Lately my music library has languished as I have loaded up my iPhone with podcasts of a certain type: Men (mostly) talking about gadgets, technology, movies, stuff on the Web, games, women, and news of the weird, among other topics. The list:
- "Diggnation" Perhaps the most well-known podcast on the list. In various video and audio formats. Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht drink beer and sit on a couch, going down the list of the top stories at Digg.com. Frequency: Weekly. Duration: 45 minutes or so, video.
- "Smodcast" The director Kevin Smith and producer Scott Mosier shoot the breeze about making and watching movies, comics, growing up in New Jersey, porn and other topics. Weekly. An hour or more, audio only.
- "The Totally Rad Show" Alex Albrecht is joined by Dan Trachtenberg and Jeff Cannata, for reviews of movies, TV shows, comics and video games. Weekly. About an hour, video.
- "This Week in Tech" and "MacBreak Weekly" Two podcasts from Leo Laporte's Twit.tv empire that bill themselves as reviews of the week's technology and Apple news, with John C. Dvorak, Merlin Mann, Alex Lindsay, Scott Bourne and other regulars. But it's really a bunch of geeks and nerds shooting the breeze. Weekly. Each is about an hour and a half, or 50 minutes if you fast-forward through the improvised ads, which can get tedious. Another way to watch: Live on video, with a rolling peanut gallery chat room under the screen, and the talking goes into overtime.
- "Uhh, Yeah Dude" Description: "A weekly roundup of America by two American Americans," Seth Romatelli and Jonathan Larroquette. Energy drinks. The week in Florida. Readings from Craigslist. Prescription drug side effects. Hip hop vs. country. Men behaving badly. Why Robin Williams is not funny. Encounters with borderline celebrities in Los Angeles. Sobriety. Veganism. The Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders, and more. Frequency: Weekly. Run time: About an hour.
- "You Look Nice Today," which is billed as "A Journal of Emotional Hygiene." A dadaist conversation between lonelysandwich (Adam Lisager), hotdogsladies (a k a Merlin Mann of 43 Folders), and scottsimpson (Scott Simpson). With voice chapter headings by the guy who plays the PC in Mac ads. Frequency: Fortnightly or so. Length: 30 minutes.
What they have in common: Guys who genuinely like each other talking about topics they love, with echoes of long ago bull sessions and late nights in bars. The best of them -- "U.Y.D.," "Smodcast" and "You Look Nice Today" -- have been known to provoke chuckles and guffaws. Maybe even some chortling. Update: On Oct. 29, I started posting some impressions of the latest episodes of these and other podcasts that have interested me for a while.