This week's installment is the Podcast Zeitgeist of second chances, and probably the last such post for a good long while. I'll continue to listen to a few favorites, but a hiatus is in order. This started as an effort to make some notes about what worked for me as a listener. But it became an exhausting and time-consuming exercise, particularly since I sampled many more hours than I ever wrote about. It was cutting into my Twittering time. At some point I may summarize what I have learned, or not.[See all lists.]
Cranky Geeks 150: Big Wig Bailouts As tech podcasts go, this is one of the best, hosted by John C. Dvorak, with Sebastian Rupley of PC Magazine, Chris DiBonaof Google and Jason Cross of Extreme.com. Topics: Steve Jobs, Bernie Madoff, the fake Belkin reviews scam, disruptive technology like location apps and more. Dvorak keeps it moving. Good stuff. Running time: 31:40 minutes including several ads. Released: Jan. 21.
This Week in Media 123: Guns, Drugs and DVDs</a>. Daisy Whitney, Alex Lindsay and Dr. Kiki Sanford in a meaty discussion of new media technologies like Microsoft's Silverlight and CNN's Photosynth experiment for the Obama inauguration. YouTube music takedown notices. Do you stream or download Web video? Dr. Kiki: Streaming is getting easier, but buffering is still annoying, on the road. Whitney can't be bothered to download and sync video to a device. Beware: Even without DRM, iTunes songs contain your e-mail address. Depressing news from the old media business. Running time: 1 hour 7 minutes. Released: Jan. 20.
MacBreak Weekly 124: The Warmth and Saturation of Analog. Scott Bourne plugs his hard-to-remember photo critique site URL. Andy Ihnatko makes the funny. Frederick Van Johnson talks about getting laid off from Adobe. They are also joined by Alex Lindsay and Lisa Bettany. Twit site show notes are getting better. The health of Steve Jobs, again. Record iPhone app downloads (or are those just updates?) See the week's hardware and software picks here, including the very cool-sounding $200 2-gig Livescribe Pen. Running time: 1 hour 54 minutes. Released: Jan. 20.
This Week in Tech 179: Retail Therapy Laporte again, with Dr. Kiki, John C. Dvorak, Wil Harris of Channelflip, and Andrew Horowitz. Links discussed are bookmarked on Delicious. Good show, including a discussion of how Monty Python DVD sales shot up after the creation of an official, and free, YouTube channel. (Rathole: Military recruiting ads in movies and direct mail. Laporte says his teenage son gets junk mail: "Have you thought about what you're going to do when you drop out of high school?" Dvorak: "Let's get to some of these news stories.") Twitter raising cash. Foul-mouthed Carol Bartz, new Yahoo CEO, says she will drop-kick anyone who leaks, and then the leaking starts, inculding her breezy memo about "retail therapy." She is mocked. Health of Steve Jobs, again. The story behind Microsoft Songsmith, oy. CNN Photosynth, again. Various Obama tech stories, from Barackberry to Whitehouse.gov and the federal government's tech dark age. Huge traffic at Facebook. Dvorak on how to TiVo the Super Bowl properly and Horowitz on shorting the U.S. economy. Running time: 1 hour, 42 minutes. Released: Jan. 26.
Geek Loves Nerd 34: In-Laws The main segment is up front, an improvement over the last time I listened. This married Missouri couple gives advice to listeners about children, relationships and more. As the cute opening song explains, James is the geek and Jenn is the nerd. This week, they give advice about in-laws that I completely endorse as a married person with a child. Best example: Don't discuss your marital problems with your parents. They will naturally side with their own child and carry the grudge long after you have forgiven your spouse and forgotten about it. This is a clean podcast, but a warning: The views of sex roles are a bit stereotypical (men = breadwinners etc.) though perhaps that is intended humorously. Running time: 53:26 minutes. Released: Jan. 23.
The 40-Year-Old Boy: Episode 44. O.K., so much for the clean stuff. Here's a second listen from the world of blue podcast humor. Last week, the comedian Mike Schmidt depressed his listeners with an hourlong rant about his weight problems and stomach surgery. Listeners complained. That gives him a launching pad for a funny routine that range from "anonymous artless snark" on the Internet, Kevin Bacon losing his life savings to Bernie Madoff, people who sell meat door to door and more. The three-card monte story is worth hearing. So this is funny. And it's free. But the language is explicit. Running time: 1 hour, 17 minutes. Released: Jan. 14.
The Futile Podcast: "And the first word was Jesus" "Deconstructing 80’s & 90’s action movies. Relating them to comics, TV, and cartoons from then and now." Well, not quite. They review the first "Dirty Harry" movie, from 1971. Clint Eastwood as Callahan. He's no cartoon Rambo. He's a 70's antihero. It's seven minutes before any dialogue is spoken. The hosts attempt to decipher the politics of the 60s and 70s, with unintentionally humorous results for old people like me. Running time: 52:16 minutes. Released: Jan. 17. "Turns out he was 15 when they shot it." A review of the recent release "The Reader," based on the book. "This movie is about German guilt." What German movie isn't? Not an action film, unless you count sex scenes. I had to tune out at the spoiler alert. Running time: 29:42 minutes. Released: Jan. 21. "That ain't no cop gun Frank." Dirty Harry II: Magnum Force (1973). The franchise goes downhill (I think) but they like it. Nice dialogue on the nature of sequels. The nice thing about the "Dirty Harry" franchise is that it made Clint Eastwood rich enough to make good movies later in his career. Running time: 27:06 minutes. Released: Jan. 21.
Vomitus Prime 89: C'Mere and 90: Lovin' Nancyful Another reconsideration. I listened to this podcast back in November, and I was turned off by something or other, which drew some reaction in e-mails and on blogs from fans. Hey, it was my opinion. No accounting for taste. Perhaps I have been influenced by the hours of mediocre podcasts I've scanned -- I haven't even written about most of them -- but I'm ready to revise my opinion. It is foul-mouthed, gross, sick and frequently disgusting, but also funny. The regular hosts, Bill and Will, are entertaining storytellers who remind me of people from my own misspent youth. I say this knowing that they will respect me even less for changing my mind. Oh, well. Explicit language, obviously. They aim to shock. Running times: 1 hour, 26 minutes to 1 hour, 30 minutes. Release Dates: Jan. 17 and 25.
Sick and Wrong Podcasts 157 and 158 So after that, I figured I might as well turn to a podcast that bills itself as the No. 1 Source for Anti-Social Commentary. The first one marks the three-year anniversary of this podcast from Dee Simon and Lance Wackerle, which may be pseudonyms. A lengthy discussion of the police shooting caught on video in the BART and subsequent protests in Wackerle's neighborhood. Phone calls from drunk Australians. They also try to answer the question, why make an amateur podcast that makes no money? Apparently, they hoped to impress women, which has failed. They also interview the host of the fromtheville podcast, which stopped for no apparent reason one day. He doesn't seem to have been doing much. In the more recent episode, Wackerle explains why he bought a gun on inauguration day. And there's something about a kangaroo in Los Angeles. Running times: 1 hour 59 minutes and 1 hour 31 minutes. Released: Jan. 14 and 21.
Idiotboxradio 227: My Dad, The Baby! Speaking of Australians, here's one, a really weird and funny one, with a story told in stitched-together recordings of his children saying words and phrases. It's strange. But funny. And strange. The host says: "I think that my kids don't view me as an adult. Looking at it, that belief would have merit. (And before anyone thinks I got my kids to cuss, listen to the editing please...). I have to thank my beautiful girls Ella and Chloe for helping out on this one." Not for children. Running Time: 7:14 minutes. Released: Jan. 19.
Uhh Yeah Dude, Episodes 150 and 151 Like their counterparts at "Sick and Wrong," Jonathan Larroquette and Seth Romatelli are also celebrating nearly three years and 150+ hours of podcasting (I have been listening to the old shows and have about 30 hours left to go). The highlights of this one: chicken pox parties for children ("worst party ever"), the usual freakish true crime and medical tales, and Seth's story about getting an (unjust) ticket for -- shocking -- not wearing a seatbelt. The big news: They have finally revamped the long-inoperative UhhYeahDude.com, with show notes and listener forums. There's even a Wiki. Good on them. And as good a reason as any to quit reviewing podcasts. If most podcasters would put up some show notes or blog posts, and allow for reader discussion, they might be surprised by what happens. I have nothing to say about episode 151, which just dropped, but I am hitting publish and listening now. Looking forward to the part about the dog. Update: the story about rescuing the dog on a fixed-gear bike was great. Running time: 1 hour, 9 minutes. Released: Jan. 19.