What Do I Listen To? 2011

by Michael Camilleri

In October of last year I moved permanently to Japan. Because I now work from home, my podcasting habits have been affected somewhat. I do still make time for podcasts but I’m not as desperate as I once was and I find it more difficult to force myself to, say, listen to my Japanese podcasts, when there’s a new 5by5 one ready to go. Keep that in mind when you scroll through the list.

Back to Work

http://feeds.feedburner.com/back2work Merlin Man (he of Inbox Zero fame) and 5by5′s Dan Benjamin have joined forces to waste at least an hour of your week and prevent you from getting back to work. I jest, of course. The idea is to discuss strategies to help you work better. I’m not sure how well that works but I’m enjoying listening to it anyway.

The Brainy Gamer Podcast

http://feeds.feedburner.com/brainygamerpodcast The only thing that’s disappointing about the Brainy Gamer Podcast is that there aren’t more of them. Michael Abbott was almost entirely responsible for me buying a PS3 (which might not sound like an achievement but, given the state of my relationship with Sony, is really more akin to the Paris Peace Accords).

Build and Analyse

http://feeds.feedburner.com/buildanalyze One of the new podcasts and I’m listening to and, like most of the new additions, a member of the 5by5 network. Dan Benjamin (of The Talk Show and the Pipeline fame) has expanded his podcasting empire throughout 2010 and, together with Tumblr co-founder and Instapaper owner/developer, Marco Arment, discusses iOS, Mac and mobile web development. It’s pretty Apple-centric at present but they do detour into coffee from time to time.

Downloadable Content

http://feeds.penny-arcade.com/padlc/ I’m pretty sure this one is gone and yet I hang on just in case.

Dungeons & Dragons Podcast

http://www.wizards.com/dnd/rsspodcast.xml Downloadable Content may have bit the bullet but the boys from Penny Arcade still make an appearance every so often on the D&D Podcast and, when they do, I put everything else on hold.

Front Page

http://www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/nyt/podcasts/frontpage.xml The Front Page is one of the casualties of the end of my commute. Without a daily trek to and from work I’m often a few days behind at which point listening to the news is kind of beside the point. I do still like this podcast, though, so I’m hoping I can fit it into my schedule somewhere.


http://feeds.feedburner.com/hypercritical This is probably my favourite new podcast. John Siracusa and Dan Benjamin discuss issues relevant to the tech world. There’s an Apple angle often but it’s often about issues bigger than just Macs and iPhone. John’s observations are incredibly insightful and, because he doesn’t have a regular outlet (John has a blog but doesn’t update it that much), this is the best place to hear his thoughts.

The Japan Considered Podcast

http://feeds.feedburner.com/JapanConsideredPodcast Am still subscribed to this but, in my heart of hearts, I know it’s gone.


http://www.japanesepod101.com/wp-feed-audio.php I have about 40 of these backed up. I promise I will get to them.

The Moth Podcast

http://feeds.feedburner.com/themothpodcast I can’t believe I’ve only been listening to this for a year but it’s a terrific podcast. Recommended by Dave.

New Yorker: Comment

http://feeds.newyorker.com/services/rssfeeds/comment_podcast.xml The Comment section of the New Yorker is a short essay that begins every issue of the magazine. At least 50% of these will be written by Hendrik Hertzberg and be about the filibuster.

New Yorker: The Political Scene

http://feeds.newyorker.com/services/rss/feed/campaign_trail.xml This is still my favourite discussion of politics. Although their discussion of the recent earthquake in Japan was laughably poor, there’s usually a nice smattering of experts to talk about whatever issue is most timely.

NHK English News

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/rj/podcast/rss/english.xml Same problem as the Front Page podcast. I wish NHK put out their Japanese-language news as a podcast.

Slate’s Spoiler Specials

http://www.slate.com/podcast/id/2144834/ I’ve caught up from last year and am now only 11 podcasts behind. I still have /Lust, Caution/ on the list, though.

The Pipeline

http://feeds.feedburner.com/thepipelineshow If you don’t include The Talk Show (see below) this was the first 5by5 show I started listening to and it’s still one of the best. Hosted by Dan Benjamin, I thought this one might run out of steam as Benjamin worked his way through friends and associates. Thankfully, that’s not the case (or he just has an incredible rolodex).

The Talk Show

http://thetalkshow.net/index.xml Suspended for a brief ‘two week’ hiatus, The Talk Show has returned as part of the 5by5 network. Notable for a running segment in which hosts John Gruber and Dan Benjamin dissect a new James Bond film each week (they’re working their way through the series in order). This alone makes it worthwhile.

東京slow style

http://www.tokyoslowstyle.jp/podcast.xml I still listen to Sasha as he continues exploring odd and different parts of Tokyo. This is the only podcast I’ve ever listened to which seemed to use an animated GIF as the image it displays on an iPod/iPhone. I assume it’s an animated GIF because as the show plays it cycles through images relevant to what’s being talked about. Kind of impressive just for the effort that goes into that side of things.

8-4 Play

http://eightfour.libsyn.com/rss There’s not a lot of video game-related podcasts in this list any more but this is a new one that’s found its way on there. 8-4 Play is a translation company based in Tokyo. The reason I’m listening to the podcast? The company is home to Mark McDonald (formerly of EGM) and he leads a biweekly podcast with the rest of the 8-4 Play crew. The Japan angle is excellent for me.

37signals Podcast

http://feeds.feedburner.com/37signals_podcast It’s not as regular as it was when it started out but if you enjoy listening to the guys from 37signals, you’ll enjoy this.

So that’s who’s on there but who fell off the list? Only one podcast! Incredible! And it only fell off because it stopped being recorded.

  • アクセス The podcast was cancelled! Now I’m never going to find out what ガガンボン means.