Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

My Five Favorite Podcasts Right Now

By Dennis D. McDonald

I listen to podcasts via my iPod when I’m on planes, when I’m walking the dog, when I’m gardening, and when I can’t sleep. Here are my “top five” as of right now (September 21, 2007), all of which I subscribe to through iTunes:

  • All About Books, from Nebraska’s NPR station in Lincoln, Nebraska. Otis Young and Charles Stephen provide thoughtful and insightful reviews of new fiction and non-fiction with a definite Midwestern flair. Where these two guys get the time to read all these books I just don’t know. My only complaint: trying to remember the names of the books so I can write them down when  I get back from walking the dog.
  • From AM Newstalk 1360 in Pittsburgh, Birds & Nature with Dr. Scott Shalaway. Every Saturday for two hours Shalaway answers questions phoned in by radio listeners in the Pittsburgh area about birds, backyard wildlife, stargazing, and the occasional bear sighting. Some of the questions are pretty basic, but you’ll be amazed at how much you can learn about the world in your back yard by listening to this guy. (He’s planning a trip to the Galapagos Islands, too.)
  • The Command Line Podcast. Thoughtful and insightful rants, reviews, news, and  interviews about computer programming, security, copyright, and anything else that pops into this guy’s head. His web site is seriously well organized. His interviews are very intelligent.
  • Naxos Classical Music Spotlight. Raymond Bisha chats for about 20 minutes at a time about various classical music topics. Some are individual Naxos recordings, some are surveys of works by a given composer available on the Naxos label, and some are interviews with composers or artists. Why can’t all advertising be as interesting and as informative as this?
  • I, Cringely: The Pulpit. This guy’s editorials are always arrogant, assertive, opinionated, and informative. Sometimes his rants sound like a high-tech cross between Chris Matthews and Bill O’Reilly, but well informed.  His comments about how the U.S. lags behind the rest of the world in wireless and broadband is worth listening to. I also enjoy his commentary about Google and Apple though I have no way of judging how accurate his rumor management is. Always fun and very brief. I’m getting a little tired of his jabs against PBS and copyright, though.

Also, check this follow-up list: Another Five Of My Favorite Podcasts.


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