I was going to get around to doing this eventually, but since Lee requested it I bumped it to the top of my schedule.
This is part of the same series as my recent YouTube article. Just like that was a roundup of the best channels on YouTube, this is a roundup of the best Podcasts I am subscribed to.
Note: I get every single one of these Podcasts through iTunes, you can get podcasts on iTunes by searching for them on the iTunes store. If you don’t like iTunes there are a few other ways of getting access to the shows. You can go directly to the relevant website and download the mp3 directly or you can find some software (known as podcatchers) that will help you manage your subscriptions.
If you have an iPod then iTunes is your best option. The main reason for this is that iTunes will allow you to set things up so that your iPod always has the most recent episodes of a podcast, or just the ones you haven’t listened to or whatever you like. Furthermore you can set iTunes so that it automatically deletes an episode once you’re done listening to it.
The Morning Stream
This podcast is released every day Monday through Thursday. You can catch it live here around 4 or 5pm (the hosts live in America so 4pm here is 9am where they live). Alternatively you can subscribe to the show and listen to it whenever you have the time. The show is very entertaining, the hosts are very professional (they both do this for a living) and they are supported by a range of guest hosts and live callers. The show is one of the only ones on this list that doesn’t cover a specific topic. The hosts describe it as simply a morning show and I’ve heard them talk about everything from Skyrim to Presidential elections to the Oscars to supposed Bigfoot sightings. The best advice that I can give you is to download an episode and give it a listen.
Oh and if you’re confused about the clip at the start of the show, they get dumb adds from the 70s and 80s and play them at the top of every show.
3.5 Private Sanctuary
This one is a sneaky way for me to recommend two podcasts at once. The 3.5 Private sanctuary feed on iTunes contains two shows 3.5 Private Sanctuary and Know Direction. Both Podcasts are about the Pathfinder roleplaying game, though they also discuss various RPG topics that aren’t system specific. My favourite part of this show is that they have recordings of seminars given at Paizocon and Gencon from the last two years, and those were some of the most informative things I have ever heard with regards roleplaying games. The shows can both be found at 35privatesanctuary.com.
There is one thing I feel I should point out. My choice of d&d podcast would have been the official Wizards of the Coast podcast. Unfortunately they haven’t recorded a new episode since June last year, so I didn’t want to recommend a show that might be dead. However, the episodes are still on the website and on iTunes and there is some really good 4th edition stuff on there, so if you’d rather hear about 4th edition than Pathfinder check out here or search “Dungeons and Dragons Podcast” on iTunes.
This show has, from time to time, been the world’s most popular podcast. The Instance started out as a World of Warcraft podcast, but with the release of Star Wars: The Old Republic they have branched out and created a show covering that as well. You would imagine that a show about something like World of Warcraft would be uninteresting to someone who doesn’t play the game. However they get a remarkable number of emails from people who don’t play the game, or used to play and don’t anymore, and I can attest that the show is very entertaining to anyone with any interest in video games (The Instance was actually one of the things that persuaded me to give WoW a try in the first place). You can find the WoW version of the podcast at theinstance.net and the Star Wars version at theinstance.net/tor and both are on iTunes.
This is supposedly a video games podcast, but I think “three hosts rambling” would be a more apt description. Nonetheless this show is very entertaining, particularly when the hosts get derailed and start rambling about some random topic. Go check out www.nitpixels.com or – for the same hosts in a slightly more focused format – check out The WoW Insider Show or The Holocomm Podcast where the same hosts talk about World of Warcraft and Star Wars: The Old Republic respectively.
This is ostensibly a podcast about films. Unlike most podcasts about films (such as The Movielicious) this podcast is not about current, popular or worthwhile films. They describe it best themselves: “Each week, the FilmSack crew picks a strange movie from the bowels of Netflix streaming and splatters it all over your inner ear. Sometimes it’s a long forgotten horror movie from the 70′. Sometimes it’s a under the radar gem of brilliance from last year. One way or the other, this is not your typical movie show.” This show is one of the only places where you’ll see Howard the Duck, The Wrath of Kahn, and Lethal Weapon 2 discussed side by side. This is a great podcast. The shows about films you’ve seen are usually the most enjoyable (their episode on Flash Gordon made me burst out laughing on a public bus) but I’ve listened to them discuss many I’ve only ever heard of (like The Fly) and had just as much fun.
That rounds out my top 5 podcasts. Those of you who go check out a few of the podcasts here may notice the same hosts showing up in several places. That’s because many of the shows I like best are from Scott Johnson’s Frogpants Studios. You can find a lot more shows on that website including some that very nearly made this list.
I’ll finish by pointing out two last podcasts. These are podcasts that didn’t make the list for reasons other than how good they are.
First Critical Hit is a D&D actual play podcast (meaning they record themselves playing the game). This show is really professionally done and entertaining (I can’t imagine us remaining focused at D&D the way these guys do). The reason it didn’t make the list is that I skip over the combat sections of the episodes and if someone was to start listening to the show today it might take an episode or two to catch up with what the story is (although they might do a recap episode soon since they just finished a campaign arc).
Nonetheless this show is worth a listen, it was one of the major factors that made me want to get into D&D. Furthermore I have stolen ideas from this show quite liberally, so some of you might spot my sources of inspiration if you listen closely.
The second (and final) show on the list is Coverville. This is a podcast all about cover songs. Each episode features around 10 covers, usually tied to a particular theme e.g. 10 covers of U2 songs. The reason this isn’t in my top 5 is that I don’t subscribe to this show, I just pick out the episodes I think I’ll like and download those. Nonetheless, I’ve enjoyed this show quite a bit and you might too.
I hope you find something on this list that you like. I don’t know how I’d cope with 4 hour bus journeys without some of these shows. Please get back to me and tell me if you liked any of these shows.