One of the first tech podcasters and clearly very good at it. I just can’t fit in the two shows a week though so I listen when I can.
boagworld: Unbelievably the only UK podcast in my top tech shows. Website design. Again mostly way over my head, but they do have some items of interest to me.
The Tech Guy: Podcast from Leo’s weekend radio shows. Everything from PC troubleshooting, phones, TVs, DVD, home theatre to digital photography. Big plus here is that he drops the radio ad breaks from the podcast.
Computer America: Carey Holzman must be the most clued up guy I know when it comes to Windows troubleshooting. I try and grab the Friday shows especially when Scott Moulton (data recovery) or Scott Mueller (PC troubleshooting/repair) are on. Big minus here is that they don’t drop the radio ad breaks from the podcasts. But I guess someone has to pay Carey and Craig’s wages.
Cranky Geeks: Just as the title says. Well worth dropping in on.
A lot of work goes into producing these podcasts and show notes, by dedicated geeks very often in their spare time. Many of them are frontrunners in the tech field and have a wealth of information to pass on. Guys, I really appreciate what you’re doing.
Have I missed any you like? I’d love to hear your top tech podcasts. Drop us a comment with your picks.
Last edited: 17th November 2008