Top of the Pods

What is it about us Mac people and lists? Here is an article by Macwingnut on his favourite podcasts, and why he likes them. He would really appreciate your comments on your own favourites:

I listen to a lot of podcasts. In fact lately it seems I am consuming them at an alarming rate. And guess what my favourite flavour is – Apple!

If it has Apple, Mac, OS X, iPod, iPhone, iMac, MacBook, etc. etc. or even better a combination of all of those keywords in the title, the chances are I have given it a listen, at least once. They are perfect for me as I have a 3 hour round trip commute to work every day. So they really help to pass the time during the daily grind.

I used to buy the usual Mac magazines, but lately it seems I have ditched print in favour of the ‘pod’.

So I thought it might be interesting to share with you my Top of the Pods and why, more importantly I listen to them.

These are not in any order of popularity, they are all great. Hopefully my mini-reviews will give you an idea of why I enjoy them so much.

Mac Review Cast
I love this show it was one of the first I discovered. Tim does an excellent job compiling and reviewing masses of freeware and shareware for the Mac. The thing I like the most the Mac Review Cast is the diversity of editors that Tim has contributing to the show. This makes for a really interesting mix on every show. I actually look forward to my Monday morning commute, because I know Tim will have published the podcast over the weekend. One other important point to note is that Tim has just reached his 100th podcast quite an achievement. Check it out, I don’t think you will be disappointed.

The Mac Attack
This is another of my old favourites, hosted by Steve Stanger who was a certified Apple Tech Engineer at an Apple Repair Centre. So if you have any technical questions about the mac this is the No. 1 guy. Email, Skype or call your problems into him, if Steve can’t fix it – which is very unlikely, he throws it out to his listeners. I contributed to this show with a question about a WIFI security problem, and yes Steve cracked it!

He also has excellent recommendations on software for the mac. The format normally involves listener problems, new software, apple software updates and perhaps an aspect of OS X discussed in depth. If you want a podcast with top notch technical know-how this is the podcast for you.

It is difficult to pin ‘The Mac Atatck’ down to a release schedule and I am sure Steve would also be the first to admit that. In fact Steve has kind of resolved this by recently introducing a shorter ‘Mac Attack Mini-Cast’. These are shorter, and concentrate on a couple of topics. Despite the erratic schedule ‘The Mac Attack’ is well worth the wait.

Mac Break Weekly
As the the title suggests, this a monthly show (just testing!) looking at all things Mac. Hosted by the infamous Leo Laporte and ably assisted by Alex Lindsay, Scott Bourne, Merlin Mann, John Foster to name just a few. Imagine sitting in a bar and overhearing 5 middle aged Mac fanboys discuss and argue about all things Mac, and you will get an idea of how this show works. Very easy listening, very informative and very, very, funny! Usually they get side-tracked down a rat hole at least once during the show. The podcast is always finished off with their ‘picks of the week’ which can be anything from software, products, and websites etc.

Mac OS Ken
This is the number one podcast for up to the minute Apple News. Produced daily (yes daily!) you will receive a podcast everyday of the week around lasting around 10 minutes in length. In it host Ken Ray discusses all the top Apple news stories of the past 24 hours. Ken delivers all of this in his own inimitable style with a very dry sense of humour. Laugh out loud stuff! Ken you rock!

Mac Tips Daily
This podcast is the newest addition to the Macwingnut’s iPod Nano. Imagine booting up your mac every morning to find someone has very kindly delivered a you a tip on how you can get even more out of the greatest operating system in the World. Well now you can! Mac Tips Daily does exactly what it says in the tin. I have been using the Mac professionally for almost 20 years. So I would like to think that I know a thing or two about the Mac. But I have been pleasantly surprised on more than one occasion with some genuinely awesome tips that I didn’t know.

The podcast runs at an aveage of 2 – 3 minutes. So it’s easy to find the time to listen to them. Even if you already know the tip I would still recommend listening and Jonathan actively encourages listeners to send their tips to him. Jonathan sometimes does special interviews that are also very interesting.

iLife Zone
Hosted by Scott Bourne of the Mac Break Weekly who is joined by Derrick Story, Chris Breen and Colleen Wheeler. A podcast devoted to getting the most our of your mac and the iLife suite. Four experts from the world of mac bring their own different areas of expertise to this very informative podcast. Recently published an excellent two part special Tip Monster podcast, something they do on a fairly regular basis with lots and lots of great tips that will make your life with the iLife suite so much easier. Highly recommended if you are just starting out with iLife.

Mac Roundtable
Two of the hosts of this podcast have already featured in this list. Tim from the Mac Review Cast and Steve from The Mac Attack are joined by Jospeh Nilo and Adam Christianson. As the name suggests it’s a roundtable discussion about all things Apple. Topics are raised and then debated by the different members of the roundtable. I have to admit I was first introduced to this podcast by listening to the other podcasts I previously mentioned. Some very interesting points of view and predictions are raised about possible new announcements and products from Apple. This show appears on a monthly basis, but sometimes can take a little longer. But with it being hosted by four very successful podcasters I appreciate it must be a logistical nightmare getting them all together, because guess what? They are busy producing their own top rated mac podcasts.

Here are a few others that I listen to on a regular basis, that have a vague connection to all things mac.

Diggnation.com
Who hasn’t heard of Digg.com and its two founders Alex Albrecht and Kevin Rose. I visit Digg fairly regularly and I subscribe to the Apple RSS feed. But with this show what Alex and Kevin do is discuss some of the top stories that have featured on Digg.com in the past week.

Hosted from numerous locations in the San Francisco area including their apartments. Very, very, very funny and always accompanied by a guest beer of the week. If you Digg regularly and enjoy the weird and wacky stories with some tech news thrown in for good measure.

This podcast is available as a videocast.

Please note: The Diggnation podcast has an explicit tag. If you are offended by repeated bad language, I don’t recommend you listen to this podcast.

InDesign Secrets
This is one of the podcasts I listen due to my work. I have no shame! I am a Quark basher any excuse to use InDesign instead of Quark is a good excuse in my opinion. The format is listener questions, tips, techniques, special guests and the obscure feature of the week, eek, eek!

This podcast helps me to keep up to date with my InDesign skills and to pick up new tricks that I can implement into my work. Hosted by David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepcion, two eminent InDesign users and authors. Highly recommended if you are a switcher or experienced InDesign user. Any level of user will find something of useful in this podcast.

One final thing I would like to mention is that when you download these podcasts from the iTunes music store it’s easy to forget that they are FREE and not 99c a pop. A lot of these producers do these podcasts in their spare time. Tim, Steve and Jonathan I know for a fact do these in their spare time whilst doing the 9-5 and no doubt some of the others do as well. Whether it be buying products through an affilliate store, donating directly through paypal, visiting their partner website or by sending in reviews or suggestions. We need to support these producers so they can keep creating this amazing content week in, week out.

Well that’s what I listen to on my iPod. But I would be interested to hear what you think and what you listen to get your Mac news.

Please take the time to post comments. Suggestions for your ‘Top of the Pods’ are also very welcome.

10 thoughts on “Top of the Pods

  1. MyAppleStuff Post author

    Interesting list. I guess my own favourites change pretty frequently based more on what my latest ‘addiction’ is.

    Regarding Mac related ‘casts I started to a number before I bought my first Mac and I still listen to them:

    MacCast
    MacReviewCast
    MacRoundTable
    TypicalMacUser

    I would summarise these as ‘old friends’ that I have grown up with, and whist there is a little more ‘overlap’ than is ideal I tend to catch their shows every week.

    I am not a big listener to ‘techy’ ‘casts these days, primarily because I have so many RSS feeds set up, and spend so much time online myself. Three that I have stuck with are:

    Diggnation
    GeekBriefTV
    Engadget

    And then in terms of general interest stuff I listen to:

    Daily Telegraph
    Daily Mayo
    Mark Kermode’s Film Review
    The Daily Breakfast

    And finally, at the moment my ‘special interest’ regulars are:

    PodSquad
    The Digital Diary

    These are all available through iTunes so I didn’t bother with the links. Now a bit of a shameless plug!!! If you listen to ‘casts a lot you may like CastCount (www.castcount.com).

  2. Wayne LeFevre

    Good ones, all. There are a few that I regularly listen to as part of a daily routine.

    Mac OS Ken
    Buzz Out Loud from CNET.
    Crave – Video
    The Onion Radio News

    My weekly MUST listens are:

    Mac Reviewcast
    British Mac
    TMUP regular.
    President’s Weekly Radio Address (the parody)
    Ask a Ninja – Video
    ScreenCastsOnline – Video
    Strong Bad Emails – Video MUST SEE
    Buzz Report – video

    My optional, but usually listen to, weeklys are:

    PodSqod (if gear I’m interested in)
    MacCast (If under an hour!)
    NeatLittleMacApps (If interested in app)
    Inside Aperture Podcasts
    Mac Observers Mac Geek Gab – good for tips and tech info.

    So ya, a lot, but lately I’ve really been basing a lot of my listening to how long the podcasts are. There are times that I just can’t afford to spend over an hour on one podcast when there are so many good ones out there!

  3. Mac Sokulski

    Well, unfortunately time or lack there of, forbid me to listen to many podcasts. I only have time to listen on my daily commute. So basically my list is:
    MacReviewCast
    Mac Round Table
    The Mac Cast
    Buzz OUt Loud
    The Mac Attack
    The Mac Observer’s Mac Geek Gab

    Non Tech
    Real Time with Bill Maher

  4. Pingback: Glenn Wolsey : Blog Archive : Ten Thousand Later Digg Still Has A Hold

  5. jeremy

    I listen to the same mac related podcasts as have been mentioned here. I have a few comments to make about them.

    It seems to me increasingly that show hosts are interviewing each other. I have to wonder at the point of doing so. I know enough about them on their own shows. It would be more interesting to have some new points of view. It may seem a bit rich coming from me who does jack all to podcasting other than to listen. Is the mac community so small?

    The other thing that winds me up is the lack of ability of some of them to explain things clearly. Adam’s Maccast is undoubtedly one of the most respected and justly so, however he could shorten it by half and not lose any content. I begin to lose the will to live when he explains anything due to the way he rambles. I wish he were concise. Victor’s TMUP is the same, as is Allison n her Nosilla cast. Very irritating 🙁

    I really enjoy the TWIT & Mac break weekly for the banter. Dave & John’s Mac Geek Gab is useful, as of course Macattack and notably Tim’s excellent Macreview cast.

    Apart from them I listen to a few audio gear podcasts, the best of which is Project Studio Network.
    Football, The Game from Times online, and the Guardian’s Football weekly (though it is twice a week)
    BBC’s Digital Planet and a couple of others
    The Bugle, for an irreverant look at news stories, very funny

  6. Chris Marshall Post author

    Interesting. I was actually talking to Tim on Saturady about this. The situation looks like listener numbers are not growing for many podcasters. My view is that they are probably attracting new listeners but not retaining old ones.

    Take me for example, when I was new to Macs I listed to loads of them all the time. Over time I realised I could get the same information quicker through my RSS feeds, forums, friends etc.

    Like you I tend to find a lot of the delivery very long winded, and often any suggestions or debates very poorly argued/put over.

    I now listen to even less than I did when I made this original post!!!!

    I have listened to those Football ones – they are all good!

  7. jeremy

    I enjoyed your chat with Tim this week on this subject. I got the impression that he was a bit shaken by some of your comments though it seemed that by his reaction he agreed. I like his humility, he’s not the most articulate of podcasters but at least he’s sincere and modest.

    Ironically his podcast is pretty well spot on for what it is. It is the others who should be looking to improve

  8. Chris Marshall Post author

    Cheers.

    To be fair it was Tim that wanted to discuss it. I agree, and have told him, that so lomng as he keeps the core of his show the freeware and shareware ‘heads up’ he will be fine.

    It is all the sites that ‘just’ tell us about the Apple news that are going to struggle.

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