Some flavor for your ears

I avoid local radio whenever I can. It’s repetitive and annoying. I know that makes me seem like an audio snob, but have you listened to the radio lately? It’s terrible! Anyways, that’s not the point of this post; the point is to share what I listen to in place of the radio—whenever I’m in the car, or on a run, or doodling on the computer. Of course I have my music, which includes just about everything, excluding heavy metal and country, but I also listen to a lot of podcasts. Below are my favorites, categorized by never-miss regulars, and every-now-and-then listens. FYI-All of the following podcasts include NSFW language.

Regulars

The Giantbombcast
Hosts: Ryan Davis, Brad Shoemaker, Vinny Caravella, Jeff Gerstmann

The Giantbombcast was the first podcast I started listening to. I’ve been following the hosts for years, reading their reviews on Gamespot, and then later on GiantBomb. I respect their views and opinions on games, and their podcasts are always informative and hilarious. These guys have been working together for a very long time, and it shows in their excellent report and chemistry.

The Nerdist
Hosts: Chris Hardwicke, Jonah Ray and Matt Mira

You can be nerdy about anything, and this podcast explores that. The hosts, all stand-up comedians and nerds, do a great job of getting into detail about the passions of their guests. Some of the guests are from nerd culture, like Felicia Day and Kevin Smith, but there are plenty of alternative nerds—like MMA fighter Mayhem Miller or voice actor Billy West. Chris always asks great questions, and as a creative person, I love that he explores the processes of other full-time creators.

This is Only a Test
Hosts: Will Smith, Norman Chan, Gary Whitta

There are a lot of reasons why Tested.com has become one my favorite tech sites—they’ve got tons of experience, have great video features, take an optimistic non-snarky approach to technology (meaning they still marvel at tech, unlike some other sites), and they produce an awesome weekly podcast. Gary, screenwriter of The Book of Eli and former PC Gamer editor, isn’t even a Tested employee. He started as a guest on the podcast and is now a welcome regular.

The CAGcast
Hosts: CheapyD, Shipwreck, Wombat

This is the newest addition to my list of regulars. I’ve sampled a number of gaming podcasts, but too many of them overlapped, or had bland, uninteresting casts or formats. As a product of Cheapassgamer.com, the CAGcast is full of helpful information, plus it moves along at a brisk pace. Also, the sound quality is incredible. The hosts are in three different cities—Cleveland, New York, and Tokyo—and yet the audio quality is better than some studio podcasts I’ve listened to.

Alternatives

These are podcasts I listen to when I’m in the mood for something different.

Doug Loves Movies: Live podcast hosted by Dough Benson. He has guests (ranging from Jon Lithgow to Zach Galifinakas) come on and play a movie trivia game. It’s often hilarious.

Adam Carolla: A talk radio-type show with a lot of talk radio staples, like sound effects, a news section, and a special guest. It’s not bad, but the audio quality isn’t great (surprising, given the studio and team of producers), and Adam has a tendency to out talk his guests.

TalkRadar: A brash video game podcast filled with music, sound effects, beer and burps. Good for an occasional laugh, but I think it’s about an hour too long, and the constant sound effects can be grating after a while.

Many of the podcasts I listen to lead me to others. For example, after hearing Kevin Smith on The Nerdist, I might check out some of his stuff. Apparently he edits his podcasts for maximum funny. I like tight podcasts with a good pace. I have to really like the cast (as in Giantbomb’s case) to listen to a podcast that’s longer than an hour/hour and a half. Do you listen to podcasts? Which ones?