What’s Your Favourite Podcast?

I have requirements for about three hours worth of podcasts each week, because that’s the total amount of time I’m at the gym. Unfortunately, my current carefully-selected list of podcasts always falls a little short of three hours. Here’s what I listen to religiously:

In the right mood, I’ll also listen to the CBC’s Best of Ideas and a short story by Cory Doctorow. I also used to enjoy the audio version of Ebert and Roeper’s show, but that’s apparently gone AWOL.

Looking down the list, I’m clearly predisposed to professionally-produced, scripted monologues.

What’s your favourite podcast? Here I am now, entertain me.


  1. Ooh! I’d have to say This American Life with Ira Glass, and Theory of Everything with Benjamin Walker (before it went on haitus). Then I suppose the basic NPR podcasts, Daily Breakfast and I’ll round off the list with The Crazy Canucks or RadioZoom (shameless plug :-P)

  2. Oh, I forgot to mention, if you’re planning on checking out Buddhism sometime (you’ve mentioned it before), Zencast is a great way to go. I’ve been really enjoying them.

  3. Give it up for CBC Radio 3! It streams well through ITunes while I’m working but the 1 hr podcast gets me up to date on good rocking CDN tunes.

    Also, I’ve always been a fan of the Chris Moyles show on BBC Radio 1. Too much trouble to listen to his show at work online but the weekly 1/2 hr podcast makes me laugh.

  4. I agree on The Sniffer, plus Tod Maffin’s Todbits. Short, funny, and informative. And Canadian, of course. If you enjoy NSFW, Mondays (featuring Vancouver’s Richard Campbell and a bunch of Americans) is hilarious, though very spotty in its released schedule these days.

    IT Conversations can be overwhelming, but if you cherry pick there are so very many good things in it. NOVA podcasts are also short and good.

  5. ‘This Week In Tech ‘with Leo Laporte & Friends at http://www.twit.tv is my top favorite.

    Actually I listen to most of their offerings including ‘MacBreak Weekly’, ‘The iLife Zone’ and Leo’s ‘KFI Podcast’ of his weekly-soon to be syndicated-Los Angeles based Saturday and Sunday high tech call-in radio show.

    Leo prefers to call them ‘Netcasts’ though as to avoid succumbing to Apple’s proprietorship of the term ‘Pod’.

    I do like Derek K.’s ‘Inside Home Recording’ as well.


  6. Darren,

    I totally didn’t expect to see a post from you asking for readers to share their favorite podcasts. The other week I was checking out some of your previous posts on podcasting:

    You said,

    “I’m skeptical about podcasting. I’m skeptical about who’s doing it, who’s going to do it, and who’s going to listen to it. In short, I don’t think podcasting is going to get very far into the mainstream.”

    “I wrote the piece to debunk some of the hype around podcasting, and to articulate my reasons for not being particularly excited by the format. As often happens with these things, I became a bit of a podcasting antichrist, when really I was just “skeptical about who’s doing it, who’s going to do it, and who’s going to listen to it”.”

    “My opinion hasn’t changed–I still think the phenomenon is over-hyped and destined to suffer fate of FM radio–but I’ve appreciated the range of opinions that I’ve heard.”

    What changed your mind about podcasting? What “converted” you?

    I produce a podcast on technical writing — Tech Writer Voices. It’s a podcast specifically for technical writers.

    In the sidebar of the Tech Writer Voices site I list some of the podcasts I listen to. I need to update that list a bit.

    I previously wrote a post on my blog, http://www.idratherbewriting.com, listing some of my favorites.

  7. I like to listen to BBC’s documentary archive and though its not everyone’s taste the Chris Moyles Show from BBC1. I also listen to most of the CBC podcasts as well.

  8. Tom: If you go back and read that whole post again, you’ll see that I’m responding to the hype around podcasting. In fact, later on in that post I say:

    “Of course, if all that podcasting really achieves is providing eager listeners with time shifted content, then that’s a great victory.”

    I never say anything about my personal listening habits.

    This is one of my frustrations with this blogging medium. If I write criticizing one aspect of a particular thing, you tend to get pigeon-holed as unilaterally opposed to the entire thing. That’s why I started my post about ‘Get a First Life’ with “I’m not a Second Life hater”, to try to mitigate that effect.

    Truth be told, though, I obviously haven’t been converted to listen to everyman and woman podcasts the way I read a broad variety of blogs. The podcasts I do listen to are all professionally produced. I’ve tried other ones, but they haven’t stuck.

  9. I know your love of movies, and NPR does a roundup of their movie casts each Friday. I also love the NPR Sunday puzzle and NPR’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me podcast. Though, since it’s often about American politiccs, it might not be so interesting. But it’s high-larry-us.

  10. Thanks for clarifying. Sorry for misinterpreting your thoughts from your previous post. I did just go back and read it. I saw something else that caught my attention:

    “However, nobody (or very few) learns how to be a radio broadcaster. Like it or not, that takes ability, practice and, ideally, a great voice.”

    I agree with much of what you say, particularly about audio quality, professional production, etc. But taken to the extreme, I am not sure that the majority of listeners want slick radio broadcaster personas; I personally prefer the authentic, real person. If that realness results in mumbling and long silence, I agree that it won’t fly. However, one of my favorite podcasts, the WordPress podcast, is done by amateurs, and I love it. I love that the people seem real.

    Right now, many podcasters are using Skype, and there’s only so much quality you can get from that. Still, if it’s about a topic I’m interested in, I’ll listen. In contrast, I often skip past professionally produced podcasts that seem irrelevant to me. I like Leo Laporte’s voice in TWIT (This Week in Tech), but I also think it’s very much like the radio broadcaster type voice.

    One podcast that I really like is the David Pogue NY Times podcast.

    Thanks for all your great posts.

  11. Tom: No worries, it’s a common phenomenon. In truth, the professionalism isn’t so much about the vocal quality. That does matter, but it’s more about being well organized, staying on topic and delivering content that I find entertaining, compelling and valuable. I don’t want to hear people ramble, or scramble for something to say. It’s also about reliability–I’m a creature of habit, so I want a similar structure and length from show to show.

    I’m also worried about this Scoble-powered ethos of non-editing. Since when did editing become a crime?

    Those are just my preferences, obviously, and happily there’s plenty of people who have different ones.

  12. Like Julien, I also produce a podcast and I also suggest The Evil Genius Chronicles. It is a well produced monologue, but it isn’t scripted. Another great podcast is the one that Julien does but didn’t self-promote, it is called In Over Your Head.

    Both of these podcasts do a great job of entertaining, educating and just flat out making you think.

  13. I love Return to Sender. It’s very very funny and the (two) hosts are great. I would recommend that any day.

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