Audiobooks have long been part of a staple of educational development in my life. While out doing some long runs, travelling (in the car, or on public transport – usually alone as people get easily offended when you ignore them in favour of listening to something on your MP3 player), when out for a walk or cycle ride, or in the background while preparing dinner. So easily portable, and some are a joy to listen to.
However, towards the end of the year 2011, I decided to revisit podcasts. I had started listening to one of them – Marathon Talk while I was training like a demon for my runs of last year. However, as my training dropped, so did my listening. Maybe a sense of guilt of not continuing to train stopped my listening pleasure. Whatever it was, I stopped and got on with life.
So it was that I having listened to all sorts of audiobooks, I was getting a little frustrated, by a) the fact that many of the ones that I was listening to seemed to be regurgitating the same information, just putting a different dress on it (this could be a limitation on the part of Audible.co.uk) , b) it often felt that by the time I was listening to the audiobook, the information contained could feel a little dated (especially in the case of technology) and c) while the content of the book may have been fantastic, it did not render well to being an audiobook and I got bored by the accent, delivery or dumping of web addresses that I would never remember.
Some of these issues were easily resolved by incredible variety of available podcasts. With my interest in topics of all angles, podcasts really come into their own. If you are new to this form of media, then let’s take it from the top.
If you have been in a coma, or abducted by aliens then you may not have iTunes installed on your PC. If this is the case visit: http://www.apple.com/itunes/ and download the latest version. Once this is installed you can open this application.
Once open you will see a range of options at the top of the main menu, and one of these will be Podcasts, which should be selected:
You are then free to look around the site and access any type of podcast that your heart desires.
So back to the ones that I like. As mentioned I have a range of interests, which are dominated at the moment with business, digital marketing and SEO. These are my current picks of note:
PreneurCast – Hosted by 2 business guys; an Australian – Pete Williams and and an English born fella – Dom Goucher (now living in Spain). The recording primarily discusses business books, processes, tools and apps in a relaxed and easy to digest manner. However, I do feel that sometimes Dom and Pete are not the best matched people to do a podcast. Often Pete will joke about something and Dom doesn’t seem to react at all or run with the humour. However the content is generally good and mildly amusing. Pete seems very into personal development and Dom seems to be going that way, but not quite there yet.
Average duration: 50 – 60 mins
Tech News Today – An American technology news podcast. Very professional format with a number of significantly well informed people. Sometimes this can be a quite tech, especially on the mobile network side with quite a bit of detail on carriers, mobile frequencies, and other such delights. I sort of glaze over at those points, but usually quite a few topics discussed during the show, so there are usually quite a few nuggets in there. On the downside, there are a few bits where the sponsors are promoted in show, and these feel quite cheesy. Not sure if it is because I have my delicate English sensibilities or if I am just a little odd when it comes to these things. Otherwise a great weekday listen for up to date information about the tech world.
Average duration: 40 – 50 mins
Build and Analyze – Well this American podcast promotes itself as something for developers, and well as a recent listen revealed it is not so much for people that want to learn how to develop, but for developers to listen to. So if you’re looking for something to give information on the latest code changes in the iOS toolkit or how to produce the most incredibly optimised Android app, then this is not for you. often they will just chew the fat for 30 minutes about the wiring of their houses to accommodate USB or how to submit your taxes, and some of the pitfalls. A recent listen, and I am still not entirely sure on this one, I’ll update it in a few months if I have continued listening.
Average duration: 60 mins
SEO and Online Marketing:
Unknown Secrets of Internet Marketing – Another American podcast, I think that we Brits have not quite got the hang of this podcast lark! Actually, it may be more something to do with me perhaps. Anyhow, this is presented by owner Chris Burres and Internet marketing strategist Charles Lewis. The presentation is a little ropey at times, and not really the most structured, which gives it a charm of it’s own. Also, I would not say that these guys are at the cutting edge and from their website, it does have the feel of being a collection of ideas taped and stuck together with superglue. More of an evolution without a framework. Anyhow, these guys are pretty light-hearted ad raise a lot of the topics presenting businesses and individuals, that are looking into the murky world of search engine optimisation, with information and insights about up to date relevant ideas and their opinions on them.
Average duration: 30 – 35 mins
Digital Marketing - A British based podcast offering tips and advice on a range of online marketing concepts. Again 2 guys, but a most of the podcasts have a question and answer format. Describes a lot of SEO concepts in a very easy to understand manner. Duration: Average duration: 15 – 30 mins
Internet Marketing - British-based. Many episodes relate to interviews with business or marketing specialists.
Average duration: 20 – 30 mins
Comedy Button – Firstly, this is American weekly recording is pretty explicit stuff, being both insulting, and pretty juvenile. However, it does have the ability to make me laugh, sometimes slightly insanely, in part in incredulity of the bad language and my memories of being a young, testosterone driven 20-something. If you are looking for clever and subtle humour this is not the podcast for you, however if you are looking for a group of guys just chatting about comics, super heroes, their observations of life, sex, just plain nonsense, and ripping verbal chunks out of one another in the most foul-mouthed of ways, then download away, you’ll love it.
Average duration: 60 mins
We’re always listening out for new and alternative choices. Please let us know what you’re listening to and we can give it a try and then add it to the list.