Last year I wrote about my favorite podcasts so I figured I'd do the same this year. In no particular order, though I will call out the ones that I'm still listening to first.
I have about 20 podcasts on my iPhone right now, but more than half are sitting there waiting to be listened to. Digging out of the backlog of some of these podcasts is quite the epic task.
King Falls AM
Though they have been on hiatus between seasons for a good part of the last few months this is still one of the few podcasts that I stay up to date with. It is epic. If you enjoy audio dramas, listen to this. I can't state enough how awesome this podcast is. 📻
Troy Hunt's Weekly Update Podcast
I wrote a good synopsis of this last year, and it all still holds. This is one of my touchstones for the InfoSec community. If you are interested in technology and security at all, it is worth checking Troy out.
Penny Arcade has been doing a lot in the last few years, largely on Twitch.tv but the behind the scenes podcast is still going strong.
Above & Beyond: Group Therapy
Above and Beyond continue to provide the background music for any yard or house work that I end up having to do. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the chill vibes from the electronic music world... or get some work done. 🎧
New this year
Elite: Escape Velocity
From the world of Elite: Dangerous, set in the 33rd century Escape Velocity
is a full cast audio scifi serial by Christopher Jarvis and
The Radio Theatre Workshop. I think
I blew through this in a weekend. I am anxiously waiting for Series 4.
Even if you aren't an Elite: Dangerous player check this out, I think the story still holds up. :🍸:
Jason Scott Talks His Way Out of It
If you don't know Jason Scott I don't think I can do him justice in a short intro. A Free Range Archivist at the venerable Internet Archive, curator of software oddities, documentarian, textfiles enthusiast, DEFCON speaker, and now podcaster. Jason tells lots of stories on a weekly basis in an effort to educate, entertain and, get himself out of debt.
I can't believe I only started listening to this podcast this year. I was a massive The History of Rome fan and Mike Duncan is back at it with his dry wit, and silky voice dropping wonderful narrative history in a weekly(ish) podcast. Focused on the great revolutions of history this is worth a listen even if you aren't a history buff. I'll also toss a quick plug in for his book The Storm Before the Storm which I read, listened to (he narrates the Audible version so it is like getting a huge bonus episode of The History of Rome), and loved every minute of.
I stumbled across this at some point this year while hunting for more InfoSec content. It is a really informative and well produced weekly look into what is going on in the information security world. If you are in IT at all, this is worth a listen.
The Adventure Zone
Another one that I can't believe I started listening to this year. I blew through the back catalog in like 3 months and listen to each episode as soon as it comes out. I wrote a dedicated article earlier this year about it so go check that out if you want to know more.
The History of Byzantium
Robin Pierson decided to do something amazing. He took it upon himself to take up the mantle of Mike Duncan and pick up the story of the Romans where The History of Rome left off. Styled as the spiritual successor Robin has done a flat out amazing job. I'm currently only in the 10th century AD, furiously trying to catch up but this podcast truly lives up to the creator's intent. If you like history, listen to this.
The Pirate History Podcast
I think pirates are cool. I like to know things about the things that I think are cool. This was a recommendation from a friend and it has been so worth it. Give it a listen and get Matt Albers take you through the golden age of piracy. 🏴☠️
The Invisible Network
Last but not least, a podcast I found quite literally two days prior to writing this. I listened to all 6 episodes currently released in one sitting. A really lovely look behind the scenes on how NASA has and continues to work to bring humanity to the stars. Produced by the Space Communications and Navigation program office at NASA this is a must listen for all space geeks out there. 🚀
If a podcast wasn't listed here that was on the 2017 list it means I've stopped keeping up to date on it this year. Most likely because of the vast back catalogs of the new podcasts this year that I have been chewing through so don't take their absence as a negative review. I have something like 16GB of unlistened to episodes on my phone right now that I'm working my way through. The ones that are back this year are something special though.
Hopefully 2019 will be as filled with great podcast content as 2018. 🍻
So, I mentioned a while back that I watch Acquisitions Inc on the yubtubs. Well through there I also started watching Dice, Camera, Action. During the Stream of Many Eyes event there was a DCA episode featuring Travis McElroy and that reminded me of the fact that I have had The Adventure Zone languishing away on my iPhone for a while now, un-listened to. Now I'm pretty terrible about keeping up with podcasts (there is so much good stuff out there to listen to and watch these days) so I just wanted to toss out a few words about what happened next.
I started listening on July 23rd (according to Podcasts.app) and have basically been blowing through several episodes per day since. There are something north of 90 episodes in the feed and I am within 20 of being current. If that isn't a glowing enough review to interest you then here is a brief synopsis.
The Adventure Zone starts out as a comedy roundtable / actual play ish podcast as three brothers and their father take a stab at playing a starter module for D&D. It's light and funny and clearly a learning experience for all involved. I stuck with it and after the first story 'Here There Be Gerblins' wraps up the first hints of what it will become are unveiled. By the end of the Balance adventure I was hooked. I very literally laughed, cried, and cheered aloud while listening. The production quality went through the roof somewhere about 1/3rd of the way through and the story very quickly left the known world and became something special and unique unto itself. The chemistry of the McElroy family is something delightful to behold and they do an amazing job of morphing D&D into something more consumable in podcast form. It really focuses on the collaborative story telling aspect with often hilarious and serious consequences of perpetually unpredictable dicerolls. I think almost anyone would take a shine to the Tres Horny Boys (as they named their group, accidentally).
As I said am not entirely caught up, I am just up to the start of the new 'season' which was preceded by several short story arcs written by each of the McElroys using different RPG systems and settings as they tried to figure out what they wanted to do for 'season two' but all the mini-stories so far have been really really enjoyable.
I implore anyone who might be reading this to check this out.
Apple Podcasts, RSS Feed
I also forgot to mention that the music in this podcast is completely off the chain.
I don't listen to a lot of podcasts these days, in fact most of the time I listen to either Sirius XM or my music collection that I've curated into iTunes over the years. There are some times when I'm in the mood for something different and these are the podcasts that I have been actually listening to this year.
In the order that they show up on my iPhone:
One of a number of spooky/horror/thriller podcasts that I reach for, this is a bunch of seemingly un-related stories told through the memories of the dead. Really well written and produced with an interesting cast and plenty of strange and spooky tales. The episodes are short and consumable. Easy to jump into and catch up on.
King Falls AM
This was the first of the ``radio drama'' style podcasts that I found. A small town late-night radio show on a run-down AM radio station with a cast of characters, supernatural beings, and implied aliens borders on paranormal and slice of life comedy. This is one of the few that I'll listen to as they come out. 📻
The Christmas episode is hilarious and worth listening to on its own.
Suck Squeeze Bang Blow
A self-described 'Three guys, a garage' show, this is hosted by a bunch of folks that I happen to know. They usually mention cars but beers and general stream-of-consciousness arguments tend to veer all over the place. Not quite news, not quite politics, not quite cars, it is a weekly tirade by a bunch of guys in a garage.
Troy Hunt's Weekly Update Podcast
Troy Hunt is an Aussie bloke and the guy behind Have I Been Pwned. He generally writes about security and privacy in our ever more connected world. This is a podcast outlining the things he's been up to during the week. Sometimes he does this from a jetski. 🏄
Welcome To Night Vale
Similar to King Falls AM but a bit more fraught with psychological trauma and black bag government conspiracies. I am slowly working my way though the back catalog which is DEEP. If you end up liking King Falls AM, give this one a shot.
I like Penny Arcade, and backed the kickstarter for their podcast. Listen in on the two creators of the comic sit in their office and talk about insane things until out the other end comes one of their world-famous .jpegs. Each episode stands on their own so it is really easy to pick up and put down, ideal for driving in the car except for when it sucks you in and you find yourself sitting in the parking lot giggling. 👾
Lave Radio: an Elite Dangerous podcast
Live from an orange sidewinder somewhere outside of Lave Station this is a podcast about the open-galaxy space sim Elite: Dangerous. I play the game now and then and this podcast fits well in the background. o7 cmdrs. 🍸
Above & Beyond: Group Therapy
I used to listen to A State of Trance by Armin Van Buuren, but the podcast feed is just not a good replacement for the radio show. This is the next best thing. A lovely feed filled with two hour episodes of the music that the boys that are Above & Beyond are in to that week. This is my go to podcast for long drives, long walks, and mowing the lawn. It makes cutting nearly 2 acres really enjoyable. 🎧
I'd love to hear any suggestions of other podcasts to add to the stable, you can drop me a note at matt at going dash flying dot com