Podcast Review: Linux Outlaws

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I’ve saved this one for awhile because I haven’t listened in awhile (oops) but I finally hit the live show today.  The best way to listen to Linux Outlaws is live, if you can.

Firstly, on getting the live show:

Be online on Mondays at about 2pm ET, and point your browser to Ustream here.  To get on irc, grab Xchat (or another irc program) and get in the chatroom at irc.freenode.org, room #sixgun.  Just chill and wait and see what’s happening, and enter into the conversation whenever you feel like it.  (For those not in the know, IRC is a way to chat with people online; I should probably write a little blog post about it.)  You can see some more information about listening live here at the live page for Sixgun.

If you can’t be online, grab the podcast.  It’s here, on feedburner.

I try to listen to all of the episodes.  I say try, but I usually fail; Dan and Fab put out a podcast a week (except during the World Cup, hah), sometimes two.  Like last week, they put out the Jaffa Cakes episode and a special about Bitcoins.  I still have to listen to both.

The podcast covers the linux world.  News, distro reviews (Dan did a great review of Ubuntu 11.04), distro releases, Microsoft and Apple bashing, and Beer of the Week.

I love the banter and (sometimes) arguments that come out of this show.

Fab is a Fedora fanatic, and Dan switches distros often, so there’s plenty of new linux information.

This podcast is good for people who’ve been using linux for a little while, but if you’re a newbie, I wouldn’t discourage you from listening to it.  There are plenty of great information and podcasts out there; this is just one of them.  Ubuntu UK Podcast and MintCast are also (supposed to be) great.  I listen to Ubuntu UK, but not MintCast as I’m currently being consumed by podcasts and can’t keep up with them.

Anyway, this is ´╗┐definitely´╗┐ a 5/5 star podcast.  I can’t remember if I’ve applied star ratings to these in the past, but I’m going to here.  It’s worth your time and effort to listen/watch live, as the IRC chat is amazing fun.

Podcast Review: Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me

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I started listening to Wait Wait a couple of years ago, on podcast.  I am never around when it’s on the radio to listen live, but the podcast is quite entertaining.

From the website:

Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! is NPR’s weekly hour-long quiz program. Each week on the radio you can test your knowledge against some of the best and brightest in the news and entertainment world while figuring out what’s real news and what’s made up.

I like it because of the irreverent humor, the banter, and the (sometimes bad) jokes.  I think the Wait Wait presenters have the same type of humor and penchant for puns that I do, and that makes me smile every time I listen.

It’s mostly US-centric news, so my international friends might not like it, but if you want to listen to newscasters making fun of the news, this is totally your show.

I love Peter Sagal, Paula Poundstone, Carl Kasell, Tom Bodett, and Mo Rocca.  Everyone that’s on this podcast is hilarious, but those are my favorites.

Seriously, check this show out.  It’ll make you laugh and shake your head, sometimes at the same time!

Podcast Review: “Is This Thing On?”

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I’ve been kind of slacking with my podcast reviews, what with my internet being out, and then leaving for Tampa, and getting back and all that stuff.  So here we go with another podcast review.  (Oh, and I couldn’t get the ITHO podcast logo, so I’m going with Nick Tann’s logo.)

The Is This Thing On? podcast by Nick Tann is a weekly podcast that is very eclectic.  He has guests, track reviews, album reviews, and lots and lots of different music.

I love the variety.  If my readers couldn’t tell that I loved variety in my music, that is.

Right now, I’m catching up on podcasts, and I’m listening to #87.  Lots of rock and roll in this one and not a huge amount of talking.  Which is fine, because I generally prefer more music to more talking, unless I’m listening to something like Linux Outlaws.

Anyway, it’s hard to really categorize this podcast because each show is so different.  Usually it starts with an opening track, then it meanders around with other music and chat, and then some sort of review, and then ends with more music.  And Nick usually plugging a gig or two.  All in all, it’s a great way to spend an hour or so.

ANYWAY, check out Nick Tann’s Is This Thing On podcast.  It’s awesome.

Podcast Review: Good Game and Good Game Spawn Point

I’ll cover these two podcasts together because they both cover games and both have the same hosts.

I’ve been watching Good Game for a couple of years now.  I originally was looking for podcasts about Cricket from an Aussie perspective, but I browsed around and found this podcast, which is actually a regular show on Australian TV.

I look forward every week to the reviews of new games, gamer news, and other geeky fun that come out of putting two passionate people in a room and letting them review games.

This week, GG reviewed some 3DS launch titles.  I’m skeptical of the 3DS (partly because I can’t see manufactured 3D well), but I do enjoy the reviews of the launch games.

Anyway, this show/podcast has lots to love.  Games, geekiness, very cool hosts, and twitter interaction, what more could you want?  Really.

I love the way the hosts review the games, but they don’t seem to let personal biases come into play (and if they do, they will warn you that they don’t like that genre of game).  The balance is there, and clearly the hosts Bajo and Hex not only love games but understand them as well.

Good Game Spawn Point is “for younger gamers by gamers” and they clearly hit that with the games they review, but they don’t talk down to their audience.  This is the key, because so many shows for kids and games for kids really dumb things down.  Kids aren’t stupid; they may need something slightly simpler, but that’s no excuse for shipping a crappy game for younger gamers.  (It’s no excuse for crappy books for kids either, but that’s a rant for another day.)

I picked up watching this show because I was hoping they’d cover some different stuff than the adult show, and they do.  I was hoping for more DS stuff, and for the most part, it has lots of DS stuff.  Bajo and Hex cover plenty of games that I’d never have heard of if I didn’t start watching either of the two shows.

My favorite spot on both shows is the “Ask Good Game” feature.  I really like the questions they get and the way they’re answered.  Lots of fun, especially when they accuse DARREN of being a NOOB.

If you like video games, I highly recommend both of these podcasts.

Podcast Review: Rathole Radio

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I’d like to have a regular (read: weekly) review of podcasts that I listen to regularly.  Well, at least until I run out of podcasts…

So, I’ll start with Rathole Radio.

I started listening to Rathole Radio after it was mentioned on Linux Outlaws (review pending).

Rathole Radio is a podcast hosted by Dan Lynch every two weeks.  It’s broadcast out of Liverpool England and is a showcase for eclectic creative commons music.

Dan plays a little bit of everything; from rap and hip-hop to folk, country, electro, rock and roll, and nerdcore.  It’s very eclectic and I’ve found lots of good music through this show.  I don’t necessarily like absolutely everything he plays, but I don’t necessarily like everything that the regular radio or NPR plays.  As long as you’re getting exposed to the new stuff that’s out there, it’s all good in my book.  You never know what you’ll like til you listen to it.

He gets a lot of his music from Jamendo, which is a host for creative commons music.

Every week it’s something different.  He’s had interviews with both Jono Bacon’s metal project Severed Fifth, and MC Frontalot.

Recently, Rathole Radio has been hosting a live show called “Rathole Radio Roadshow“.  This year it’s going to be held at the Zanzibar in Liverpool.

So, if you’re into eclectic music, check this podcast out.  He also broadcasts live every two weeks on Sunday at 4 PM Eastern Time.  You can find the fun at the last link, and also in the IRC room: #ratholeradio on irc.freenode.net.  There’s a link on the live page to use a web-based IRC client, so you don’t have to know how to set up IRC on your computer if you want to participate.

Podcasts and Podcast Software

I listen to a bunch of podcasts; thirty-two to be exact.

You can find them here if you want to see a whole list.

Some update more frequently than others, and you’ll see my notes on status.net related to what I’m listening to through the !Listening group on identi.ca.

You’ll notice if you go to the gpodder.org link above, that I listen to a lot of tech podcasts (GeekSpeak, LinuxOutlaws, Ubuntu Podcast, Diggnation, Linux Journal, LoCoCast), music podcasts (Canada Live, Liverpool Acoustic Spotlight, All Songs Considered, World Cafe Words and Music, World Cafe Next, The Clockwork Caberet, Rathole Radio, Triple J TV, TheCerebralRift, All Songs Considered Live Concerts, Hype Machine), humor (Car Talk, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, Vinyl Cafe, Life as a Comic, Dilbert, The Gloomers), science (Discovery Channel, TedTalks), gaming (Good Game, Good Game SP), and a general TV show (East of Everything).

I love podcasts because I can listen to shows when I want and how I want (on the computer or on my mobile device/mp3 player) and I can listen to shows from other countries (like the Canadian shows, the Australian shows, and shows from the UK). It’s a great way to get information that regular radio doesn’t cover. I listen to NPR a lot, but my local station doesn’t play GeekSpeak or have much in the way of computer shows. I get my "fix" through these podcasts.

Now on to software…

  • iTunes: Available for Mac and Windows, but seems to be a memory hog on Windows. I don’t use this software, as I prefer different podcast catchers, and I run Ubuntu.
  • Rhythmbox: Gnome’s kitchen-sink media player. I’ve used it for podcasts, but things get all mixed up in my regular music. I just use it for my music.
  • Amarok: I don’t use this personally. It’s KDE’s kitchen-sink medial player. I know there are peole who use Amarok for podcasting, but I’m not sure how well it works.
  • Mirro: I used Miro for a very long time, and loved it. It’s like a podcast catcher/listener/watcher and browser, as it has the ability to find podcasts you’re interested in, especially if you have a Miro account. You can rate podcasts, and you can also use Miro as a bittorrent catcher. It’s almost like an all-in-one computer-based TV solution. Great project.
  • gPodder: A great podcast catcher. This program works with the my.gpodder.org website and allows you to share what podcasts you’re listening to.

I use gPodder now as my main podcast catcher. I still have Miro, but I really like gPodder and how it stays out of my way.

Do check out what I’m listening to and post what you listen to in the comments. Podcast sharing is the best way to discover new ones.