I have a 45 minute commute which takes place on public transport. There is not enough music in the world to make this ok. As a result I turn to facts and people who tell me about them.
'Podcast' is really just another name for 'audio file' - you don't need to have an iPod, you can play the file on your computer. The big deal is that you can subscribe to a Podcast and the latest episodes are downloaded automatically so it becomes more like a TiVo/Foxtel iQ situation.
The rise of Cable TV in the US opened the playing field for independents by lowering the barriers to entry of producing and distributing a TV show. Suddenly there were hundreds more channels with not much on them. The internet combined with increasingly sophisticated consumer broadcast technology has meant that it has never been easier to have your own online 'channel' (see RK's YouTube post). So there is a lot more mediocrity on its way (again, see YouTube).
The important difference here is that the Internet is a la carte. Timeshifting and aggregation are native to the online environment. So where cable lies groaning* under the weight of mediocre shows, the internet makes it possible to see only the diamonds in the rough by filtering out all the amateur detritus.
In that spirit, here are my recommendations:
- triplej's Hack Daily (no need for smh.com)
- Andrew Denton - Enough Rope (it's great to be able to pick the interviews you want when you want)
- Stanford School of Engineering - Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders (some really interesting people talk about their careers)
- Adam Kempenar, Sam Van Halgren - Filmspotting (The best + least pretentious podcast about film)
- The Economist (some sound quality + programming issues but getting better)
- The Ricky Gervais Podcast (only if you're a fan)
- TVO Canada - Big Ideas (requires further filtering to find the good lectures but listen to Jessica Stern on Terrorism)
- Lars Brownworth - 12 Byzantine Rulers: The History of the Byzantine Empire (History's 'other' empire)
Any Disco members who share my commuting pain and podcast love, let me know what you're listening to...