Apple is celebrating the one billionth podcast subscription from the iTunes Store, a landmark that has long been due. Considering it was 2005 when the first podcast hit iTunes, it has taken nearly eight years for these episodic files to register these big numbers.
The podcast is essentially an audio, video or text-based series of episodes that get delivered to your podcatcher application once you subscribe to it. As and when episodes are produced and released, your device automatically catches hold of it so you can listen to it, watch it or read it in your own sweet time.
The premise seems simple and set for fame, right? The trend, however, never really caught on, which is a shame. Sure, podcasts have their fair share of loyal listeners and subscribers, but that’s about it. However, if you’re a person who has special interest in technological topics, you must give podcast a shot to let you be up-to-speed with all things geek. Here’s a list of tech podcasts you should hit the subscribe button on right now.
NPR: Technology and NPR: TED Radio Hour
Hosted by National Public Radio from the United States, the episodes do not have a set pattern or even a host. The shows feature snippets of all things technology from other NPR programmes. The episodes vary in length from 10 minutes to 30 and 45 minutes on a regular basis and can make for some easy listening when you’re travelling or even working on a project.
NPR’s TED Radio Hour is another of the company’s chart-topping podcasts in countries like the US and Australia, and with good reason. The 50-odd minute episodes feature ideas and inventions from the famous TED talk stage in a podcast form. The TED Radio Hour is hosted by NPR reporter Guy Raz and features ideas and stories centred around common themes like crowd-sourcing and memory games amongst other ideas.
NPR has a host of tech podcasts
You can download episodes from NPR: Tech from iTunes or from the website. Similarly, you can check out NPR: TED Radio Hour on iTunes or get it from the website if you do not have an iDevice.
Of course, if we have a TED-based podcast, how can one from TED Conferences be far? This one is a video podcast with an interactive English transcript as well as subtitles in up to 80 languages. The Ideas Worth Spreading principle applies to the podcasts as well and you can check out around a hundred podcasts of TED and TEDx events from around the world.
This podcast can be a fun way for geeks to spend rainy afternoons at home without having to fire up YouTube every time you want to have a look at a TEDTalk episode. Check the entire list of podcast episodes from the iTunes Store.
There is no beating TEDTalks
This Week in Tech
Casually referred to as TWiT, this is the flagship podcast of the TWiT.tv network that has gone on to host about 25 other tech-based podcasts. Said to be the “last word” in tech, TwiT comes up with weekly podcasts every Sunday that feature round-table discussions on the latest trends in the world of technology, featuring Leo Laporte, Patrick Norton, Kevin Rose and John C. Dvorak.
The guys have just released episode number 415 this week, and even though some reviewers say that the show’s standards have taken a bit of a hit in the past couple of months, you can be the judge here and give the show a hear. Check out the iTunes page for TWiT and their website.
The podcast that spawned 25 others
For science, ladies and gentlemen! Hosted by renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrassy Tyson, StarTalk Radio is dedicated wholly and completely to all things space. The podcast aims to connect Pop Culture with science and is full of humour and fun. If you were expecting a monotonous voice taking you through the wonderful subject of stars and planets, you’ve come to the wrong podcast.
Tyson is joined by comic co-hosts and celebrities every week in his endeavour to make science fun for everyone. Give re-runs of The Big Bang Theory on the idiot-box a break and listen in to the podcast from iTunes or the podcast’s website.
Tyson is the man!
Yes, there are podcasts for video games too, and Giant Bombcast happens to be one of the finest and one that is not dedicated to just a single game. The podcast is run by Giant Bomb, the video game wiki and the website. Episodes are released every Tuesday and are generally informal—about games the hosts played over the weekend, recent releases, emails by listeners and more. Think of it as a video game experience in a radio format.
Only video games
The hosts have done some pretty neat stuff with the show, including having one episode recorded at the E3. It’s little wonder then that the podcast is on the top 10 list of iTunes Podcasts in various countries under the Games and Hobbies category. Check the episodes out on iTunes or head over to the podcast’s website to download them in MP3 format.
This was our list of some of the top tech-based podcasts that should be on your phones or iDevices. Let us know your podcast picks in the comments section below.
(Cover image credit: Getty Images)