How do you find out about good podcasts?

    by Mark Glaser
    August 15, 2006

    A couple years ago, you could find all the podcasts in existence just by checking the iPodder Directory to see the eclectic mix of homegrown and technology-related audio shows. Now the number of podcasts has exploded as many mainstream news and entertainment companies jump on the bandwagon, and Jupiter Research estimates that 9 million Americans downloaded a podcast in the month of June. I’ve done a Guide to Podcast Directories but I’m wondering how you find out about good podcasts. Do you find them on news websites or other media sites? Do you check the iTunes podcast directory? Do you hear about them from friends and family? Share your thoughts on how you find good podcasts in the comments below and I’ll run the best ones in next week’s Your Take Roundup.

    Tagged: podcasting
    • I personally pretty much only listen to podcasts that are attached to brands (both online and off) that I know already (Digg, Techcrunch, etc.). On occassion, I’ll listen to something due to word of mouth (Ze Frank’s video blog being one recent example). It is rare that I go looking to discover new podcasts through search engines or directories.

    • I agree with Todd. Although I have submitted my own video-podcast to every directory possible, I don’t find directories helpful in discovering good content. That said, the term “good” is also a factor in finding something… it really depends on what you consider “good”.

      If by “good” you mean in quality and production, then chances are you can just find it as a featured podcast in iTunes… but if you mean “good” as in the next big thing yet to be discovered, then you will have to do searching or listen to the buzz on the interweb or from your own friends.

      My personal favorite choice for directories is VlogMap.org (please note that I don’t listen to podcasts, I only watch video-podcasts, so my experience is in this domain). Vlogmap has a feedburner ranking system where you can see interactive charts of subscriptions among video-podcasters (http://community.vlogmap.org/feedburner). Though many of the entries are talking heads, a lot of the higher ranking entries are very interesting/entertaining shows (eg. Goodnight Burbank, GETV, etc.). Unfortunately, though, there are two problems:

      1- Not all shows use Feedburner feeds, so not all shows in the directory are on the stats page;
      2- Some shows, like my own Kitkast and Galacticast, have multiple feeds for different formats. So, the numbers you see on the chart are significantly lower than the actual number of total subscriptions.

      Still, aside from these two issues, I think that VlogMap is a wonderful resource for video on the internet because you can search for video-podcasters all over the world (in your own area or some distant land). It is always an interesting experience in discovery.

    • Directories only go so far. I like the ones that highlight the newest podcasts added to the directory so that there is always a little fresh content to check out.

      Every Wednesday I do go into iTunes on purpose to check out which shows are highlighted that week. I’ve discovered more then a couple though that.

      Mostly though it’s through word of mouth and reccomendations that I discover new podcasts. If someone tells me “C.C. you’ve got to check this out” then I do. It’s more powerful then any reccomendation engine, but if you are looking for one http://amigofish.org/ is THE one when it comes to podcasts.

    • concur w/ cc, amigofish is by far the best recommendation engine for podcasts (audio and video) out there because it emulates exactly what happens in everyday offline life – we have a circle of friends that have similar interests to us and when we want to learn about something new – we ask them for suggestions based on their experiences…

      as for the growth of podcasting being due to mainstream media entering – it actually was exploding before mainstream decided to finally enter, and for the most part their entering really just cluttered the space…

      there are so many podcasts out there now that an unbiased engine like amigofish really helps provide access to the good stuff – the top 100 type lists just don’t expose the gems down the tail – just the ones w/ the largest audience, which is definately not what podcasting is all about – niche rules, mass market is boring…

    • Trial and error after listening to numerous ones found via the ITunes directory is the way I’ve gone though I’ve found their directy is somewhat limited.

    • Hey Casey,
      Don’t you rely on my Vlog Soup for finding new video podcasts?

      A few people have told me that they rely on Vlog Soup for finding out about new video podcasts.

      I think it’s because I take the time to put together a show of those video posdcasts that I like or new ones that I have found that seem like fun.

      It’s all about being a trusted filter.

      As for Amigofish, they don’t include the url used in the LINK element of an rss item and only display the enclosure link. I’d prefer that they link to the permalink of my blog post since that has all kinds of bloggy goodness like information about the video and links to sites and topics covered in the video.


    • above should say:
      “used in the LINK element of an rss item”

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