rfunk: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 05:37pm on 29/10/2008 under ,

I've been a fan of podcasts for nearly four years now. If you don't already know, those are online radio shows with subscription feeds. I add the RSS/XML feed URL to my "podcatching" program, and my computer automatically downloads MP3s of shows as they're released; then I periodically copy them over to whatever is the most convenient player. Over the past few years the medium has become more well-known (mostly thanks to support in iTunes), and the selection of shows has changed, mostly increasing but of course some of my old favorites have either stopped or severely curtailed their frequency.

At first I tried to grab the latest shows every morning, and listen to them at work. Now I have a better system, partly thanks to working at home. I first separate the podcasts into two major categories, music and talk (there are some gray areas though, as seen below). For the music podcasts, I grab up to two weeks' worth of shows at a time (depending on how far behind I am), and mix those in with random songs from my personal collection so that I never go more than about 60-90 minutes without getting a few songs I already know I like; this way I get a good mix of the familiar and the unfamiliar. Then with the talk podcasts, every Monday I update a CD-RW with the new shows from the past week, then listen to those in the car throughout the week. Often I'll add a few episodes of a new show, to check out in any extra time at the end of the week.

Individual Songs

These are podcasts whose "episodes" are just single songs.

Music Shows

These are generally 30-70 minute shows playing lots of music, like you might hear on a really good college radio station.
  • [RSS feed] Coverville - One of the best and most prominent podcasts out there, Coverville plays cover songs, and occasionally the originals when the covers are more well-known.
  • [RSS feed] GaragePunk.com - over two dozen different shows rotate on a nearly daily basis, playing lots of obscure rock. If you don't like one show, you might like the next one.
  • [RSS feed] Rubyfruit Radio - all-female artists, mostly a little low-key, but usually with some rockers in there too.
  • [RSS feed] Marc Gunn's Irish and Celtic Music Podcast - Irish and Celtic music ranging from the traditional to the ethereal to the parodic, with some representation of music by the host himself, who also plays renfairs and scifi cons.
  • [RSS feed] Bands Under The Radar - A really long show full of music chosen by a former record company promoter.
  • [RSS feed] Insomnia Radio - Though a mere shadow of what it was under its now-departed founder, Insomnia Radio is still alive and putting out good music from indie bands. This is the main show, but there are also a number of regional shows.
  • [RSS feed] They Might Be Giants Podcast - Rare and live tracks from John and John.
  • There are also a number of good podcasts that no longer put out a show very often, so it can be hard to tell whether they're defunct or just on extended hiatus.
    • [RSS feed] Old Wave Radio: New 80s Music - Ex-radio DJ Dan Klass plays new music that sounds like 80s music, or sometimes from 80s artists back for more.
    • [RSS feed] MostlyTunes - Lots of good music, very little talking by the host.
    • [RSS feed] Late Night Sounds - a collection of music with no talking at all between songs.
    • [RSS feed] Not Lame Podcast - Power pop podcast from a company that sells power pop CDs.

Music/Talk

These are shows about music, and which play a lot of music, but also spend a lot of time talking about the music.
  • [RSS feed] Sound Opinions - A public radio show with a couple of rock critics in Chicago talking about the latest music, music-related news, and interviewing music-related people.
  • [RSS feed] Pat Radio - a show concentrating on the Columbus music scene.
  • [RSS feed] Pandora Musicology Show - The Pandora.com musicologists take 20 minutes to talk about (and demonstrate) the elements of music in various genres.

Talk

I listen to these in the car, and they are a big part of my personal news media every week.
  • [RSS feed] On The Media - NPR show about how the news media covered the events of the week, and other media-related topics connected to current events. By turns serious, sarcastic, and occasionally just silly when the situation calls for it.
  • [RSS feed] Le Show - Satirist Harry Shearer pulls up inmportant news of the week that fell through the cracks, comments on the way the media behave, does skits imagining what happens behind the closed doors of the powerful, and (when we're unlucky) plays his own songs.
  • [RSS feed] Sex Is Fun - These four knowledgable sex-educators would be fun to listen to no matter what they talk about, but their favorite topic is sex. For open-minded listeners only.

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