I hate Barenaked Ladies for what they did to my mental wellbeing

So I idly clicked and watched the following video a couple of days ago:Barenaked Ladies “One Week” Parody – CollegeHumor video. Now I’ve still got the original floating through my head, the very thing the parody complains about. Just as I was starting to clear it from my head this evening, when the latest episode of The 40 Year Old Boy finished with it. I now hate him as well (only a bit mind, he is bastard funny).

Podcasts worth listening to – The Adam and Joe Show

I’ve been a fan of Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish for many years, since their Channel 4 show (Adam and Joe DVD),  and was rather pleased when they started doing a podcast of their XFM show (which is still available to download). They sadly disappeared from podcasting for a while, but then triumphantly re-emerged with a highlights show of their Saturday morning show on BBC Radio 6 Music. It’s normally about 30-40 minutes long (they skip out all the music for copyright reasons) and is a source of constant joy and stupidity.

It’s a hard show to sum up, they basically talk rubbish about life, tv, film and music, and it makes one laugh a lot. I think the favourite things they’ve done for me are their Songwars (each week, sort of, they write competing songs about the same theme, and then ask the public to vote which one is the best), and Joe’s sections on films and videos (he introduced me to the true magnificence that is R.Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet). The XFM show in which he explains Trapped in the Closet is particularly worth listening to.

Moving away from the mainstream

For about a couple of years now, I’ve been listening mainly to podcasts, as opposed to radio. My only radio exceptions are Fighting Talk, which is just a pure guilty pleasure (and I listen to the podcast version), Radio 5 in the morning as I get ready, and Radio 5 on the weekend when sport is on and I’m upstairs.

Now I’m starting to do the same for television, using Miro, and it’s an interesting experiment. I do watch a lot of sport, and I’m really struggling to find video podcasts containing actual sporting action. I’m filling the gap with more geek related things, and a Police Drama called Port City PD. I watched the first episode tonight, and it’s a bit rough round the edges (apparently they have a budget of a few thousand pounds an episode), but it’s a perfectly entertaining and valid drama show. I’ve also found a sitcom called Something to Be Desired, American actors doing their own thing. Worth a go, takes a little to get into, like Curb Your Enthusiasm. Seems a bit slow at first, but after you’ve had a good laugh, you’re there.

I’m going to stick with it, and see what other things I can find to watch. I’ll certainly keep up to date with the shows I really like on regular tv, but I’m trying to fill in the dross with more watchable telly.

My suggestion of the week

is to download the latest episode of Fighting Talk from the BBC, their sports panel show. Not only does it feature the return of the original presenter, there is a story about halfway through about Will Buckley’s old PE teacher that genuinely had me laughing uncontrollably in the street this morning. Fantastic stuff.

In other news I am waiting impatiently for a macro lens for my camera, which should hopefully be with me in the next day or so. Ideally tonight.

Podcasts – Year Two

Well I was thinking on the bus into work today, I’ve been listening to podcasts on my iPod for nearly a year now, and was wondering what I have stuck with. I’ve tried a lot of different ones, but there are only a few that I have really been taken with.

Formula Pod

A Formula One podcast made by two rapid F1 fans from the states. These guys really know their stuff, but present it in a really amusing and laid-back fashion.

Adam Curry

The podfather. It isn’t to everyone’s tastes, but it is a nice cross between proper radio show and audio blog, and keeps you up to date on the podcast community and tech stuff as a whole. And he is a good presenter.

Off the Hook/Off the Wall

Very odd and highly idiosyncratic pair of podcasts from a team of New York geeks. They are both shows that originate on Public Broadcast Radio, and have quite a loose feel to them. The former is essentially from a team of old school phone hackers, that have moved onto bigger and greater things. The latter is almost an audio blog for Emmanuel Bernstein, who is part of the Off the Hook show, and follows his interests and travels. Both shows have an admirable attitude to the rights of the individual, and the dangers of the encroachment of big business and government on those rights. Whilst they are clearly very American in some ways, their beliefs and attitudes are much more global, and they are often refreshing voices of sanity to hear with an American accent.

Fighting Talk

A simple podcast of a BBC Radio 5 show, but one of the funniest sports shows in existence. Not on every week of the year, which is a crying shame.

Webtalk Radio

Quite the geekcast, a small round table discussion of current web stories. Goes into a hell of a lot of depth, whilst not being overly complicated.

A good place to start looking, other than iTunes (which I have to admit is a sod to navigate for podcasts) is Indiepodder.org. Now I am told, and am going to try this tonight, you can drag the link for an rss feed containing podcasts directly into iTunes. Will report on this later.

EDIT: You can, it works really well.

Okay, so now I get podcasting

This weekend, I finally got into podcasting properly. It all just
clicked into place. I have started using Ipodder to update
subscriptions properly, and started listening to a couple of shows I
hadn’t given time to yet. And I am very glad I did.

So what is podcasting? As far as I see it, it is a combination of a few technologies, namely audio-files and RSS feeds, using some of the same ideas that have helped to advance blogging. Someone can upload an audio file onto their web-space, and then use their RSS feed to let other people know that they have put their latest file online. I use a popular program called Ipodder which goes off and gets me those files. There are a wide away of podcast shows, music shows, talk shows, audio blogs, and much more.

I had actually updated to the latest version of Ipodder on Thursday,
and downloaded some new shows to try. But it was when I was shopping on Saturday morning, catching up on the latest Adam Curry’s Daily
Source Code
that I think I became properly hooked. Stuck on a bus in a traffic jam, this is the sort of downtime that you want to be exploiting properly.

Commuting, all the stolen time from your life.
Sure you can read, and yes I do need to that more. For me though, I quite enjoy reading sat at home, with a strong cup of freshly brewed tea to one side. When I am commuting (and in Oxford I am very lucky, my “commute” is 20 minutes bus and walking in the morning, and the same back, or if I am behaving myself, a 30 minutes walk) I am generally not in the mood to read, or am walking.

This is where the ipod has come in. It has also coincided with my
gradual move towards talk radio over the past year. I always liked
Radio 5, but Radio 4 has started to become important to me
as well, always listen to their news on a morning, and then to several
comedy shows on Listen Again over the course of a week.

So it has been quite an easy transition into listening to Adam
Curry’s show. I won’t go into his history, you can let him explain it
to you if you want. I have to say, I am finding it rather enjoyable.