Good Podcasts Guide To…Podcast Awards 2013

This page is to offer my opinion on the podcasts that have been nominated in the Podcast Awards 2013. At the time of writing there is just over 1 week of voting time available, and you can vote every day.

The majority of these podcasts were new to me, so I’ve had to make a special effort to listen to them. As such I’ve only listened to the most recent episode of most of the shows, assuming (and hoping) that that episode will be representative of the whole series. As such, some shows may have been at a disadvantage – if the podcast is primarily interview based then then each episode stands or falls on the quality of the guest that week, but I think that I’ve given each podcast a reasonable chance. You may notice that currently there are a couple of holes in some categories, basically if I couldn’t find the podcast in iTunes (for my sins, it’s currently my podcatcher of choice) then that was the end of the search – if I have to listen to 200 podcasts in a week to complete this page then it needed to be as easy for me to find as possible, if not then I’m sorry but your show needs to be in iTunes – like it or not it’s currently one of (if not the biggest) podcast directory. (Oh, and it needs to be in more than just the U.S. version!)

The categories are (click on one to take you to the list of nominees) :-

People’s Choice
Best Produced
Best Video
Business
Comedy
Cultural / Arts
Education
Entertainment
Food & Drink
Gaming
General
GLBT
Health & Fitness
Mature
Movies
Podsafe Music
Politics / News
Religion / Inspiration
Science
Sports
Technology
Travel

People’s Choice

The nominees are (hover over the image for the name, click to go their website) :-

alohomora-podcastbeyond-the-to-do-list-podcastespn-fantasy-focus-baseball-podcastmanager-tools-podcastno-agenda-podcastsatellite-sisters-podcastsimple-life-together-podcasttaylor-talk-podcastmajority-report-podcastmorning-stream-podcast

This category contains a mix of nominations from the other categories – maybe my selections in those categories are already out of whack with the eventual winners as none of my individual picks have made it into this category! Podcasts from pop culture to political debate are contained here, created by all types from bedroom fans to full-fledged podcast networks. My pick? Manager Tools. Although this is aimed at managers, it is easy for managees(!) to effectively take the advice and manage themselves. Unless you are a completely free spirit, we all manage and/or are managed so there should be something in this podcast for everyone.
manager-tools-podcast
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Best Produced

The nominees are (hover over the image for the name, click to go their website) :-

caustic-soda-podcastdestination-wdw-podcastgamertag-podcasthogwarts-radio-podcastknow-how-podcastonce-upon-a-time-podcastpriority-one-podcastradiolab-podcastrob-has-a-podcastwalking-dead-cast-podcast

Production quality is only usually a vague consideration for me when listening to podcasts – content is king so even if the show was recorded over a muffled phone link (hello blog talk radio) then as long as the content is good I’ll cope with poor audio quality – it just means that I’ll have to make sure I listen to that show through headphones rather than through the car connection in order to hear it properly. This category is all about the production values though so I’m going to try and take both content and quality into account and as such the nod has to go to the Know How podcast – an excellent tech video podcast presented in an interesting and likeable way.
know-how-podcast

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Best Video

film-riot-podcastframerate-podcastgeek-beat-tv-podcastipad-365-podcastipad-today-podcastnsfw-podcastrob-has-a-podcastrooster-teeth-podcastart-of-photography-podcastyoung-turks-podcast

(Before we start here, full disclosure – I didn’t find the video versions of Rob Has A Podcast and Rooster Teeth. I’m sure I could have if I’d tried a bit harder but the audio versions were the first that popped up and as this Podcast Awards 2013 undertaking already meant listening to over 200 podcasts I wasn’t about to faff about finding the video version instead, sorry! I’ll update this page if I do find them.)

This category is specifically ‘Video’ so I’m automatically discounting nominees that didn’t really need to be a video – sorry but that means bye-bye to NSFW and The Young Turks.

For Tech based shows Geek Beat TV comes out on top over iPad 365 and iPad Today by having a very natural and professional style of presentation and also by just getting to the point rather than waffling about.

The ultimate winner here for me is tricky – it’s between Film Riot and Art of Photography. Both are excellent sources of inspiration for anyone wanting to get involved in the respective areas of expertise, but while Film Riot is very funny as well as being informative and inclusive, ultimately the general tips, inspiration, history of the subject and advice for all surrounding areas of photography, the nod has to go to Ted Forbes for the excellent Art Of Photography podcast.

art-of-photography-podcast
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Business

beyond-the-to-do-list-podcastdh-unplugged-podcastentrepreneur-on-fire-podcastincome-press-podcastlivelihood-show-podcastmanager-tools-podcastplanet-money-podcastsmart-passive-income-podcastengaging-brand-podcastsuitcase-entrepreneur-podcast

There is a reasonable mix of business podcasts here, from the day-to-day manager tips a lot of people will need provided by Manager Tools, through stocks and shares information (over my head!) by DH Unplugged, to the altogether more different take on business advice provided by The Engaging Brand.

Personally I would come to this category looking for practical tips and advice – several of these podcasts are aspirational interviews with those who have already made it, which is good from time to time to give a bit of inspiration but on the whole I would rather have more detailed ‘how to’s and tips. For that reason I’m giving the nod in this category to Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income podcast as it is a nice mix of interview episodes for inspiration and a bit of advice, coupled with solo Pat-only episodes packed full of useful tips.

smart-passive-income-podcast
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Comedy

comedy-button-podcastcomedy4cast-podcasthumble-and-fred-podcastjaney-godley-podcastjim-and-them-podcastadam-carolla-podcastbugle-podcastmorning-stream-podcastramen-noodle-podcastwtf-podcast

Personally I would have rather seen this category containing more material that has been ‘written’ – sketches, routines, songs etc. rather than rambling conversations that just happen to be amusing. Nearly every show in this list unfortunately falls into that category, and even worse some of them throw slightly aggressive and unpleasant attitudes into the mix as well. That being said, even if all of the other shows had been on a similar level, I still think that one would be head and shoulders above the rest…considering that it is a topical show it makes it even more impressive that The Bugle is such an incredibly high standard every single week – it should be the clear winner.
bugle-podcast
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Cultural / Arts

anime-addicts-anonymous-podcastanime-pulse-podcastmajor-spoilers-podcastnpr-pop-culture-happy-hour-podcaststuff-you-missed-in-history-class-podcastswords-and-laser-podcastcombat-jack-podcasttheatre-geeks-podcastthis-american-life-podcastveteran-empire-podcast

This category more than others highlights just how much crossover there is in the nomination list, perhaps the category list either needs to be condensed or more clearly defined next year.

This American Life is an excellent magazine show covering a variety of subjects, and for more specific genre podcasts there are a couple that will be great for anyone into those things – Anime Addicts Anonymous Podcast (obviously for anime) and Sword & Laser (for sci-fi and fantasy books).

The winner in this category is easy – Veteran Empire Podcast. It’s a great idea for a show – I’ve only just discovered it as a result of this award nomination so haven’t listened to many of them yet but the ones I have listened to so far are inspirational. I’ve subscribed now, and so should you.
veteran-empire-podcast
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Education

caustic-soda-podcastgrammar-girl-podcastmugglenet-academia-podcastschool-sucks-podcastsimple-life-together-podcastsmart-people-podcastbritish-history-podcasthistory-chicks-podcastpodcast-history-of-our-worldpublic-speaker-podcast

Nice mix of shows in this category from the Quick & Dirty Tips of Grammar Girl and The Public Speaker through the lifestyle suggestions of Simple Life Together to the different views on history from The History Chicks and The Podcast History Of Our World.

It was a really difficult decision between School Sucks Project and The British History Project – the latter is very well written and presented in a likeable and engaging style, but the interesting way of looking at things in the School Sucks Project takes it.
school-sucks-podcast
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Entertainment

podcast-of-ice-and-firealohomora-podcastfirewall-and-iceberg-podcasthollywood-babble-on-podcastmission-log-podcastsurvivor-talk-with-d&d-podcasttaylor-talk-podcastcomic-book-castunofficial-one-piece-podcastwalking-dead-cast-podcast

This category is similar to the ‘sports’ category in that most of the shows nominated are about subjects I am completely clueless about! There are no particularly bad podcasts here so if you are a fan of the subject of any of them then you will not regret subscribing. My pick is based on which is the most entertaining show and that has to be Hollywood Babble-On.
hollywood-babble-on-podcast
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Food & Drink

alcohollywood-podcastdining-with-doug-and-karen-podcastmike-and-tom-eat-snacks-podcastmommys-cocktail-hour-itunesnutrition-diva-podcastour-hen-house-podcastshould-I-drink-that-podcastbeerists-podcastsplendid-table-podcastwine-for-normal-people-podcast

Disappointingly not many of the podcasts in this list are actually about Food & Drink – shows such as Alcohollywood & Mommy’s Cocktail Hour have only tenuous links to the nomination subject, while Dining With Doug & Karen and Mike & Tom Eat Snacks suffer from the tedium of listening to people eat in between rambling conversation.

As far as the ‘drink’ based podcasts go, The Beerists takes it over Should I Drink That by being more focused on the subject, and Wine For Normal People is the best of the lot for normalising a subject that can be bewildering.

Nutrition Diva is a no-nonsense practical advice show for all nutrition matters, in a neat & concise 7-8 minutes, by contrast the more conscientious Our Hen House has a good message but waffles too much in delivering it.

The clear winner as a result of being waffle-free, interesting and concise in its articles is the food & drink magazine show The Splendid Table.

splendid-table-podcast
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Gaming

gamertag-radio-podcastgiant-bombcast-podcastpriority-one-podcastrooster-teeth-podcastfinal-score-podcastindependent-characters-podcastthe-instance-podcastthe-shaft-podcasttrinity-force-podcast

This was difficult for me as several of the shows here are dedicated to specific games that I am unfamiliar with – PolyCast (Civilisation), Priority One (Star Trek Online), The Independent Characters (Warhammer), The Instance (Warcraft), The Shaft (Minecraft) & Trinity Force (League of Legends). Not being familiar with the games it’s difficult to judge but all of the shows sounded like they were giving useful and interesting information for fans of the games without waffling too much!

For the more general gaming podcasts there were a couple that were guilty of waffling and being faaaar too long, so the winner of this category for me is Gamertag Radio.
gamertag-radio-podcast
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General

airline-pilot-guy-podcastgreeting-from-nowhere-podcastmanic-mommies-podcastpodquiz-podcastpretty-good-podcastreality-check-podcastsatellite-sisters-podcastschool-of-podcasting-podcastsuccess-freaks-podcast

This ‘general’ section has one unfortunate thing in common with the more specific sections and that is the number of overlong waffly podcasts. You know those shows on the radio? The ones that people get paid to produce? There’s a reason they only last for 30 minutes and the host doesn’t start by talking about a recent trip to the supermarket. Get to the point! And edit!

The podcasts that stood out in this list were Podquiz (surely everyone likes a quiz!), Airline Pilot Guy was well produced but incredibly niche, and School of Podcasters provides useful information for anyone looking to be in these awards next year.

The nod however goes to Reality Check for it’s really interesting content, excellent stuff!
reality-check-podcast
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GLBT

bend-over-and-take-it-podcastcocktails-and-cream-puffs-podcastfeast-of-fun-podcastflaming-freedom-podcastgay-ambition-podcasthomoground-podcastpnsexplosion-podcastscreamqueenz-horror-podcastthis-show-is-so-gay-podcastthrowing-shade-podcast

This was one of the stronger categories – some of the others had only one clear stand-out but this one had several contenders. Honourable runners up are Cocktails & Cream Puffs, Feast Of Fun and This Show Is So Gay.

Part of me feels that my pick for this category should really be winning the ‘music’ category allowing the nod for GLBT to go to one of the shows above, but there is no denying the quality of the music in this show, so the winner for me has to be Homoground.
homoground-podcast
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Health & Fitness

diet-science-podcastelsie-yoga-kula-podcastget-fit-guy-podcastjournaltalk-podcastmagical-medical-tour-podcastmighty-cast-podcastrunner-academy-podcastangriest-trainer-podcastextra-mile-podcastfat-burning-man-podcast

The shows in this category cover health & fitness for both our physical & mental needs. If you’re a runner then Runner Academy will provide excellent inspiration, for more general training Get-Fit Guy is good for quick tips while Mighty Cast offers a longer discussion to keep you distracted from what your body is doing during your workout!

As for the more mental side of things, Elsie Yoga Kula had a really lovely feel to it, nice and relaxing, but the winner for me is JournalTalk. I’ve kept a journal of sorts for a little while now and can testify to the help it can offer you in tracking and achieving goals, as well as the warm memories it can bring back as you read through old and otherwise forgotten entries. It’s inspired me to take my ‘sort of’ journal into a bigger activity…once I have the time after listening to all of these nominated podcasts!!!
journaltalk-podcast
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Mature

distorted-view-podcastdrunkcast-podcastpolyamory-weekly-podcastrisk-show-podcastsavage-lovecast-podcastsex-nerd-sandra-podcastsex-with-emily-podcastsick-and-wrong-podcastswingercast-podcast

As potentially the most ‘dangerous’ category in the Podcast Awards 2013 list, the podcasts listed here were for the most part disappointingly uneventful.

Shows like Polyamory Weekly and Swingercast will provide an excellent resource and sense of community for anyone dipping their toes into new waters or who don’t necessarily know anyone else who is also into it…although in these days of the internet you’re only a couple of clicks away from finding someone who is!

Other categories in these awards have had a clear winner but this one was a struggle to decide between the fun and humour of Distorted View against the excellent advice show Savage LoveCast. I’ll be subscribing to both, but in the end the vitality and life bursting from Distorted View just edges it.
distorted-view-podcast
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Movies

animation-addicts-podcastdoug-loves-movies-podcastfilm-sack-podcasthow-did-this-get-made-podcastmovie-spoilers-podcastthe-daily-spill-podcastflop-house-podcasthollywood-outsider-podcastwe-hate-movies-podcast

Some of the shows in here such as Is It A Bicycle, Movie Spoilers, The Daily Spill and The Hollywood Outsider cover current films and while there is nothing in particular wrong with them, it’s just that there are other podcasts out there (disappointingly not nominated here) that do that sort of thing much better.

Animation Addicts Podcast stands alone in this list as being about a specific genre, and their love for it really comes across – this will be a great podcast for other animation fans.

Doug Loves Movies is an odd one – I get the feeling that it would be a great night out being in the room while it is being recorded, however I struggle to engage with the podcast version.

So as far as the most entertaining shows go – no matter how much we all want to see the best that films have to offer, it’s always entertaining hearing the rip being taken from films that aren’t exactly A-grade…however it does mean that if a podcast does this then you also need to have seen the film in order to get the most from it. We Hate Movies, How Did This Get Made and The Flop House all suffer slightly from this, however Film Sack gets the best of both worlds by picking mock-worthy films with just enough notoriety to have been seen by a wider audience…and also by being funnier!

film-sack-podcast
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Podsafe Music

all-songs-considered-podcastamericana-music-show-podcastcoverville-podcastfriday-night-dance-party-podcasthardstyle-team-podcastirish-and-celtic-music-podcastjonah-raydio-podcastlive-wire-radio-podcastamericana-rock-mix-podcastbugcast-podcast

If you have wide music tastes then The Bugcast and All Songs Considered cover a good variety, with Bugcast focusing on independent acts. As you may guess Coverville plays cover versions in various styles coupled with a very likeable host in Brian Ibbott.

As far as specific genres go, American Music Show is a bit too country-rock for me, likewise the Americana Rock Mix is a little too Springsteen-style earnest. Dance music is not terribly well served with the rather straightforward club music of Friday Night Dance Party and the horrible distorted hard dance kick drums all over the Hardstyle Team Podcast.

On the positive side, I’ve never been too much of a fan of Celtic music, but the Irish & Celtic Music podcast has converted me, that show was really good.

The nod for this category however goes to Live Wire Radio – each show is a tight half hour, completely different styles of music with each episode, all from unknown acts but quality music throughout, excellent show!
live-wire-radio-podcast
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Politics / News

american-conservative-university-podcastcommon-sense-with-dan-carlin-podcastcongressional-dish-podcastdemocracy-now-podcastelectric-politics-podcastfree-talk-live-podcastfreedomain-radio-podcastno-agenda-podcastslates-political-gabfest-podcastmajority-report-podcast

Review still to be completed!

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Religion / Inspiration

are-you-just-watching-podcastcatholic-vitamins-podcastfeeding-my-faith-podcastinappropriate-conversations-podcastmore-than-one-lesson-podcastmormon-fair-cast-podcastthe-break-with-father-roderick-podcastsci-fi-christian-podcastzencast-podcast

Cards on the table – I’m not religious at all so this is an interesting category for me.

Feeding My Faith & Mormon Fair-Cast have decent discussions without particularly standing out, while Catholic Vitamins, Zencast and Inappropriate Conversations were by turns a bit too sappy, dull and slightly evangelistic for me.

The shows that are more in my wheelhouse are More Than One Lesson, Are You Just Watching? and The Sci-Fi Christian, being as they are about religion in the context of something else, namely films and TV. Are You Just Watching is more scripture focused than More Than One Lesson, the former analysing films with much more of a focus on religious scripture comparisons than the latter, but for me the clear winner is The Sci-Fi Christian – just the right amount of critical assessment of the medium in question and the religious analysis thereof, coupled with some very likeable hosts and entertaining chat. The only thing they need is a proper podcast logo in iTunes!!!

sci-fi-christian-podcast
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Science

blame-it-on-outer-space-podcastevery-einstein-podcastquirks-and-quarks-podcastradiolab-podcastscience-friday-podcaststar-talk-podcastbrain-science-podcastskeptics-guide-to-the-universe-podcastthis-week-in-science-podcastweather-brains-podcast

Really good category here – every show was interesting with special mentions for Radiolab, Brain Science and This Week In Science.

It was a difficult choice between Quirks & Quarks and StarTalk but in the end StarTalk just edges it for being both funny and interesting – and the fact that the episodes I listened to had the legendary Dan Aykroyd as a guest helped too!
star-talk-podcast
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Sports

americarnage-podcastcbssports-fantasy-football-today-podcastdear-mr-fantasy-baseball-podcastespn-fantasy-focus-baseball-podcastslate-hang-up-and-listen-podcastivy-envy-podcastpuck-podcastsports-and-torts-podcastwho-dey-weekly-podcast

This category should be renamed ‘American Sports’ featuring as it does nothing but American Football, baseball and hockey. No soccer, motorsport, athletics, tennis or any of the other myriad sports out there. Nevermind as unfortunately I know precisely zero about the sports under discussion! So that means that the nod in this category goes to the show that was the most entertaining even for a novice – Americarnage.
americarnage-podcast
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Technology

nerdzilla-podcastsecurity-now-podcaststolendroids-podcasttech-news-today-podcastaudacity-to-podcastthe-computer-tutor-podcastmaccast-podcastvergecast-podcastwaves-of-tech-podcastthis-week-in-tech-podcast

There wasn’t a great deal of waffling in this category but some of the shows were still too long. The best runners up were Tech News Today, Audacity To Podcast, Computer Tutor, MacCast and This Week In Tech.

The nod in this category goes to The Waves Of Tech podcast – good hosts and a few interesting subjects per episode all delivered in a neat 40 minutes – if only other podcasts in these awards could follow the same example!
waves-of-tech-podcast
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Travel

amateur-traveler-podcastdestination-wdw-podcastliving-the-rv-dream-podcastmouse-chat-podcastmousetalgia-podcastthe-be-our-guest-podcastthe-bowery-boys-podcastdis-unplugged-podcastwdw-radio-podcastwedway-radio-podcast

I don’t know why but it had never crossed my mind that there would be podcasts about the Disney parks until I saw this list – 7 of the 10 are about Disney! Amazing. My favourite of the Disney based podcasts was Moustalgia – it’s a well made show with a nice vibe and a decent selection of articles rather than focusing on one topic for the while show.

As far as the non-Disney shows go, a close runner up was the well produced show and excellent hosts of The Bowery Boys, but the winner for me is Amateur Traveller. This show has plenty of photos running alongside the audio to complement the discussion of places visited and it really helps to put you there and to give you a real pull to get out the backpack and head off on some adventures!
amateur-traveler-podcast
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