Tim Bornholdt

Podcasts: An Introduction

About a year and a half ago, on a trip to California with the boys of Koo Koo Kanga Roo, the duo and their manager were discussing podcasts.

Of course, I knew what a podcast was[1. And not just because I make one.]. I just really didn't understand the appeal of audio podcasts. I figured it was like talk radio: only old fogeys who don't like music listen to them.

But reluctantly, I downloaded a few episodes of The Nerdist and from there, the Music app on my iPhone was being used less and less compared to Instacast.

If you don't like talk radio but you enjoy getting into hour-long discussions on very nerdy topics like the intricacies of various calendar apps, the real cost of traveling to Mars and why the LIBOR scandal could get ugly quickly, then you are only fooling yourself: you actually like podcasts, but just don't know it yet.

In an attempt to make it easier for others to get into podcasts, here are a few of my favorite podcasts and why you would like them.

Build and Analyze Software Development, Self-Employment, Coffee, Babies A show for iOS developers hosted by Marco Arment, the creator of Instapaper and Tumblr, and Dan Benjamin, the creator of 5by5. Dan and Marco frame most of their discussions through the lens of Instapaper and 5by5, which is incredibly helpful for other developers or entrepreneurs in general. Show Website

StarTalk Radio Astrophysics Neil DeGrasse-Tyson, an astrophysicist and incredibly well-spoken man, teams up with guests to talk about everything related to the universe. Typically, the show features a co-host comedian, like Chuck Nice or Eugene Mirman, and a slew of experts in whatever field is being discussed, like astronaut Mike Massimino. Show Website

The Talk Show Apple, Technology The Talk Show, in its current iteration, features John Gruber of Daring Fireball with a different guest each episode. After a rough transition from its previous iteration (hosted by John and Dan Benjamin), the show is really starting to hit its stride. If you're a fan of Daring Fireball, there's no reason not to be listening to this show every week. Show Website

Planet Money Finance I've never really been interested in finance and how money works, but this show does a great job of presenting drab topics in a highly-engaging format. The episodes are quite easy to digest as well, most being around 15 minutes. Show Website

Running From the Law Endurance Sports, Small Business Law Combining two things that seemingly don't go together, Running From the Law splits their shows in half, giving equal footing to both of their main topics. The show is hosted by Erika Hall, co-founder of Mule Design Studio, and Gabe Levine, business lawyer. Show Website

Home Work Working from Home, Entrepreneur A relatively new show, Aaron Mahnke and Dave Caolo talk about the joys and agonies of being self-employed. The show goes beyond simply suggesting how to be more productive from home; they also discuss topics such as staying fit at home, staying educated in your field and communicating with the "real" world. Show Website

Freakonomics Radio Economics, Finance Hosted by the authors of the book, Freakonomics Radio picks up from where the book left off, where the authors use economics to show that what we consider "common sense" is sometimes anything but. Show Website

You Look Nice Today General Tomfoolery YLNT is the epitome of the general perception of the early days of podcasting: three guys sitting around microphones late at night, drinking and making stuff up. The difference? They actually do it well. Very well. Show Website

If you have any suggestions for me of shows to check out (especially any shows about video production), please drop me a line.