Monday, March 16, 2009

Some of Bingorage's Fave Podcasts and Related Advice for Curmudgeons and Audio Cheapskates

Before I get to my list of -and comments about particular- pocasts, I would like to discuss a few general points about the whole podcast thingie (Technical term; do not try at home). {Update, March 17: Most of the following suggestions contain some adult content. Check with podcast info page, if this is a concern.}[Pics click to enlarge.]

Bingorage. Broken Vulture Art. My broke-ass mp3 player.

First of all; I don't really listen to music on my Mp3 player anymore. There are so many fascinating, educational and entertaining free podcasts and audiobooks available in almost every subject area, that I can listen to several somethings new every day. I prefer to do this and think about what I hear, rather than listen to the same tunes over and over as a means of tranquilising my mind and making my life pass by faster.

Secondly; I do not ipod, or itune. Its an expensive way to go and its increasingly crippled by DRM malware. The proprietary M4p format of the itunes store prevents me from listening to Apple's content on my regular Mp3 player [I know, I know; Mp3 is also a proprietary format and Ogg Vorbis is the way to go. Ogg is not very widespread for media distribution, yet, and the hardware is not locally available. So, pphhbbbltltlt.]
I cannot even play the free itunes podcast content
on my player. I only paid 30 bucks for the new one. That's it; 30 Bones! Even the new ipod shuffle (4GB) can set you back a hundred bucks and ,maybe, saddle you with DRM-restricted headphones.
My last player cost $20 and I'd still be using its busted-ass, battery compartment coverless, worn-button shabbiness if the headphone jack hadn't gone wonky [Still doubles as 512 MB USB flashdrive.]{Update, March 17: Good news! The headphones were busted, my old player -seen in pics- still works!}. My current player holds 4GB, which is never filled. When I finish listening to a podcast or audiobook, it gets deleted (Unless it may be used as source material, then it gets archived on a hard drive.).

Bingorage. Broken Vulture Art. My broke-ass mp3 player.

Third; I listen to free content and I pay for free content. Wait... what?
Just because I choose not to give my pittance of a disposable income to a big corporation doesn't mean that I do not pay for quality content. I have a paypal account in which I put $20 bucks or so a month, then send $5- $10 bucks to a rotation of worthy and meaningful content producers. Everyone should do this; even the rest of you audio cheapskates. People driving BMW's (and up), eating at nice restaurants weekly, spending Over $300/month at the bar, etcetera... You should put out $80+ a month.

Four; Interact with the podcast community. Like that short sci-fi story? Leave a comment on the blog... check back later, for responses (no flamey, you), enjoy human contact. Rinse, repeat.

Five; If you must listen to music, get it from someone who gives their own away for free (Not the same as "pirated".) and then give them money.

Six; if you have no idea what a podcast is or how to get one... here's what: A podcast is just like a radio show, except that it is downloaded at any time and available for listening, on demand. The topic variety is as wide as the whole internet; whatever your interests, there should be a podcast out there, for you.
Audio can be stored and played in a variety of file formats, but the most common are Mp3, M4p, WMA, WAV and OGG. Non-ipod portable media players usually use Mp3 or WMA formats. If you listen to podcasts on your computer, most media players can read a variety of formats. A good, free media player is VLC.
I prefer to build a list of podcast sites in my browser's Bookmarks/Favourites folder, accessible on the toolbar. You may choose to use a podcatcher, which is a small program that keeps track of your chosen podcast feeds for new content. Look at podcatchers, here.
To download your podcast, go to the podcast website, find the posting for the desired podcast and find the "download link", usually marked as "download", "direct download" or -occasionally- linked to a small icon. Right click the link, choose "save target/link as" and choose a folder to save it in. I set up a Podcast folder, with month/year subfolders, to save my podcasts to.


Sci-Fi / Pulp / Speculative / Genre Fiction:

*Escape Pod - Science Fiction Podcast Magazine []
*Pseudopod - Horror Fiction Podcast Magazine []
*PodCastle - Fantasy Fiction Podcast []
Great trio of podcasts put out by "Escape Artists". I love to send them money.

*Well-Told Tales - Pulp Fiction Podcast []

*Scott Sigler - Horror author, podcast novelist []
The Future Dark Overlord of the Earth and "World's Most Consistent Podcaster" for the last thirty years.

*Spider Robinson On The Web - SciFi author / musician []
Great sci-fi author and wonderful narration voice.

*Variant Frequencies - Great genre fiction []
High quality audio performances, terrific writing.

*SFF Audio - Sci-Fi reviews and aggregator []

*Starship Sofa - Audio Fiction magazine []

*Darker projects - a "darker audio drama company" []
Great original and fanfic series to listen to.

*Free Reads; James Patrick Kelly - Sci-fi author []

*The Metamor City Podcast []
A new take on Fantasy, with adult themes and great cast performances.

*Clonepod - Sci-fi []

*Decoder Ring Theater "audio drama in the classic style" []
Great radio theatre in the old-school style. Private eyes, masked heroes and Star commanders.

*One Eighteen: Migration []
Great "zombie apocalypse" fiction with an expanding world.

*CrimeWAV - Crime short fiction []
Great "crime fiction" podcast, many authors reading their own material.

*Transmissions from Beyond []

*Seth Harwood - Crime fiction author []
Author of the brilliant "Jack Wakes Up", first book in the (current) Jack Palms trilogy.

*Basil Sands, Extreme Fiction []

*365 Tomorrows []

Science / Skeptic:

*The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe & Skeptics 5x5 []
The skeptical 'rogues' of the New England Skeptic Society bring us amusement, education and reason. Adult content in some of the "Guide" series, 5x5 is child-safe.

*The Infidel Guy []

*Point of Inquiry []
Wide-ranging and balanced interviews, with scientists, philosophers and important skeptics.

Skeptoid []
Short, informative and entertaining skeptical exposes of pop culture.

*The Naked Scientists []

*Astronomycast []
I love this brainy astronomer with a sexy voice.

*Skepticality []

*The Geologic Podcast []
Hilarious musician and skeptic, George Hrab. His voice talent is incredible, tremendous range of characters and expression.

*Soccergirl, Incorporated []
Sexy, fun, musical skeptic. One of the longest-running podcasts in the universe.

*David Suzuki Foundation []

*The 365 Days of Astronomy - Podcast of the International year of Astronomy []
One of the great bonuses of 2009; A new astronomy podcast every day.


*Historyzine []

*Military History Podcast []

*Dan Carlin - 'Common Sense' and 'Hardcore History' []
This Dan Carlin guy is a new discovery of mine; I wish that I had found him sooner. His "common sense" podcast provides a great perspective on current political drift (mostly in the USA). His "hardcore history" podcast is entertaining and informative as well. What really makes this podcast riveting is his narrative delivery; compelling and lucid.

Art & Culture:

*Changesurfer Radio - Ethics, emerging technologies and transhumanism []

*Tricycle - The Buddhist Review []

*Long Now Foundation - Seminars About Long Term Thinking []

*Smodcast - Humour []
One of my most favourite podcasts. The Smod is delivered by Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier, the writer/director and producer of the Clerks/Mallrats/Dogma/Jay and Silent Bob movies and more. Kevin is a brilliant speaker whose mind tends to ramble and drag you into places you would not otherwise find yourself... and that's OK (If you don't have too many hangups, body issues, identity confusion, etcetera. Just kidding, it's great therapy. Update, March 17: Oh Yeah; I just listened to the new Smod and figured that I should mention... ADULT CONTENT!! Okay; keep reading

*Big Ideas []
Great lectures on a wide variety of topics.

*Out Of The Past - Investigating Film Noir []
The two hosts choose a movie from the extended library of classic and new Film Noir, then critique it in the light of Noir's: visual style, repeating themes (like loyalty and betrayal), stylised dialogue and the coded meaning of set and landscape. Very cool; puts old movies into new perspective.

*Philosophy Bites []

*The Urban Shooter - responsible "urban" gun ownership []
Kenn Blanchard is a "Black Man With a Gun"; and he's not afraid to tell you about it. Responsible gun ownership, safe firearm instruction and navigation of firearm laws.

*The Kick Ass Mystic Ninjas - Reviewing "old school" sci-fi and fantasy []

*Nobilis Erotica []
Very adult podcast; Nobilis' own works and invited authors.

*This American Life []

*The New yorker fiction podcast []

*CBC Radio podcasts - Arts, culture, variety []
Just about everything available on this page, from CBC. The archive is not infinite, however, so check back often, or "set up an RSS feed" (google that phrase).

*Ask Mr. Biggs []
Very funny faux call-in show, recycling actual calls from other shows then setting them in a new context.

*Democracy Now - underreported news []
Some of the best reporting, that you won't see or hear on the major networks. Amy Goodman still gets arrested while covering stories; something the talking heads would never let happen to them.

*Open Culture - "best free cultural & educational media..." []

*Notes From The Psychedelic Salon []
Have you ever heard a story or long musing from Terence McKenna? You don't know who Terence is? You need to listen to the things he has to say, even if you don't believe him. Other lecturers available, as well.

*Sentient Developments []
Great, infrequent transhumanist podcast. Well written, with great music. Sign up and bug George to podcast more often.

*Internet Archive; Old Time Radio []
You want to hear Philip Marlowe adventures? Amos and Andy? Groucho Marx? This place got it all... I show you.

Audiobook collections:

*Podiobooks - Podcast novel aggregator []

*Librivox - Public domain audiobook literature []


*Raving Native Radio []

*Angry Indian radio []

*Censored News Blog Radio []

*AIROS audio []
Most consistent of the Native podcast producers, so far. If you know others, let me know.

If this was helpful and lead you to some great new entertainment, let people know about. Post at Stumble, Digg, etc. Thanks.


Mr. Biggs said...

Hey! Thanks for the plug!

I look forward to checking out many of the other podcasts you listed.

I wish everyone would, at least once in their lives, compile a list of the podcasts they deem worthy. I find browsing the content of others' playlists a fascinating journey.


Hoka-shay-honaqut said...

Thank you, Mr. Biggs.


Unknown said...

Thank you so much for the plug for Variant Frequencies.

Wow, how do you find time for so many podcasts! That is a great list.


Hoka-shay-honaqut said...

Thanks for stopping by, Rick Stringer. Love the Variant Frequencies. I make extra time for podcast listening, by taping a cat to my leg and walking into work and claiming that it's a growth and I need time off.

Unknown said...

Many thanks for mentioning Historyzine. That's a fine list of podcasts you have there and I'm honoured to be part of it.
Also thanks for mentioning the wonderful Librivox. There are many gems among their collection.
Smodcast is a particular favourite of mine also. Sometimes I squirm a little, especially when he's being perhaps a little too self pitying on the small manhood, large stomach front. Most of the time tho' he's wonderfully inventive and just good fun. Scott is a wonderful foil for Kevin and also inventive in his own right.
For other History podcasts other than those you mention I would recommend TPN Napoleon 101 and the BBC production, hosted by Melvyn Bragg, In Our Time.