Podcasts are a great way to pass the time while doing semi-automated and/or boring tasks like gardening, driving your car to work and back, or chores related to keeping your house nice and tidy. As long as the tasks don’t take up too much of your active grey-cell CPU you can devote those free cycles to processing some interesting auditory data making that boring chore less boring while learning something in the meanwhile. Sounds good doesn’t it?
Below I listed some of my main brain-food sources I keep going back to, which are mainly technology and science related. I listen to a lot of Microsoft .NET programming related items (guess what we use at work) and some more general programming related topics. There’s also some science stuff or generally geeky & fun things.
- Hanselminutes: Microsoftie Scott Hanselman talks about interesting topics with a wide range of guests. Well worth the listen and not quite as Microsoftish as you’d expect. If you’ve seen one of his presentations before you know these are fun to listen to as well.
- .NET Rocks, which is as stated mainly about .NET and related technologies. Still, Carl and Richard occasionally geek out on completely unrelated topics as well, like renewable power or flying to Mars. One of my favorites, because these shows are not only filled with knowledge but they are also great fun to listen to.
- Herding Code: programming related podcasts about anything new & hip in the coding world. Low frequency updates.
- Software Engineering Radio: again varied programming topics, not tied to any specific technology hosting some of the big names in the industry. Cherry pick away from their huge archive!
- ITConversations: ICT/IT/science related. Great to pick & choose from for some brain-food variation.
- Microsoft TechEd videos: more good Microsoft stuff. These are videos, but if you convert those to an mp3 file, you can just add them to your podcast list anyway.
- TED videos: lots and lots of really nifty thought-provoking stuff there. Again something to convert to mp3’s or if you have an Android phone simply download the video’s using the free TEDAir app for off-line access.
- In Our Time podcasts from BBC Radio. If you’re tired of the IT related stuff try this one to learn something new on philosophy, history, science, culture or religion.
- Radiolab.org. Another really good podcast show about all sorts of topics. Excellent brainfood to trigger some new neural paths to form and extremely well produced. Pick up a few of these for a taste, and I’m sure you’ll be back for more.
To easily convert online videos to mp3s you can use snipmp3, video2mp3 or listentoyoutube, or install a tool from this Filehippo list. Plenty of other options out there that do the same though. I use VLC to do this myself, but it’s a bit tricky at times (read: too much to explain right here and now).
So what kind of awesome podcast do you listen to?
I’d be happy to find out and extend my brain-food diet.
Photo by Alesa Dam, cc-licensed.