This Week in Podcasts

Given my first link, I feel the need to state this explicitly just once more: although I call this series “This Week in Podcasts”, it may be helpful to think of it as a curated list of the best podcasts I listened to within the last week rather than a similar list consisting of only those released within the last seven days. After I published the first, I expanded my scope in this way so that I could include episodes from since-retired shows, or early episodes from now well-established podcasts. In doing so, I sought to truly provide you with a collection of the best shows possible, rather than a certain subset of those. Now, with that out of the way, let’s delve in to another week’s worth of excellent shows.

The Weekly Briefly: Digital Versus Analog. In last week’s public-facing installment of Shawn Blanc’s members-only podcast Shawn Today, The Weekly Briefly, Shawn talked about the value of old-school tools and methodologies over those new-fangled gadgets that all the kids use today. Granted, he did so slightly less curmudgeonly than I managed to in my brief recount, but don’t hold it against him: I really enjoyed the episode, and if you, like many others, liked his article Dumb, you’ll love this audio continuation of that post.

The Prompt Episode #40: The World’s Greatest City. This week on The Prompt, Myke and Federico discuss wearables — and specifically, smart watches — from opposite ends of the spectrum: one for it, while the other much more skeptical of the value proposition this class of device could provide. This discussion evolved into a broader one focused on the core competencies of the two main companies most look to for innovation in this area, Apple and Google, before the trio moved on to talk about Checkmark, metric to imperial unit conversion, and some iOS 8 rumors.

CMD+SPACE Episode #88: Great Songs Everyday, with Jonathan Mann. At 1,907 songs over as many consecutive days, Jonathan Mann is no slouch when it comes to buckling down and creating every single day. In the eighty-eighth episode of Myke Hurley’s interview show, the two talk about the creative process, inspiration, and success. I enjoyed listening to Jonathan speak just as much as I do his songs; come for the personality, then, but stay for the discussion that, by its end, will have you fired up to create for yourself once again.

Accidental Tech Podcast 57: Smorgasbord of Pronunciation. This week, the guys over at ATP take a break from software methodologies to discuss Yukari Kane’s book and the controversy surrounding it, which evolved into a discussion of journalism writ large and, later, Time Magazine’s recent interview with Jony Ive. Personally, I enjoyed that interview; however, John, Marco, and Casey tore it apart, for good reason, and in light of their criticisms I can now see where it fell short. Still, if you didn’t read it, I encourage you to do so. After railing on the rough state of journalism today, they moved on to discuss virtual reality and the challenges facing this seemingly perpetually out-of-reach technology, and then sexism. All in all, A very thought-provoking episode on many fronts.

The Talk Show Episode 76: Here’s a Frickin’ Pipe Dream. Craig Hockenberry joined John Gruber to first talk about blood oranges, and then wearables and how that broader category may not only include the traditional watch, but many other interesting implementations as well. This conversation turned into a discussion of the value proposition of a wearable device, and rounded out to become one of the best conversations on this subject I have heard to date.

Roderick on the Line Ep. 103: “Artisanal Pork Bakery”. I could list the topics Merlin and John discussed during this episode, but instead let me say this: this show epitomizes exactly what makes Roderick on the Line just so great, and exemplifies the reasons so many have come to love the pair’s weekly chats. Wow.

Systematic #89: Colin Devroe on developing in the open. In the first live recording of Systematic in the show’s history, Brett Terpstra has Colin Devroe on to talk about building sustainable businesses and the perils facing fledgling companies in their early days. If you have ever considered going the way of the startup, this episode would be a great place to get the ball rolling. The pair also talked about painting and spending more time outside after thirty years indoors, so if the talk of business strategy for some reason holds no interest for you, there’s still something worth tuning in to hear.

Night Vale. I chose not to link to a particular episode of Night Vale because I wish to point out not a single installment of this peculiar show, but rather it as the modern-day audio phenomenon equivalent to The Twilight Zone in the 1960s. It’s strange, thought-provoking, and — at times — just plausible enough to be real. One thing remains constant, though: I enjoy listening to every single episode.

The Critical Path Episode #114: Veronica’s Dilemma. After a short hiatus, Horace and Moisés kicked off a new chapter in the history of The Critical Path with an interesting discussion on capitalism, industrialization, and the cyclical nature of disruptive entrants and sustainable business leading up to the introduction of their main topic for the foreseeable future: a new theory called The Capitalist’s Dilemma. I won’t attempt to explain this idea here, so just go check out the episode; Horace does an excellent job of explaining it with regards to today’s largest tech companies, Apple and Google.

CMD+SPACE Episode #89: Opportunity Knocks, with Casey Liss. For this episode of Myke Hurley’s popular interview show, Casey Liss of The Accidental Tech Podcast joined him to talk about their respective journeys to becoming internet famous, and how upon reaching that point — contrary to what some may believe — the struggle to create great, noteworthy work only becomes harder. As an aspiring blogger myself, I found their advice and encouragement immeasurably inspirational.

The Prompt Episode #41: Progress, Not A Revolution. In Stephen Hacket’s absence, Myke Hurley and Federico Viticci talk about Apple, iTunes, and the company’s future in the music space. Then, they moved on to virtual reality both in the gaming industry and outside of it, which encompassed a discussion of Facebook’s possible plans for this recently-acquired technology. A very informative episode, to be sure.

Debug 26: Evan Doll on Apple and Flipboard, Debug 27: Joe Hewitt on Facebook and gardening, and Debug 28: Mike Ash on VoodooPad. There is no single aspect or topic of these three shows that I would point out as particularly noteworthy, but I enjoyed each of these interviews as great examples of this format done well.