Category Archives: Podcasts

Info about the podcasts I’m listening to.

Podcast Update

It’s been so long! First how I’m listening, then what.

The built in iOS podcast app is junk. I currently use Pocket Casts from Shifty Jelly. Before that I used Overcast. I’d recommend either one, though Overcast is currently free (wasn’t when I got it), and Pocket Casts is like $4. They both have a feature that skips past silence (lulls in speech) without you even noticing. This feature alone has saved me over 2 days of listening time. That’s crazy.

And now for what I’m listening to, in the order they appear in my app – which is to say in no particular order.

  • Security Now – Computer Security. Nerd!
  • StarTalk Radio – Splitting off into different shows… I only listen when NdT is on now. It’s an interesting format but the rotating comedian guest hosts are often guilty of celebration of ignorance, and that gets really old.
  • The Tim Ferriss Show – Long format, check the guest. Pretty informative generally.
  • Adam Ruins Everything – The podcast version of the TV show. Goes deeper.
  • The Journal by Kevin Rose – Founder interviews. Very Good.
  • Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History – Redefines long-form. Seriously. Very educational.
  • The Tobolowsky Files – Ned Ryerson! Show is back from a long hiatus.
  • Planet Money – Economics. More interesting than you might think. If this doesn’t matter to you, it should.
  • the memory palace – Storytelling. No, I mean that in a good way.
  • Radio Diaries – “Extraordinary stories of ordinary life”. So more storytelling.
  • Love + Radio – This completes the storytelling trio. These 3 are hard to explain. Just listen.
  • Science Vs – Tackling the hard topics is hard.
  • No Agenda – Straddling the alternate universes. In the morning.
  • Freakonomics Radio – “The Hidden side of everything”
  • Geologic Podcast – Rantings of a musician and skeptic named George.
  • The Alton Browncast – Pops up on occasion, I guess when Alton is bored.
  • Waking Up with Sam Harris – Sam chats with a guest for a long time. Very guest-dependent.
  • DH Unplugged – Investing.
  • 99% Invisible – The way things are designed matters.
  • Here’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin – Alec goes deep with the assistant sound designer of your favorite play.
  • Triangulation – Tech interviews.
  • How I Built This – Founder interviews.
  • This American Life – Quintessential podcast.
  • Penn’s Sunday School – Now on Wednesdays, too!
  • Radiolab – See This American Life
  • Surprisingly Awesome – surprisingly interesting.
  • The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe – Mike Rowe does a Paul Harvey kinda thing. Short and interesting. Binge.
  • Revisionist History – Malcolm Gladwell.
  • Embedded – Tough stories to hear, but they should be heard.
  • Dirty White Belt Radio – Broadcasting from the center of the known universe.
  • The Sporkful – It’s not for foodies, it’s for eaters.
  • 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy – Short, educational. Binge.
  • Slate’s The Gist – I don’t watch the Daily Show any more, I listen to this.
  • Twenty Thousand Hertz – It’s about sound. Binge listen.
  • Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly – Just started listening, we’ll see.
  • S-Town – New show, just out today. First episode was interesting.

These last two are long shows that come out too frequently to listen to every episode. I subscribe to but don’t auto download so I can see the guest name. If I’m interested I dl. I might hear one show a month from each.

  • The Adam Carolla Show
  • The Joe Rogan Experience


The Podcast Formula

Most of the top podcasts are either radio productions or they are made by current or former radio personalities and producers. This means audio levels are excellent, production values are high, and they follow a broken old-world format. Even new-media types seem to get caught in this trap.

  • Intro Song
  • You’re listing to the XYZ Podcast (I worked that out from the intro song)
  • Ad
  • Description of today’s topic and guest, summarizing the show (This is just filler. On with the show already!)
  • Sound Effect
  • Welcome the XYZ Podcast, today we’re talking with [guest] (I know, we covered that.)
  • If you’d like to join the conversation our number is xxx-xxx-xxxx. (Time shifting!)
  • Interview Part 1 (I thought we’d never get here.)
  • If you’re just joining us we’re talking to [guest]. (Nobody is just joining. This is a podcast.)
  • Ad
  • Interview Part 2
  • Ad
  • If you enjoyed the show please subscribe to our podcast. (How exactly do you think I came to hear these words?)
  • Outro Song

Dan Bricklin / Note Taker HD

Dan Bricklin of Visicalc fame was on Triangluation this week. I was pretty excited to see he was coming on, especially given how interesting the Bob Frankston episode was. I ended up being very disappointed with his unwillingness to discuss computer history, despite the format of the show and his extremely important role in it. All he wanted to talk about was his new iPad app, Note Taker HD.

I guess it makes sense. Note Taker HD pays his bills. His role in personal computing history may be a bit of a sore subject. His genius paved the path to the personal computing revolution (creating dozens and dozens of billionaires) and it kind of left him behind in the same way it left Woz back.

But Bricklin is still a brilliant programmer, and the iPad ecosystem is lucky to have him. I bought Note Taker HD ($4.99) after the interview and I’ve been playing with it ever since. It’s a great note taking app, and easily the most feature-packed I’ve seen. The UI is great. If all you want to do is scribble on the screen it stays out of the way and let’s you go. If you want to incorporate images, graphs, and shapes that’s all there, too. The only additional thing I wish it could do is OCR.