I have a rather long commute every day to work – it ranges from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the traffic (or 2 hours if it snows). When I first started my job, the drive was agonizingly boring. I tried to distract myself by listening to the radio, but alas, it was a failure. The radio is filled with whiny, obnoxious hosts who slip commercials into their dialogue, and ramble on about celebrity gossip, sports, or other dull subjects, and rarely play decent music. The frustration of driving in heavy traffic (with drivers who refuse to learn how to merge, or really be competent at life) slowly ebbed away at my sanity. I arrived home every day feeling quite terrible, regardless of whether work itself had been difficult or not.
At some point last year, the commute got better. I attribute this to my discovery of podcasts. Jardal mentioned one day that he’d been listening to the WOW Insider Show and that there had been some interesting rogue discussion. I decided to finally see what this newfangled “podcast” thing was all about, and downloaded an episode. It was entertaining, made me laugh a bit, and had far more interesting content than the radio. I’d much rather listen to someone QQing about class changes than celebrity drama.
From then on, I was hooked. I started off with just WOW podcasts and have slowly expanded to other topics.
I thought I would share a list of the podcasts I currently listen to. All of these podcasts can be found on iTunes but I’ve linked to their actual webpages so you can find out more information about them if you so desire.
World of Warcraft
- WOW Insider Show:
- This is one of the most popular podcasts, hosted by WOW.com bloggers. The current main hosts are Michael Sacco and Matt Rossi. I’ve started listening to this less and less often, especially since Mike Schramm and Turpster left the show. It sounds like they’ll be making some changes to the format in the near future, trying to make it more “professional”. It covers general WOW news, and they often have interesting guests.
- Twisted Nether Blogcast:
- Hosted by Fimlys and Nibuca, this is an especially great podcast for bloggers to listen to, or those interested in the blogging community. They interview a blogger every week, and then cover WOW news and views, as well as hot topics in the blogging world. I love the interviews – hearing the actual voices of bloggers I read every day is a nice treat.
Other WOW podcasts that you might want to check out, but I don’t listen to currently:
- Slash 2 podcast:
- Mature rated WOW news podcast
- Bind on Equip:
- Australians with an adult sense of humor discuss WOW related topics
- The Instance:
- Hosted by Randy Jordan and Scott Johnson, this is one of the most “famous” WOW news podcasts out there.
- This is hosted by four noteable WOW bloggers/podcasters – Mike (Fimlys from Twisted Nether), Andy (Daewin from The Hunting Lodge), Russell (Rustee from the Slash 2 Podcast), and Darcy (Syrana from Sideshow & Syrana). They make an effort to not talk about WOW. They cover general gaming news, new releases, and discuss the games they’ve been playing lately. They’ve done some very interesting interviews lately with employees from EVE Online, and Runic Games (developers of Torchlight).
- Giant Enemy Crab:
- The newest addition to my podcast collection, this is hosted by the inimitable Turpster (former host of the WOW Insider Show), and Slanik. The lovely combo of Turpster’s English accent and Slanik’s Irish brogue is quite pleasant on the ears. The podcast itself is well balanced between humor and actual content (yes, Turpster can actually be serious when he wants to).
- This is a moview review podcast, hosted by Turpster, Patrick Beja (former WOW podcaster, now Blizzard employee), and Nicole Spagnolo (who hosts her own gaming podcast, Ladies of Leet, and is an avid WOW player as well). The three personalities create a delightful dynamic. I’ve found a lot of new movies to add to my Netflix queue, as well as saved a lot of money by skipping some of the garbage films that have been released recently.
Other Movie Podcasts that you might want to check out, that I don’t listen to currently:
- Film Sack:
- Hosted by Scott Johnson and Randy Jordan (from the Instance) along with podcasters Brian Ibbot and Brian Dunaway. They review Netflix streaming movies every week.
- Writing Excuses:
- This is only only podcast I listen to that is not hosted by a member of the WOW community. Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells discuss all things writing, in this short but sweet podcast. (Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite fantasy authors. This podcast has made me respect and admire him even more). All three hosts have a fantastic sense of humor and provide insightful information. They are all very successful writers but give realistic, candid advice.
- Saucy Wenches:
- This podcast is on hiatus at the moment, but I am confident it will return soon, saucier than ever. It is hosted by Tami Moore (formerly of the Egotistical Priest) and Arleen “Bre” Barreiros (formerly of Gun Loving Dwarf Chick). Bre just had her first child so they are taking a short break. The podcast is extremely entertaining and gives a very down-to-earth take on writing, focused on Fantasy and Romance. Recent topics have been NanoWriMo and editing. I can’t wait for their return!
So there you have my list of podcasts that gets me through the week. Having something interesting to listen to has helped me choke down the fierce road rage that Minnesota drivers seem so good at inciting. If you haven’t yet delved into the world of podcasts, I highly recommend you give it a shot!
Are there any other podcasts that you would recommend? Any comments on the ones that I mentioned? Feel free to chime in!