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A "podcast" is this: a posting of files, usually audio or video, set up so that it can be subscribed to through a Web feed (RSS) by a aggregator program. That's it. That's all it is. It can be a radio show, or an audio/video Blog or pretty much anything.

It's a very basic tool given a fashionable, swanky, yet nearly nonsensical name (which comes from playing them on iPods) to make it seem special and magical. Like pretty much everything else on the internet. On the other hand, it's a simple, catchy name for a common phenomenon, much like 'television' and 'radio', both of which earned howls and jeers when they were new (the names and the phenomena).

Notable is that the art of podcasting was arguably started by and inalienably connected to a man named David H. Lawrence XVII, as a newsletter for a radio company that attached RealAudio files to the emails that they sent out. He also went into acting a little later in life, and became best known as The Puppetmaster, Eric Doyle. No seriously, same guy.

There is a term for a book done as a podcast: Podiobooks. When a Fanfic is given this treatment, it's known as a Podfic.

Tropes used in Podcast include:


Anime and Manga

  • Anime Pulse and its Mystery Science Theater 3000-inspired copy, Manga Pulse.
  • Anime World Order: one of the most popular anime podcasts around. Released on an irregular schedule, they review various anime, from the latest series out in Japan, but also various older shows. Their reviews of MD Geist, Odin: Space Sailer Starlight and Dog Soldier are something to behold.
  • The Anime Counterpoint is another anime podcast. This one is hosted by three of the big names in The Abridged Series world, who go into general discussions on the subject of anime.
  • Daizenshuu EX: The Podcast. They cover anything and everything to The Dragon World in the hopes of enlightening... and a little entertaining. A bit more geared towards fans of the Japanese version of Dragonball and its sequels.
  • Desu Rattle is a recent creation by the Desu Des Brigade, a team of reviewers who give their insight into everything under the sun, updating every Saturday, so far. However, they have an erratic naming system and often lapse into complete silliness. Worth a listen if you have any interest in anime, and want to hear about it from the smart folks.
  • One of Heavens Feel Press's web exclusives is a podcast "book on tape" of horrible fanfiction, and the site's owner is currently offering up Issei Mataloun's Hellstorm Evangelion as a book on tape in addition to their regular anime/game podcast, Unlimited Podcast Works.
    • Inspired Crap-Fic Theater, another podcast series that features audiobooks of (in)famously bad anime fanfiction.
  • This Is Not An Anime Podcast. "Best thing ever since sex" by the first fan of TINAAP. This Podcast is about Anime, Video game and Animal Crackers by the Hosts: Letty Whiterock, Vic Viper and Nanael. It guest stars Moogy in episode 6 (this is a very good reason to watch to TINAAP)
  • Anime Jam Session. A podcast dedicated to anime, music, gaming, and much more. They also bring news from the aforementioned worlds, as well as convention reports. Free to download on iTunes, and one of the regulars is a known Troper.
  • Starting out in 2005, Fast Karate for the Gentlemen is one of the oldest running anime/videogame podcasts out there. It's also covers many non-sequiturs from food to 24.
  • A newer series, the Five Point Podcast, is a weekly anime podcast that's less about news and current events than reviewing individual series.


Comics

  • War Rocket Ajax is a comics podcast hosted by Chris Sims and Eugene Ahn.
  • 4thLetter discusses comics and other associated nerdy stuff.
  • House to Astonish, a comics podcast hosted by Al Kennedy and Paul O'Brien.


Fan Works

  • Occasionally, Fan Fics are read in the manner of a podcast -- these are known as "podfics."


Film

  • Doug Loves Movies. Doug Benson goes to the UCB theater and talks with guests about movies, at least until they find something funnier to talk about. They also play a slightly complicated game using Leonard Maltin's reviews.
  • Riff Trax and all the other Alternate DVD Commentary casts out there. Zarban.com indexes pretty much all of them.
  • Subject:Cinema, which is a movie-oriented podcast run by two movie fans in Boston. They pick a topic each week (like train movies, the The Pink Panther movies, or Mystery Science Theater 3000) and discuss it in depth. Other features include their annual "Rising Stars List," where they pick up-and-coming actors who are going to make it big soon, shows that focus on a particular actor or a director, and the weekly feature "Bonehead of the Week," where they discuss a dumb news story.
  • How Did This Get Made? Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, Jason Mantzoukas and a guest "try to make sense of the movies that make no sense."
  • The Shitty Movie Night Podcast which reviews generally shitty movies that they pull out of a hat at the end of the previous episode.
  • The Film Vault is a weekly podcast, formerly on the Adam Carolla network, now independent, that does Top 5 lists of different things related to movies like "Top 5 Most Desired Comebacks", "Top 5 Time Travel Movies", "Top 5 Sex Scenes", etc. It's hosted by Bald Bryan Bishop of the Adam Carolla Show and Anderson Cowan of the Loveline After Disaster.
  • "Too Much Film School" is a bi-weekly podcast by Matt Price & Casey Coleman, two guys who, you guessed it, attended film school together USC. Once a week, the release a long, long episode discussing a feature film. Every other episode is a shorter (but still long) dissection of a trailer.


Literature

  • Cast of Wonders is a weekly, young-adult-friendly, science fiction and fantasy podcast.
  • The Drabblecast, a high-quality fiction magazine showcasing unusual stories from contemporary Speculative Fiction authors. They allow users to submit 100-word stories called drabbles (or 100-character "twitfics") to the show via e-mail, which differentiates it from other fiction podcasts. Also worth noting are their annual Lovecraft Month and Nigerian Scam Spam Contest (in which contestants write their own spam e-mail in a bid for a cash prize and the hope of reaching notoriety via e-mail spamming), and their semiregular Drabble News segments reporting on unusual events around the world.
  • The HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast rips apart the works of H.P. Lovecraft while amateur and professional voice actors read his stories.
  • Muggle Cast is the most popular Harry Potter podcast online. Run by staff members of MuggleNet, it was released on a weekly basis for three years before switching to a more irregular schedule. Muggle Cast started back in August 2005, and has since spanned over 200 episodes.
  • Another popular Harry Potter Podcast is Potter Fic Weekly [1], which is like a book club of Harry Potter fanfiction. It's extremely unique in that the podcasts are often three or more hours long, although every second is filled with hilarity and this troper thinks it's worth it. It's popularity shows in the fact that three years after the end of canon, it's entering it's fourth season and still going strong, although the orginal hosts are leaving to focus more on PoufwaExchange which talks about other fandoms.
  • Podiobooks hosts a lot of free podcast novels in a variety of genres. Think of them like free serial novels in audio form. Several of the hosted authors went on to score publishing deals on the strength of their online fanbases.
  • Read It and Weep: One day, a twentysomething named Alex realized that he would be a better comedian if he knew more about Twilight. But he wasn't about to take that on alone, so he recruited his college friends Ezra and Chris to read with him. They talked about it over Skype, and hilarity ensued.
  • Metamor City, an urban fantasy with magic, guns, androgynes, pedomorphs, psis, and vampires. Mafia vampires.
  • The Star Wars Book Report podcast provides in-depth coverage of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, even scoring interviews with Steven Barnes, A. C. Crispin, and Terry Brooks.


Live Action Television

  • Battlestar Galactica had RDM's podcasts. Partly due to the fact that Moore was one of the earlier adopters of the technology the podcast are very informal and are usually simply his running commentary as he re-watches the episode. Some complain that the sound quality is somewhat varied and there are often interruptions from things like Moore's children, pets and outside noises. His wife Terry AKA Mrs Ron is a frequent guest star and other member of the writing team and the actors from the show appear as well on occasion
  • Doctor Who Online runs a weekly podcast called "DWO Whocast".
  • Mirrorball Mayhem, run by the same people as Subject:Cinema. The first podcast for Dancing With the Stars.
  • No Pink Spandex, a podcast that covers any and everything Power Rangers.
  • Armchair Survivor, a podcast about Survivor. They are extremely interactive with their listeners, and occasionally have guests from Survivor or other podcasts.


Professional Wrestling


Real Life

  • Distorted View, A very vulgar news show.
  • The History of Rome podcast took a lighthearted approach to charting the entire history of the Roman Empire, including humorous pop culture references to major inaccuracies in films about Rome. The episodes discussing how Maximus most certainly did not defeat Commodus and restore democracy to Rome, and the episode where the narrator mixes up the origin stories for Spartacus and Kirk Douglas are particularly good examples of this.
  • Bad Philosophy is a podcast dealing with everything in the universe... eventually. It's mostly some former college students talking about philosophy and everything else that comes along as a result.
  • The Skeptics Guide to The Universe is a podcast for the skeptical community, talking about bogus claims in the news and what's going on inside the skeptical movement.
    • In a similar vein is Skeptoid, a podcast focusing on examining urban legends, folktales, unusual history, and pseudoscience from a skeptical point of view all while challenging listeners to improve their critical thinking. It's hosted by Dr. Brian Dunning, and one of its high points is his Deadpan Snarker take on each topic. If you're a science buff, a paranormal enthusiast, or just want to learn cool stories it's definitely worth a listen.
  • Wreckless Media Radio is a comedy show based out of Detroit, consisting of conversations about silly situations. It is often described as "like listening to three of your friends just talking to each other after getting very drunk."
  • Sick And Wrong is a news podcast that has gone through several revisions and reimaginings, only maintaining the core concept of presenting anti-social personal stories and news articles for the listeners to rate.
    • Got Faded Japan is a similar podcast, but with Japanese residents presenting heinous stories from within Japan. Notable for being descended from a 'zine and having more of a focus on counterculture and art than shocking stories.

Tabletop Games


Video Games

  • Four Player Podcast
  • Giant Bomb
  • Idle Thumbs
  • Major Spoilers and Critical Hit, from the Major Spoilers Comic & Gaming news site. Major Spoilers is reviews and roundtable discussion of comics and entertainment, and Critical Hit is the hosts of Major Spoilers playing Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition. It's quite funny, and educational for anyone getting into 4E. There is a page for it here
  • Show Me Your News is a podcast for Super Smash Bros Brawl. It began by focusing on updates to the official site (which were released five days a week) before turning into a more general gaming podcast after the game's release, albeit with the emphasis still on Brawl. This one tends to be lengthy - episodes less than two hours are rare and an episode going over four hours is not unheard of.
  • Eye Lazor Beams is a podcast and blog focusing on the Mega Man franchise specifically and geek/gamer culture in general. The podcast itself updates irregularly, but the average episode length runs about two hours each to make up for it.
  • The MachineCAST, a YouTube-hosted video game podcast by British writer Kit Harrison, takes a look at a few stories each week from a light-hearted perspective.
  • Nerd Talk is a podcast that started as a college radio show and contains video game and movie reviews.
  • Second Funniest Podcast
  • The Sonic Show
  • Talkradar, a "gaming" podcast on the review site Gamesradar.com. Gaming is in quotes because video games often only begins as the focal point of the 'cast, often descending into radio zoo show sound effects, drunken rambling, and general hilarious schnanigans.
  • Random Assault is in a similar vein to Talkradar, being in theory a gaming/nerd culture show before inevitably going so far off the rails you can't see the track.
  • WoW Radio used to be one of the biggest World of Warcraft related podcast (technically Shoutcast as it was live) before it broke up into 3 different networks. Said networks are still mostly WoW related with a big dose of general gaming and geek culture. All the subsequent stations since then gained more shows.
  • Scott Johnson's FrogPants Studios, where his numerous shows are hosted. The channel's wide variety of programming includes (but is definitely not limited to):
    • The Instance; a popular World of Warcraft show covering news, rumors and reader questions.
    • The Final Score; a more general-interest gaming podcast.
    • Film Sack; discussing bizarre movies both good and bad.
    • The Morning Stream; as the name implies, a morning talk radio show streamed to a live audience.
  • Video Games Hot Dog, a podcast about video games, done by the creators of Kingdom of Loathing.
  • The D Pad, a weekly podcast about video games, music, movies, television, and pop culture. Features a YouTube channel for LPs as well.
  • The Escapist Podcast hosted on The Escapist.
  • There seems to be a change in leading Pokémon podcasts every generation. From 2005 to 2007, Bulbacast led the field during the Ruby and Sapphire-era as the first successful Pokémon podcast. After they went into hiatus, two guys from Brooklyn who call themselves "Jowy" and "KC" came in with WTPT - Pokémon Radio, and their podcast would end up being the leading Pokécast during Diamond and Pearl's run in the U.S. They've stopped producing new episodes after a downer year in 2010, which left the #1 Pokémon podcast spot open for the current leader It's Super Effective to take for Generation V.
    • As for Pokémon podcasts that's never been successful enough to be the very best, like no podcast ever was, there's the Pokémon Underground Champions League. They've been around since the very end of 2007 and have outlasted WTPT, but their subpar quality have always prevented them from leading the Pokémon podcasting field. P.U.C.L. could have been number one after their (supposed) rival's demise, if it weren't for ISE taking the lead so quickly.


Webcomic

  • Irregular Podcast!, Irregular Webcomic's podcast. A series of comedy sketches, some of the lovely Lampshade Hanging we've come to see from the excellent Mr. Morgan Mar and a great Time Travel spoof "Arlington Woo", now on part three.
    • Can I have my cheque now? ;)
  • Downloadable Content, the Penny Arcade Podcast. Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • The Webcomic Beacon discusses the art of making webcomics from an amateur/hobbyist point of view and also regularly brings in guests from all points on the spectrum from hobbyist to professional. They also invariably descend into banter and often outrageous humour. Maybe it's the curse of webcomic people to just need to be funny?
  • The Webcomics Company podcast sits somewhere in the middle of Webcomics Weekly and The Webcomic Beacon in that it's not entirely aimed at amateurs or professionals but instead wants to strike both with the same rod. It also descends into humour but tries to stay on topic while it does so. Views on whether it succeeds vary.
  • Webcomics Weekly starts off aiming to discuss the art of making webcomics, then quickly descends into Scott Kurtz, Kris Strub, Brad Guigar and Dave Kellett having a good time making each other laugh. Can be very funny if you just want something to listen to, and infuriating if you actually want some advice.


Web Original

  • The Byron Chronicles, run by Darker Projects, an audio drama best described as "Doctor Who meets The Dresden Files with some Supernatural thrown in".
  • Comedy Death Ray Radio, a weekly comedy podcast hosted by Scott Aukerman
  • Commanderbond.net runs a regular C Bn podcast, which is supposed to come out on the 007th of each month, but is inevitably late. Includes a Running Gag involving a reverb on the name of Anatole Taubman, some very good parody examples of Pre Titles Sequence (including a brilliant one on Casino Royale). Paul Dunphy or Evan Willnow usually do the voice-over duties, there's a nice version of the Bond theme done by Rich Douglas and some brilliant jokes in.
  • Farpoint Media is a network of podcasts that cover a big spread of geeky content, from writing to books to TV and film discussion to original fiction. The flagship show is Slice of SciFi, a weekly show with geeky news, interviews, discussion and a close-knit listener community that provides so much extra content that the hosts had to start doing an extra show. A sister of sorts to Podiobooks.com, which was founded by some of the same people.
  • Geek Heaven is a fairly new, general geek knowledge/culture podcast.
  • Made of Fail Podcast, a monthly podcast discussing various subjects related to nerd culture.
  • NSFW Show is a show in which Brian Brushwood and Justin Robert Young invite a guest to join them as they partake in games, skits and general idiocy, with hilarious results.
  • The Ricky Gervais Show, which they (and Guinness) claim to be the most popular podcast in the world.
  • SModcast, with Kevin Smith and his friend/producer Scott Mosier. Recently birthed the SModcast Network and SModcast Internet Radio, spawning a number of related podcasts in the process:
    • Tell 'Em, Steve-Dave!, hosted by Smith's long-time friends Bryan "Steve-Dave" Johnson and Walt "Fanboy" Flanagan (and tech guy Brian Quinn)
    • Blow Hard, hosted by Kev's gay friend and sometimes-director Malcolm Ingram
    • Plus One, co-hosted by Kev and his wife Jennifer Schwalbach-Smith
    • Jay & Silent Bob Get Old, featuring Jason Mewes
    • SMoviemakers, featuring various Hollywood directors
    • Hollywood Babble-On, a Hollywood-news-related podcast featuring Smith and actor Ralph Garman
  • That Guy With The Glasses hosts several pop-culture related podcasts, including "Lee and Z", "Nerd to the Third", and the site's premiere podcast, "Transmission Awesome".
  • Tobuscus
  • The Nerdist Podcast, run by Chris Hardwick, a twice-weekly podcast featuring a bunch of cool nerds
  • The Yogscast have a podcast called the YoGPoD where they talk (and laugh) about random things.
  • The Maximum Fun network hosts a bunch of casts, including
  • Vaguely Live Radio, also known as VLR, is a podcast hosted by Alex Day and Jimmy Hill, who are Nerimon and Jimmy0010 of Youtube fame. The show isn't really about anything in particular.


Western Animation

  • One of Bionicle's web exclusives is a podcast story serial read by Greg Farshtey (with his wife providing occasional female voices).
  • The Old Oilhouse, a mostly Transformers-oriented podcast with a healthy dose of general geek culture and random ramblings.
  • WTF@TFW. A Transformers podcast that hosts the like of Internet Personality Vangelus and the Plastic Addict TJ Omega. It's very funny and if you have even a remote interest in transformers it's worth a listen.


Other

Notes

  1. Their description, not ours...
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