Podcasts, away!
April 27, 2012 8:57 AM   Subscribe

I've finally become interested in Podcasts. My tastes are under the fold, help me find more!

I've gone through iTunes and the old Podcast posts and picked some, and here are the ones I really like so far:

Science Friday
Stuff You Should Know
Retronauts (I downloaded Games, Dammit! as well but haven't yet listened to it.)
Rock, Paper, Shotcast
Roguelike Radio

What I'd like to listen to a podcast about:
  • Video games/board games/tabletop RPGs/etc. (the more inside-baseball/topically obscure, the better.)
  • Well-informed sci-tech news/history.
  • Explanations of things one generally does not happen upon (like Radiolab or Stuff You Should Know)
  • Non-contemporary film/television (basically I'm just trying to avoid spoilers.)
  • DIY electronics (I downloaded Make's podcast, just haven't listened to it yet)
  • UFOlogy/conspiracy theories/"X-Files is real" nonsense
Stuff I'm not particularly interested in listening to a podcast about:
  • Storytelling/fiction
  • This American Life-style journalism/"Human interest" stories
  • Music
  • Finance
  • Sports
  • News/Politics/General History
As far as the gaming stuff goes, I'm a bit particular. I basically want to avoid any "gamer culture" crap (not discussions of it, just the living embodiment) and rather listen to informed discussions about gaming history, developments, interviews with important people past and present. What I don't want is a bunch of dudes giggling about how there's a new game from Japan with a boob in it and then making a bunch of gay jokes.

I know Penny Arcade have a podcast, but unless they've grown a lot more tolerable than the last time I've tried listening to them, I'm good. I know Kotaku have one as well but I'm not fond of the culture around there either.

Thanks and let me know if I should clarify anything.
posted by griphus to Media & Arts (43 answers total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
Quirks & Quarks!

It's Canada's weekly national radio science show and it's been around for decades and is awesome.
posted by Cosine at 9:03 AM on April 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

How about comedy? I can recommend a bunch of those:
Pod F. Tompkast
Judge John Hodgman
You Look Nice Today / Roderick on the Line
How did this get made?
posted by modernserf at 9:03 AM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Hardcore History.
posted by Cosine at 9:03 AM on April 27, 2012

Take a listen to the Dork Forest, maybe. They cover a really wide variety of topics, but gaming/comics/other nerdery is in the forefront and it's definitely got an inside-baseball feel to it. The rest of the episodes tend towards the genre of "comics interviewing comics" which I'm not so fond of, but the episodes where she has on guests that are super into their particular hobbies (making tiny food out of clay, for example) are really interesting.
posted by backseatpilot at 9:07 AM on April 27, 2012

Start with Hypercritical, which is apple/tech news with some amount of obsessive game coverage included.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 9:07 AM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Explanations of things one generally does not happen upon
How To Do Everything

Well-informed sci-tech news/history
The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe
posted by ringu0 at 9:11 AM on April 27, 2012

Only 6 episodes were made, but A Life Well Wasted was a fun, complete video game podcast.
posted by MangyCarface at 9:11 AM on April 27, 2012 [3 favorites]

Indoor Kids (gaming; hosted by a comic/actor and his ex-therapist writer wife plus usually one guest, lots of good discussion)
99% Invisible (aspects of design you don't generally see, kind of in the audio style of Radiolab)

For your "The Truth Is Out There" needs, try the free version of Mysterious Universe and then go nuts on the massive Plus episodes if you dig it. I listen to it on and off to stockpile my Weird Shit Pantry for fiction purposes.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:12 AM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

I came in to mention "Quirks & Quarks", but saw that someone had beat me to it.

In terms of "explanations of things one generally does not happen upon", you might like certain episodes of In Our Time. Its purview is pretty broad, so you might have to pick and choose, but about 20-25% of the episodes are on some science-related topic (usually with an emphasis on the history of a subject.)
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:12 AM on April 27, 2012

I dig Indoor Kids and Rebel FM for videogames.

For movies I like Slashfilmcast and Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider and both are VERY serious about avoiding spoilers.
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 9:13 AM on April 27, 2012

It's a mix of contemporary and non-contemporary, but the The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith digs up some amazing chats from time to time.

As for RPGs... well, how Lovecrafty do you mind it being?
posted by Artw at 9:14 AM on April 27, 2012

(Just in case the answer is "very Lovecrafty", check this and this.)
posted by Artw at 9:17 AM on April 27, 2012

I don't really experience Lovecraft outside of the occasional game of Arkham Horror, but I'll give it a shot.
posted by griphus at 9:18 AM on April 27, 2012

If you like comedians talking about comedy with other comedians there are tons of choices, if that doesn't interest you then I think some of the very best podcasts, imho, would be of little interest to you.

Comedy & Everything Else
Pod F Tomcast
What's So Funny?
You Made it Weird
The Nerdist
lots more
posted by Cosine at 9:21 AM on April 27, 2012

How Did This Get Made?

3 host and a guest break down a different horrible movie each week, often the guest is someone connected to the movie.

The ep with Vanilla Ice helping them dissect Cool As Ice is pretty sweet.
posted by Cosine at 9:22 AM on April 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

My favorite podcasts are:

Giant Bomb - a weekly 2-3 hour gaming podcast. They cover new games they're playing, news, and other things. Very funny and often goes off topic
This is only a Test - weekly 2-3 hour technology podcast. Same style (used to be same company too) as Giant Bomb but for technology
Uhh Yeah Dude - weekly 1 hour comedy podcast. Two guys (no guests) talk about all kinds of strange things in America.
Complete Guide to Everything - similar to Uhh Yeah Dude, but a different style of humor
Grantland - I know you said you don't want sports, but it is a very varied look at sports/pop culture (Jalen Rose), television (Hollywood Prospectus) as well as sports
posted by Cloud King at 9:25 AM on April 27, 2012

It stopped being produced almost 3 years ago, and its a video podcast, but the 1 UP Show was one of the best videogame podcasts ever. In-depth commentary, mixed with a tiny bit of humor, along with some great debate. You can still go watch all the old episodes at the above link.

The Indoor Kids is quite good too. Husband and wife team discuss games and often do so with a guest. There is a little bit of giggling about boobs and such, but its done in a way thats more poking fun at the juvenile conception of gamers.

Weekend Confirmed with Garnett Lee (former employee of 1UP) is also pretty good and has decent in-depth look at games. Its also mature in the sense that there is very little "heh, boobs" talk.

As for non-games stuff, go to 5by5.tv and dive into any one of those. Most all are tech/apple related, if you're into that. The show Back to Work features Merlin Mann and is ostensibly about productivity in work place, but becomes about so, so much more.
posted by teriyaki_tornado at 9:26 AM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

I haven't listend to it myself (since I've been too busy with the fantastic The History of Rome) but the Freakonomics podcast has been recommended to me by several people.
posted by El_Marto at 9:26 AM on April 27, 2012

It's ostensably a comics podcast but War Rockety Ajax ciovers a ton of pop culture, particularly videogames. and wrestling, maybe too much wrestling.
posted by Artw at 9:28 AM on April 27, 2012

It doesn't get any more X-files hilarious than Mysterious Universe. Love how those guys veer wildly between total skepticism about the weirdest stuff to complete credulity about other things that are equally unlikely. Aussie accents a pleasant bonus. Hometown Tales might be a little bit storytelling-ish for you but they do also frequently include some bizarre X-files-y stuff as well. And of course there's always Coast to Coast AM, America's premiere repository of CRAAAAAAZY.

Radio 4's In Our Time is a panel show that covers a huge range of topics, but they do excellent podcasts on the history of scientific and mathematical concepts, as well as great biographies about historically significant people in those fields, and the range of time periods represented is staggering. Have a poke around in the archives, I think you'll like it. For super-entertaining science, it doesn't get a lot better than the Infinite Monkey Cage (whose new season should be starting soon, hooray!), or Startalk. More or Less is really good for a brief overview of statistics that you might hear thrown around in the news and what they actually mean. You might like TEDTalks, which can be downloaded as audio-only, although you'd probably need to do some picking and choosing to find the ones you're interested in.

Also, do you mean that you're not interested in listening to podcasts that are storytelling/fiction or that are about storytelling/fiction? Depending on what you mean, this may not apply to you, but I will recommend the Tolkien Professor's Faerie and Fantasy podcasted course anyway, because it's a really engaging, really nicely presented series on the evolution of the concept and writing of fantasy, which of course has a huge bearing on the evolution of tabletop gaming as well.

And lastly, because it's something we could all use a little education on, there's Sex Nerd Sandra.
posted by WidgetAlley at 9:29 AM on April 27, 2012 [3 favorites]

It's more Sci/Tech than gamey, but you should definitely try the CBC's Spark. They also post the full interviews they do with some of the guests as Spark Plus, I think.
posted by Kreiger at 10:11 AM on April 27, 2012

This Week in Google is pretty self-explanatory. Although it's not entirely about Google--they also cover whatever newsy tops are currently being discussed in the tech world.
posted by mcmile at 10:22 AM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

PRI's The World Technology podcast is one of the older and one of the best technology news podcasts around.

I would second/third/whatever Quirks and Quarks, which is one of the best popular science programs (radio, television or podcast) being made.
posted by jb at 11:00 AM on April 27, 2012

I am not at all interested in finance.

But -- I love the NPR Planet Money podcast. It often does for me the thing you mention -- explanations of things one generally does not happen upon. It's at least worth a shot.
posted by purpleclover at 11:03 AM on April 27, 2012

Shameless self plug: You might dig the FATCast. It's the podcast arm of the Fortress:AT website and we talk our way into the deep recesses of boardgaming nerdery along with other related topics like comics and video games. We usually interview game designers and publishers on most episodes as well. Mostly I just get drunk and make boner jokes though.
posted by teishu at 11:16 AM on April 27, 2012

You might take a look at some of the podcasts on the TWiT network. They're more tech than science for the most part. Tech News Today is pretty good, and there's already been a mention of This Week in Google. Be warned that This Week in Tech is gossipy and really only focuses on four big, popular tech companies. Still, lots of variety and lots of hosts. Worth checking out.
posted by cnc at 11:24 AM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

on the gaming front, ditto A Life Well Wasted
Brainy Gamer Podcast
posted by juv3nal at 11:35 AM on April 27, 2012

The original Stuff You Should Know podcast has some real gems -- as well as a few duds. But there's something like 4 years of episodes available, so you can pick and choose the ones that sound interesting.
posted by cgg at 11:36 AM on April 27, 2012

How about The Incomparable Podcast? One (nerdy) subject per week, with a rotating cast. Last weekend's was a little lame, but recent episodes were good and they covered scifi movie theme music, a TV-character draft (yeah, Skeletor!), an occasional book club, the DC comics reboot, and more.

The digressions are fantastic, and when there will be spoilers of anything, they let off "The Spoiler Horn" (a foghorn SFX).

posted by wenestvedt at 11:56 AM on April 27, 2012

Ideas not covered above (from my personal podcast backlog):

* The Retroist for your oldie tv shows / movies / games.
* The Dice Tower for board games and the like.
* The Guardian's Science Weekly for science news. Good complement to Quirks and Quarks.
* Selected episodes of Tank Riot. Their subjects range all over the place and at least the recent ones have been filled more with politics than what I would like. That being said, you would probably enjoy the conspiracy theory episodes (all 9 of them so far).
posted by RyanAdams at 12:29 PM on April 27, 2012

You might enjoy Role Playing Public Radio.

LoadingReadyRun does great geek humor and commentary videos, and they have a podcast.

Artw already linked to the Yog-Sothoth and Unspeakable Oath podcasts. If you like those and might want to venture over into accessible fiction, the next step from there would be H P Podcraft.
posted by JHarris at 3:26 PM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Funny English know-it-all podcast Answer Me This is pretty good, with wide ranging topics.
posted by thylacinthine at 5:10 PM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

BBC has some science podcasts – Click, Discovery and Science in Action are all pretty good wekly podcasts and seldom produce duds. There's also Material World which has OK topics but a kind of self-consciously goofy presenter that can be annoying. But if you can handle the Quirks and Quarks guy you might not mind him.
posted by zadcat at 6:58 PM on April 27, 2012

Went looking for a link to an interesting video board game podcast I remembered, came away with BoardGamePodcasts.com, a simple blog linking to a lot of different gaming podcasts. See also RPGPodcasts.com too.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:47 PM on April 27, 2012

not mentioned above
Naked Scientists
KUHF Engines of our Ingenuity
PRI to the best of our knowledge
Science Weekly from the Guardian
Sneaky Dragon
Stop Podcasting Yourself
posted by stuartmm at 7:05 AM on April 28, 2012

The Life Scientific by BBC is fabulous! Entertaining and inspiring interviews of excellent (and often famous) scientists.
posted by nemutdero at 7:14 PM on April 28, 2012

Tech News Today from TWIT with Tom Merritt
StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson
The Vergecast
Reporter's Roundtable from CNET with Rafe Needleman
posted by JaneL at 3:04 PM on April 29, 2012

Okay, I tried to mark off best answers for what I actually downloaded but I somehow foresee not being able to listen to all of these:

Brainy Gamer
Dice Tower
A Life Well Wasted
Mysterious Universe
Quirks & Quarks
Role Playing Public Radio
How Did This Get Made
Indoor Kids

These weren't specifically mentioned, but I found them via the stuff that was:
On Board Games
Please Explain
Science Talk
Two Guys from Andromeda
The Ben Heck Show

A followup question: This is too many podcasts to expect to keep track of, right?
posted by griphus at 8:03 AM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

(By "keep track of" I mean "listen to with any sense of continuity" not "keep organized and updated." I got Downcast for that.)
posted by griphus at 8:03 AM on May 2, 2012

It depends. Are you delving into back catalog or just keeping up with the weekly/monthly/whatever posts? How much walking/taking out the garbage/doing the dishes is in your life?

(With 2 kids and a job, if I can do those activities undisturbed and listen toa podcats it counts as my leisure time now)

I did almost drown in unlistened to podcasts when I was taking in the entire history of Rome, I'd suggest pacing yourself with anything with a big back catalogue like that.
posted by Artw at 10:06 AM on May 2, 2012

Yeah, I'm just trying to keep up as they go forward. The only one I'm going into the archives for is A Life Well Wasted, which only has six episodes in total. I generally listen on my commute (~45 mins each way,) doing chores/cooking (adds up to a few hours a week,) if I go somewhere on the weekends (usually an hour each way) and about 45 mins before falling asleep. That's interspersed with music, though.
posted by griphus at 10:09 AM on May 2, 2012

You're probably going to keep up. I;d advise just listening to them as you feel like it and if you notice a big unplayed stack of one of them forming cutting it.
posted by Artw at 10:13 AM on May 2, 2012

I won't say you should hit up *all* of brainy gamer's archives, but he doesn't do a new one that often so you probably won't hear him very often if you only listen going forward. The most recent one, IMO, is kind of dull unless maybe you're particularly interested in the inside baseball of editorial decisions at Kotaku, but there's good stuff elsewhere in the archives.
posted by juv3nal at 1:57 PM on May 2, 2012

« Older temporary phone for india/china   |   Am I wrong to feel wronged? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.