I love podcasts. You might have gleaned this from some of my previous posts. Podcasts inform, excite, inspire and entertain me as I walk to work, run my usual 6km, or drive the next 600km. They help me to sweep the floors and clean the bathrooms. In short, podcasts are like having you own personal coach or lecturer, and most of the time they’re free.
There seems to be two types of podcasts out there in the internet cloud:
- one-off, single podcasts (could be lectures from a convention or workshop)
- podshows, which are a series
So which podcasts do I listen to and why?
The first podcasts I ever listened to regularly were Yoga Peeps and Hip Tranquil Chick (HTC) – both yoga podcasts. I listen to HTC all the time. Yoga Peeps is an interview format podshow, and I’m more selective with the episodes I download because not all the interviewees interest me. I’ve also listened to Mudra Moments, but lately these have become infrequent and the audio quality poor.
My favourite podcasts:
Buddhist Geeks – This show stops at nothing, discussing the destructive role of leaders’ egos in Zen schools, to virtual Dharma, to transhumanism, to the influence of meditation upon writing productivity. If you’re after warm, fuzzy, Buddhism-lite, though, this show isn’t for you. The show is about 15-20 min long and the audio quality is excellent.
Hip Tranquil Chick – Another quirky, but delightful and energetic podcast from the irrepressible Kimberly Wilson. Kimberly looks at yoga, food, fashion, self-development, time management, writing, business marketing to name a few. These programs offer a wealth of knowledge and tips (I highly recommend HTC #36 on time management) and Kimberly is a hopeless bibliophile, so there’s lots of reads to keep you busy. There’s also ‘Om-work’ for contemplation, a pose of the podcasts, and an online forum to discuss the show. The show lengths vary; the audio quality is excellent.
Shrink Rap Radio – by Dr David Van Nuys. Dr Dave is one of my fantasy dinner party guests. Every week, Dr Dave produces a very warm and incredibly human interview-based show where you meet practitioners of the diverse world of psychology. There’s also shows called Shrink Rap Live where Dr Dave chats with his pal and long time colleague, Jerry Trumble (I especially recommend Shrink Rap Live #10 on Does Google Make You Stupid). In all the show runs for about an hour. Dr Dave frequently says that his audio quality is less than excellent, but I’ve found it to be outstanding on rough 4WD tracks inside a noisy troop carrier.
Geotalk Podcasts – by another ‘doctor’, Spindoc Bob. Well, actually, Spindoc Bob is his geocaching nickname. His real name is Darren Osbourne. This is an Australian podcast all about -you guessed it- geocaching. Whilst Spindoc’s audio quality is awesome (as is the production of the show), sometimes the phone interviews have decidedly poor quality… thus listening to them on rough 4WD tracks is out of the question.
Podcasts for Running – Robert Ullreys has produced a series of nine graded training sessions aimed to introduce couch potatoes to running. The idea is to get you to be able to run 5km without stopping. this is done via interval training (i.e. walk 90 seconds, run 60 seconds). Whilst I’m no couch potato and my runs are a minimum 6 km long, I love the music and the motivation provided by these shows. I hope Robert eventually produces a 10km version. The audio quality is excellent, and the music is eclectic and uplifting without being cheesy. The shows are 30-45 min in length.
Other Podcasts I listen to regularly, but not all the time:
Steve Pavlina’s Personal Development Podcasts – Quite simply, these are brilliant. Steve Pavlina is an ordinary, down-to-earth guy who offers very practical advice for personal development. He’s produced a series of 21 podcasts to date, covering topics such as: time management, embracing your passion, going it alone in the world of work, and overcoming fears. He’s going to release a book soon, as well. As he does all of this for free, if you download his podcasts, it’s a good idea to leave him a small donation.
Trailcast – interviews with USA (usually) based hikers. Variable audio quality (due to phone interviews). The show is infrequent and appears to be inactive (hey, it’s a good show, please make some more!!). It runs for an hour.
Practical Backpacking – another bushwalking podcast, US based.Variable audio quality (due to phone interviews). The show is semi-regular, about one a month. Shows run for an hour.
Podcacher – apparently, this is the original and the best geocaching podcast. It’s not my personal favourite, although many other people love it. This is not to say that I don’t like the show – I do, it’s just not my fave. I like most of what Sonny and Sandy do, but sometimes they just waffle and it irritates me. The audio quality is excellent (and they both have big radio voices). The show runs for around an hour.
Cache-A-Maniacs – This is a quirky and catchy geocaching podcast with an interview format. The guests have to answer a series of rapid response questions at the end of the interview, which is always. The jingles produced for the show are extremely cheesy (I suspect they’re meant to be) and could be irritating to many non-Americans. It’s a fun listen at any rate, has good audio quality and runs for about half an hour.
Ok. So that’s my list.
Now how about yours?
I’d love some recommendations for other podcasts on topics such: writing, Buddhism, yoga, adventure geeking, gadgets, personal and professional development, running, knowledge management, qualitative research, social network analysis, complexity, anthropology and linguistics … or anything else you think we’d be interested in.