More On Podcasts- Changing of the Guard

March 14, 2012 by Gabe | [mmd] |

Yes, two posts in a row about podcasts. I think they are an important shift in personal entertainment. Also, I didn't think hard enough before that last post.

There are always new podcasts coming and going. Just look at the podcast category in iTunes. It's filled with detritus that were abandoned after two shows. But in the past 12 months I have seen a significant shift in the quality and staying power of podcasts. So much so that I now have a backlog of things I really want to listen to but just don't have time for. Conveniently, I've also seen a strange shift in my tried-and-true podcasts.1. This is opening up time for some very impressive work.

The Old Guard

Almost all of the Revision3 shows I loved have become so uninteresting that I've deleted them from iTunes and Instacast. They just aren't compelling. Maybe they are made for someone with more generic interests than me.

The Twit network has started to feel desperate. Leo has become the Glenn Beck of podcasting. He whines about disenfranchisement on almost every show. He revels in wild and ridiculous claims. He leans toward faux outrage rather than intellectual discourse. Even MacBreak weekly is regularly uninteresting to a Mac nerd like me. Tech News Today is one of the few still in my regular rotation.

The New Guard

Luckily, there has been a palpable shift in the quality of new podcasts from small "studios" to more than fill the void. I like to think 5by5 has blazed a new trail with a high standard for production quality but with a willingness to go full geek on any topic. Now we have shows from 70Decibels, Merlin Mann, Mule Radio, Shawn Blanc, The Nerdist,2 and many others3.

Here's a more lengthy list of my Instacast queue:

I Listen To Every New Episode

B&B Podcast

Back To Work

The Bro Show

Build and Analyze


Let's Make Mistakes

Mac Power Users

Roderick On The Line

Shawn Today

Tech News Today

The Talk Show

This American Life

You Look Nice Today(It's Back. Razzledazzle!)

5by5 at the Movies

I Listen Occasionally or Based on the Topic


Critical Path


Founders Talk

Ihnatko Almanac


Macworld Podcast

Planet Money

The Incomparable

The Nerdist

Weekend Confirmed

Newly Added But Not Listened

Mikes on Mics

The Pen Addict


  1. If you work for these companies, I'm really sorry if I offend you. This is my opinion. I try to tell it how I see it. But let me just say "get over it". I work in an industry that is regularly villified. I don't take it personally. Instead, I work for a company I respect that does work I respect. 
  2. I know it's not new, but damn has it gotten good. 
  3. There are way too many to list. My Instacast is bursting at the seems. 
  4. I'm told it's big in Russia