30 Podcasts You Should Be Listening To (part 2)

flickr-abletoven-rss-headphonesIn part 1 of this series I highlighted the first block of 30 podcasts I listen to very regularly. I have listened to many of these since they began (often retroactively) and very much enjoy them. There are a lot of tech shows in here with a mix of science, food, history and popular culture mixed in for good measure.

Today I bring you round 2 of the podcasts. I highly recommend you check out any of these great shows and subscribe to them if you're interested.

Get-It-Done Guy

Officially titled "Get-It-Done Guy's Quick and Dirty Tips to Work Less and Do More" this show is a member of the Quick and Dirty Tips network. Host Stever Robbins touches on productivity tips with real-world applications that you can use to help you get organized, stay organized and get stuff done.

Part of what makes this show so listenable is wit, sarcasm and comedy used just frequently enough to help keep the show entertaining without devolving into nonsense. I enjoy following the exploits of Bernice, Europa and Melvin at Green Growing Things and Stever's own personal stories about pursuing musical theatre.

Shows are typically delivered weekly and range from 5-10 minutes.

Girl on Guy

Comic and actor Aisha Tyler hosts this show where she interviews people from the entertainment industry. Most of the guests are involved as actors or writers in comedy, others are a bit further afield. The interviews are usually quite personal focusing on stories from and background of the guest. Some recent guests include Ryan Stiles and John Cho.

This is, as you've probably noticed, not the kind of show I listen to most of the time. I have a ton of computers/technology/programming/self-improvement type shows in my feeds. In a lot of ways though Girl on Guy fits in to the self-improvement category. Hearing stories about how other people have faced and won (or failed) in the face of adversity can be very illuminating.

Aisha, and her production crew if she has one, do a great job of putting the shows together. The audio quality is excellent. Girl on guy episodes typically run about 90 minutes.

Going Linux

Larry Bushey and Bill Smith bring a look at Linux from the perspective of people looking to make the switch from an alternative OS. The show comes in three flavours, a topic, listener feedback and "Computer America" episodes which showcase Larry's monthly appearance on a radio program in the US where he is their Linux expert.

Larry has been doing the show for a number of years and Bill is his most recent co-host. Some of the back catalogue tended to take a rather anti-Windows rather than pro-Linux stance some of the time, but this has mostly gone away over the past year or so. If you're new to Linux I highly recommend you check this out.

Audio quality is pretty good for the most part and episodes range from about 20 minutes for the feedback shows to about 90 minutes for Computer America.

Grammar Girl

Like other shows from the Quick and Dirty Tips network, this one has a very long title: Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. Each week host Mignon Fogarty brings a language tip or the solution to a common language problem.

This was the first show from the QDT network that I subscribed to, and really probably one of the first 10-15 podcasts I ever listened to. I have really enjoyed the show for several years and it has helped refine my writing quite a bit.

As with the rest of the network, audio quality is very good and episodes of Grammar Girl are generally in the 5-10 minute range.

Hacker Public Radio

Hacker Public Radio (HPR) is a show developed by and for the Linux/Open-Source/Hacker community. Taking the more fundamental definition of hackers as hobbyists rather than the more sensationalized view of hackers as evil computer geniuses, the show provides a platform for anyone to contribute a show about any topic they may feel is of interest to the hacker community at large.

The community produces five shows a week, every week. Episode number 1500 is scheduled to come out on Friday, May 2nd.

That said the community is always looking for more content. If you've ever contemplated podcasting, this is an excellent venue to test it out without having any long-term commitments. Make an episode. If you want help check out the show notes for this episode and get in touch with me, or ping me on twitter @kdmurray.

Hanselminutes

Hanselminutes is a show hosted by and aimed at people working in the software industry. Unlike the hosts of other developer shows, Scott Hanselman takes about 30-60 minutes each week to talk to the people in Software and explore things beyond the code and in some cases beyond technology. This is a great show for anyone in software who wants to expand beyond the role of a code monkey.

Some of my favourite episodes have focused on the most non-technical aspects of working in the technology industry including talks on community, relationships and the environment surrounding tech conferences. I've also really enjoyed the semi-regular "Hanselminutea" episodes with frequent guest Richard Campbell.

As of this writing the most recent episodes are: "Teaching my daugter to code with hopscotch", "The Go programming Language", "BitCoin Explained", "Creating the Plex Software Ecosystem" and "I'm a Blind Software Technician". Hanselminutes is a member of the PWOP podcast network.

A History Of Alexander / Hannibal

Two separate podcasts by Jamie Redfern which offer a deep dive into the life and times of two of the ancient world's most capable military commanders. Broken up over the course of dozens of episodes these shows provided me with a great deal of knowledge and entertainment about a subject I really enjoy.

The Alexander show has actually been released twice. The first run was Redfern's first attempt at podcasting. While it was great content, some of the audio issues in early episodes made listening a bit challenging. The "Remastered" edition of Alexander has solved all of those problems.

The Hannibal show was produced later and did not have these same issues. It also has a great deal of fantastic historical content.

Most episodes run about 30 minutes, and both shows have completed their runs.

The History of Rome

Host Mike Duncan is passionate about History. His deep love for the subject shows in his five year run (2007-2012) of the History of Rome. From the early origins of the Roman kingdoms to the fall of the Western empire, Duncan provides a fantastic and very well researched look into a crucial time in history.

This was the first history podcast I really enjoyed. I had tried a few others before this, but had found them either too dry and boring, or too poorly produced to hold my interest. THoR does not have either of these problems. Episodes are also nice and compact with most weighing in at about 25 minutes.

I was also very Duncan has a new show that started in the fall of 2013 (Revolutions) that I haven't begun listening to yet. It is queued up on my phone for my next trip and I'm excited to start a new historical adventure.

IRL Talk

Irreverent is the best word to describe this show. Hosted by Jason Seifer and Faith Korpi IRL Talk provides a nerd's-eye view to things happening in the world of technology and the Internet. It's silly, yet informative, and helps balance out my somewhat tech heavy podcast lineup.

The best part about this show, without a doubt, is the chemistry between the hosts. Each knows how to push the other's buttons (granted Jason does most of the pushing) and each has areas of expertise that have just enough common ground to hold the show together. Faith has tons of knowledge of movies and is involved in more artistic endeavours like dance. Jason's primary weapons are making people feel uncomfortable, and his utter mastery of the long troll.

IRL Talk provides about an hour of excellently produced content with each episode.

Knightcast

I've known Knightwise for several years and really enjoy his platform-agnostic take on issues, and learning how to make technology work for you, instead of the other way around. This is definitely one of the shows I look forward to.

This is practical advice. Stuff you can put to use in every day situations, and for the most part stuff you will want to put to use as soon as the show ends. Every now and then Knightwise will include a "storytime" episode which is essentially an audiobook format of one of his blog posts.

Audio quality is usually pretty good (unless he records from his car) and episodes usually run about 60 minutes or so.

Image Credit: abletoven on Flickr.