A walk through my podcast feeds

A few days ago a friend asked this on Twitter:

“Hello, all you clever, fascinating, beautiful people. What are your favorite podcasts? How about YouTube shows?” —@lauraehall, 2013–08–08

I thought it had been long enough since I last talked about my podcast listening habits that a new blog post was in order. Not only that, but the last time I enumerated my podcast subscriptions here, YouTube channels did not really exist, so those are entirely new to this blog.

itunes_podcast_iconMy podcast listening habits have changed greatly over the past few years. This is in part to simply listening more often. This is also due to the way I subscribe to them. Back in the day, you would subscribe through iTunes and sync to your phone every couple of days. All of the downloads occur on your desktop, and your iPhone or iPod was a little island that occasionally received new shows. If you hear about a new podcast when you’re out and about, you try to take note and add it to iTunes when you get home.

Downcast_iconToday, I listen through Downcast. This is an app that lives entirely on my phone, with no desktop part. It takes care of subscribing and downloading. If I hear about a new podcast, such as if someone mentions one on another podcast, I can subscribe right there, wherever I am. It uses iCloud to sync subscriptions, settings, and which podcasts you’ve listened to and how far you got into each episode. This means I can seamlessly go from iPhone to iPad without much difficulty.



Puzzles and ARGs

  • SnoutCast
    This is Curtis and DeeAnn, plus the occasional guest. They build and play puzzle hunts, including the monthly Puzzled Pint here in Portland (and simulcast to Seattle).
  • StoryForward
    Steve and JC discus ARGs, transmedia, and related topics, usually with a guest.


These are not all technically NPR shows, but they all feature NPR personalities and have production values sufficiently high for me to think of them as NPR shows. Plus, I listen to NPR on an actual radio so infrequently, it helps to further blur the lines between what’s on the radio and what merely features those radio personalities.


Merlin Mann

Yep, I am a bit of a Merlin Mann fanboy. He’s funny, quirky, and knows a bit about the way of the future the way of the future the way of the future the way of the future — sorry — and knows a bit about productivity.

Everything Else

✻ ✼ ✻

YouTube Subscriptions

I don’t watch these as often as I’d like. Although the Apple TV does a wonderful job at presenting the descriptions, it seems to always want to download only the highest-resolution video. As such, I could be waiting several minutes for a several-minute-long video to start playing. And a 30-minute show like Table Top? Forget about it. I generally only watch these in a browser, since it can dynamically shift the bitrate for faster (lower quality) downloads.

  • Vi Hart and her other weird channel
  • Geek and Sundry
    I like Table Top and liked The Guild when it was on. I also enjoy Space Janitors. I find the rest of the shows pretty hit-or-miss.
  • My Gimpy Life
    You know the goth wheelchair girl from the evil rival guild in The Guild? This is her dry comedy series about being a disabled actress in Hollywood.
  • Vancouvria
    It’s like Portlandia, but Vancouver. You probably wouldn’t get it unless you lived here in Portland.
  • Ask a Mortician
    Exactly what it says on the tin.
  • Ze Frank

YouTube channels that I subscribe to that I rarely watch (though I should fix that) are:

And that’s it. What are your favorite podcasts? Do you know of ones I might enjoy based on the above lists?

Posted in: Dear Diary

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Brian Enigma

Brian Enigma is a Portlander, manipulator of atoms & bits, minor-league blogger, and all-around great guy. He typically writes about the interesting “maker” projects he's working on, but sometimes veers off into puzzles, software, games, local news, and current events.

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