Sunday, 14 September 2008

Good and bad podcasts

Until now, I have never been much of an iPod user. Although I have ears the size of a woolly mammoth, my actual earholes are too small to fit those new-fangled earbuds into. I have been forced to endure them for the last week because for the first time in nearly two decades, I am driving to work. The last time I had to drive to a place of employment was when I worked in a video shop whilst at Uni. Back then, which was the late 20th century, it took less than 10 minutes to make that drive. Now, my commute is 45 minutes on a good day and 90 on a bad one.

I will never wear headphones whilst on the bike - you need your ears to keep you out of danger.

For the first few days, I tried listening to the radio, but I spent so much time changing channels trying to find something interesting to listen to, I just about wore the buttons out. Then along came Father's Day, and my very own iPod (how is it that everyone else in the house that is over the age of 12 had an iPod before me?)

So, here is my list of stuff worth listening to, and that which is not.

Good - Counterpoint on the ABC, which features Michael Duffy. They put the last 4 weeks on line, and the 2 that I have listened to so far were good.

Mixed - Bath University. Some have been excellent, others have been utter duds. One was by a bloke that enunciated around 5 words per minute. Another was by a yank that insisted on reading a prepared speech, which sounded terrible. Even though the speakers were on the other side of the planet, and I couldn't see them, I could tell who was ad-libing to their slides and who was reading from a text. I hate boring speakers. The site is worth a look, but be prepared for mixed blessings.

This week, I am going to give a Tim Fischer talk on trains a go. It could be entertaining, or a very short lived feature in the memory of my iPod.

If you can suggest anything worth listening to, please leave a comment.


Anonymous said...

There's a good free-market economics podcast that is often very interesting, even for non-economists like me

With the elections coming up, American talk radio is quite good at the moment- good ones with free podcast downloads are "The John and Ken Show"- two guys in Los Angeles who seem to hate all political parties

Also "The Mark Levin Show"- he's a very republican-leaning guy but very funny when he gets worked up about Barack Obama and other Democrats

Anonymous said...

Shire Network News!
It's probably the best satirical conservative anglosphere political podcast.

Skeptoid is fun - for a short burst of skeptical investigation of popscience

TWiT: This week in tech can be interesting from time to time

EdPod - Australian education issues also features Duffy (from time to time)

There are plenty of others I listen to - I have the same allergy to free-to-air crap that you do, but I listen mostly to sci-fi podcasts. If you are interested I can recommend a few.