Favourite podcasts and vodcasts anyone?

In a little over a week I’ll be heading for Europe and back via Bejing.  So I need around 40 hours of really good iPodian entertainment.  Suggestions are gratefully received.  In the spirit of  reciprocity, I can tell you that “Not without you” on life matters is a wonderful thing to listen to as two people are interviewed who loved each other when he was nine and she was seven. They were in an institution. When they were observed being too friendly they were removed from each other and not permitted to see each other again. After pining away for some period of time, each got married, had unhappy lives and then as pretty old people, they ran into each other again. And now . . . they’re married!

Anyway Troppodillians, I even have a gift to give the winner of this little comp – one or a number of free passes to a Comedy Festival do in Melbourne – more details soon.

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15 years ago

A few podcast favourites:

– EscapePod: science fiction short story podcast. A good selection of stories, and most episodes are under an hour so it’s a good bite sized podcast for a plane. http://www.escapepod.org. There’s also PodCastle (fantasy stories) and PseudoPod (horror), but I don’t listen to those myself.

– Coverville – cover music podcast. http://www.coverville.com. Plays a range of covers of songs, mainly focusing on ones where the covers add something new or interesting to the original song. Plus every second or third episode has a fun music quiz.

– Napoleon 101 – a complete history of Napoleon’s life in a little less than 50 episodes. napoleon.thepodcastnetwork.com. The presenters can get a little off topic, and they are fairly pro-Napoleon, but it’s a good discussion of the life and times of Napoleon. The most recent episode features Michael Kroger (yes, that Michael Kroger) discussing his love of Napoleon and wall paper. Seriously.

Of course, if you’re willing to spend a little money there’s always Audible.com, with a fantastic range of audiobooks. Personally when I have a long flight I jump into whatever genre I’m interested in at the time and do a search for the longest books. Have to try and bring the marginal cost per minute of entertainment down… A few different podcasts have adverts for half-price intro deals for Audible (including the first two linked above, I think).


15 years ago

Berkeley has whole lecture series on podcast! http://webcast.berkeley.edu/course_feeds.php

What you choose depends on your interests, but I can recommend Margaret Lavinia Anderson – History 5 The Making of Modern Europe, 1453 to the Present from Spring 2008 and also History 106B The Roman Empire from Isabelle Pafford from the same semester. I have listened to both and enjoyed them very much. Both are excellent lecturers. (I listen to podcasts while doing the dishes so I have managed to hear a lot of both)

Similar to the Napoleon podcasts, there is a Byzantium series, which isn’t bad – http://www.12byzantinerulers.com/

Brad de Long has some interesting stuff but his website is rather complex to navigate around and I have given up.

I have found itunes U to be OK but not really that comprehensive.

I tend to surf ABC RN and BBC In our Time is often interesting.

What is really needed is a comprehensive directory/rating system of free podcasts.

Hope the flight goes quickly.


15 years ago

Your post has stimulated me to check things out further:

A couple of interesting resources where people list the podcasts they like (including some of the ones mentioned in the 2 posts above) …



Stephen Hill
15 years ago

Radio National Book Show – James Wood’s “How Fiction Works”

Radio National Book Show – Dr Rowan Williams – Faith and Dostoyevsky

Radio National Book Show – Jay Parini “Why Poetry Matters” (Parini also having written a mighty fine recent novel about the final days of Leon Tolstoy)

Radio National Book Show – 50 years of Lampedusa’s “The Leopard”

Radio National Book Show – Richard Yates’s “Revolutionary Road” (I agree with James Farrell on this being one of the best films of the year, and one of the best realist novels of the time)

Don Watson on the US Elections

Chris Masters on Being a Journalist

Mark Thirlwell “Riots, Risks and Recessions” Lowy Institute

Mark Thirlwell “The End of the Free Market” Lowy Institute

Andrew O’Hagan at Macquarie University

Stephen Hill
15 years ago

Also Fareed Zakaria on CNN’s GPS program has some excellent international affairs discussion. But the web-site seems to be more focused on written transcripts than podcasts.

Highlights include

– A panel discussion on Islamism and Afghanistan with Bernard-Henri Levy, Asra Nomani, Fawaz Gerges and Christopher Hitchens –
Actually there is TV-podcasting of this (http://search.cnn.com/search?query=GPS&type=video&sortBy=date&intl=false&currentPage=2&nt=SG2)
– Some of the interviews are also pretty good, e.g. the one with former Singapore leader Lee Kwan Yew about the rise of Asia