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Edgy Reviews from That Podcast Show 28: CS Techcast, Widely Ranging Interest, and Cellphone Junkies

CS Techcast

Category: Tech News

Three entertaining guys, Josh Jones, Eric Johnson, and Eric Beehler, host this tech news show. Each episode is nicely organized and consists of a news segment, guest interview, and fun closers like “Worst Tech Move of the Week,” “Weekly Tech Tip,” or “This Month in Tech History.” The show also has musical bumpers and give-a-ways for listeners and lasts about 30 minutes per episode. The podcast does, however, have a disruptive drawback while recording interviews. The volume of the interviewee is so low that it forces listeners to turn the volume up full throttle. When one of the host responds, the host’s levels grow distorted. This ruins an important part of the show. An exception we heard was during an interview with John C. Dvorak.

Rating: ★★★½☆


Widely Ranging Interest

Category: Comedy

Francis Gasparini and Mark Edward Hornish host this very diversified show. Each episode lasts about 20 minutes and consists of Francis and Mark simply conversing about a topic and seeing where it leads them. The Widely Ranging Interest tag-line reads “Amusing You At Our Leisure.” The podcast does bring up ranging interests, however, after a few minutes, it becomes apparent that the topic selection would be better titled “rambling interest.” Though comedy often appears to be unorganized, effective comedy really is not. Organization would go a long way for this show. Sound production is penalized as Francis’ voice comes from one side of the stereo spectrum while Mark’s voice is projective from the other side. This disrupts any type of pleasant flow and grows into an unintentional contest for attention from the two hosts.

Rating: ★½☆☆☆

The Cellphone Junkies

Category: Gadgets

Host Mickey Papillon is frequently joined by Joey to share all the latest news and helpful tips about cell phones. These two have been at this a while and have over 100 episodes under their belts. Listeners who are interested in all things mobile phone-related will be satisfied with The Cellphone Junkies. The sheer volume of information and quality of content will equip listeners to better understand the mobile phone industry. Mickey and Joey are knowledgeable and well spoken. The Cellphone Junkies are not afraid to be specific and geeky, including topics about wireless spectrums, cell phone tips specific to model and carrier, and the latest class action law suits. We were surprised by how Mickey and Joey were able to ration their personal biases. The Cellphone Junkies are pleasingly unique from other cellphone podcasts. While this show is long, over an hour, and there are no musical bumpers, this is something anyone interested in cell phones will enjoy.

Rating: ★★★½☆

For more detail not included in the written reviews please listen to the show to find out much more.

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Edgy Reviews from That Podcast Show 27: The Media Center Show, Litopia After Dark, Bernies World: Adult Music CAN Be Cool

The Media Center Show

Category: Tech News

The Media Center Show is hosted by Ian Dixon. The topic of the podcast is becoming more applicable not only to geeks but mainstream consumers too. The Media Center Show offers valuable information including Windows Media Center work-arounds, plugin-ins, and updates with patches. New personal and commercial uses for Media Center are also discussed, and helpful product reviews are included. Another benefit is the fact that The Media Center Show is able to attain guests that specialize in various ways to present media. Listeners can email questions about the program, and Ian will answer them on each episode. Ian, however, seems hesitant and unsure about answering some questions listeners ask. The host also tends to be mono-tone and lacks enthusiasm, thus making listening to the show difficult. Often Ian gets off-topic and starts discussing other things not remotely related to media centers. The absence of transitional bumpers makes this hour-long podcast seem even longer. We hope Ian is able to focus on his strengths and remove the distractions for future episodes.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Litopia After Dark

Category: Literature

This show is recorded live on a weekly basis. Peter Cox, a literary agent, is the show’s host and topic-mediator. He is joined by an international panel of writers via Skype for discussions. Topics vary from questions about the importance of the book form of the encyclopedia to the question of why writers use Macintosh computers. Peter is more than capable to guide the usually witty and entertaining troop through diverse subject manner. The humor and intelligence of the guests is what separates this podcast from other shows that attempt to share the same type of information. We respect a show that dares to base the entire podcast on the elusive Skype connection as this one does. Skype issues and quality variation, however, hamper the interaction of the group. The volume level must also be turned up all the way to hear what each individual is saying. Litopia After Dark serves its target market (authors, publishers) well. We encourage listeners who are curious to learn more about the world of publishing and author-hood to take Peter and Litopia After Dark for a spin.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Bernies World: Adult Music CAN Be Cool

Category: Music

Bernie brings his selections of music from the Pod Safe network to listeners in each 30 minute episode. Pod Safe serves musical enthusiast as a place where “All works contain no recordings, lyrics, copyrights, or other elements that are the copyright of any other artist, except under the limited provisions of the Creative Commons License Agreement.” Bernies World provides a mash-up of content from artists not considered to be mainstream. He explains why he likes the songs he has chosen and what people can listen for specifically during the songs. Bernie also talks a bit about himself. Despite the fact that Bernie may feel people are not interested, it is great to learn about this host. Bernie is genuine and passionate, not to mention his good taste in music. The audio quality of the podcast is stellar and able to offer music equal to traditional radio. If you like what you hear, you can download the songs for yourself at Pod Safe.

Rating: ★★★★½

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Edgy Reviews from That Podcast Show Entry 26: The DNC Show, MSR All In Poker Podcast, Mac OS Ken

The DNC Show

Category: Unknown

In the tradition of Men in Black, hosts call themselves “D” and “C” in this show that claims it cuts through all the BS out there. This show obviously has the explicit rating, and it should be noted that the hosts do not bother being politically correct. No topic is off limits. Episodes cover things from sex changes to avoiding taxes. Hosts D and C are familiar with one another and do not speak over each other, which is common in many podcasts. We enjoyed the creative “commercial” break parodies that served to vary the pace of The DNC Show. Listeners many find the bantering between the hosts humorous, but these are lude at times. An incredibly glaring omission as of this time is that The DNC Show does not appear in iTunes. The RSS feed on their web site does open in iTunes however. Also, volume levels were low forcing us to turn the volume all the way up to better hear the podcast.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

MSR All In Poker Podcast

Category: Sports & Recreation

Host Jonathan Levvy is coming up on the 200th episode of this poker and gambling podcast. A play-by-play of the “big hands” in the World Poker Tour is discussed in most episodes. Listeners with a working knowledge of poker terminology and the people on the tour will have no trouble understanding this show. Other gambling news and gambling stories from listeners are also included. Listeners who send it stories or pictures of “hot women” are likely to receive MSR Bucks from Levvy, but we are unclear on how these are spent or redeemed. Those with questions can post them on the posting board associated with this podcast. All In Poker Podcast has a catchy introduction and provides solid theme music which helps set the pace and mood for the show. Jonathan keeps the show upbeat and plays to the audience well.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

Mac OS Ken

Category: Tech News

This professional podcast is hosted by the ever-consistent Ken Ray. Apple news is presented five days a week in each 15 minute long episode. While this show is primarily informative, Ray’s wit and sarcasm add to the entertainment value. His love for all things Apple salivates through each show. Mac OS Ken’s catchy title and strong intro are additions to the podcast’s arsenal. Periodically guests are also featured on the show. Ray speaks at a nice pace with good diction, and the sound quality is fantastic. Listeners also have the option of listening to Ken’s 6th day podcast for a fee. We admire Ken for experimenting in monetizing his content. Ken Ray has a show that will entice Apple enthusiasts.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Edgy Reviews from That Podcast Show Entry 25: Golf Smarter Tips, The KunstlerCast, PodFlix

Golf Smarter Tips

Category: Amateur

Host Fred Green interviews various experts on this show that gives listeners golf strategies, exercises, and techniques to better their game. Each episode is only about 10 minutes long but packed with information. Many of the experts have their own books and/or videos that listeners can purchase to learn even more. The guests are well versed and match Fred’s style of conversation. Golf Smarter offers an all-around informative podcast that does not come from the staples of sports podcasting, namely ESPN and Fox. With the abundance of golfing tips and valuable reminders, there is not much to dislike about Golf Smarter.

Rating: ★★★★☆

The Kunstler Cast

Category: Places & Travel

James Kunstler and Duncan Crary team up to offer The KunstlerCast. A variety of subjects under the category of “suburban blunders” are covered, including modern architecture, green space, and politics. The KunstlerCast is unique in the topics it covers each week. The show is billed as being “about the tragic comedy of surburban sprawl.” If listeners find themselves wondering what this means, they are not alone. James and Duncan play to their strengths as Duncan serves as the inquirer, and Kunstler is set to provide direction. The duo do not waste time picking apart the stereotypes and differences between suburbia and urban society. Mr. Kunstler encourages listeners to pay attention to their surroundings and speak up if they do not like what they see. Periodically the subject matter was lost due to rants, but this was infrequent. The podcast is young and is still experimenting to find the best techniques to effectively communicate the ideology of the show.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

PodFlix

Category: TV & Film

Three movie-loving guys, Paul, Willie, and Nish, host this show. The label “explicit” is earned, but the show is funny. The intro is nicely put together and usually followed by about 10 minutes of entertaining conversing between the hosts. Two types of episodes are produced. One is about an hour long and covers a movie recently released to DVD, though the movie may have been made years earlier. The second type of episode is called “miniflix,” and only lasts about 15 minutes. In both cases, movies are reviewed. Listeners receive a combination of personal stories, movie reviews (some very insightful) and other content that is highly unpredictable. Paul, Willie, and Nish have a tendency to get off subject and review movies in an unorganized way. In fact, the hosts distract one-another. These tendencies make the show longer than necessary. Episodes ended abruptly at times and sound skipped in a few episodes as well. The entertainment value is high and the sound is acceptable, however PodFlix fell in regards to the show’s running time and delivery.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Edgy Reviews from That Podcast Show: Entry 24: Blog Business Success, .Net Rocks, The Onion Radio News

Blog Business Success

Category: Business

Wayne Hurtbert is the host of Blog Business Success. Despite having “blog” in the name, subject material mostly falls in the “small business” sector. Blog Business Success has complimentary information for business owners ranging from marketing, product management, and techniques for running an effective business. Wayne is able to find guest who are well spoken for each episode. It is apparent, however, that Wayne is heavily dependent on the interviewees. If the guest is monotone or uninteresting, then the presentation of the show dives south quickly. The length of the show is too long, while transitions and musical bumpers are begging to be utilized to break up the show. This podcast is produced through Blog Talk Radio, which is notorious for poor sound quality. Blog Business Success is no exception; sound quality makes this show difficult to which to listen.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

.Net Rocks

Category: Software How-To

Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell are the hosts of .Net Rocks. The podcast is a refreshing breeze from many other technology-related shows. .Net Rocks is “pro” Microsoft offering perspectives from developers found in Microsoft Windows. Carl and Richard discuss a broad variety of material involving .Net developers including informative, personal, and political topics. Despite the potentially dry topic, the hosts are very entertaining. Really, they are! Both have great radio voices and play off each other well. The easy transitions from differing subjects aide the show’s fluidity. A startling fact that we disliked involved the use of commercials. Ads were placed in the middle of the podcast without a transition or warning. This disrupted the content that was being discussed. Overall, we are impressed by how versatile .Net Rocks is, even to those not familiar with Microsoft’s .Net.

Rating: ★★★★☆

The Onion Radio News

Category: Comedy

Doyle Redland hosts The Onion Radio News, a daily podcast featuring a short “news clip” from a national publication known as The Onion. The Onion Radio News is odd. Funny stories, which are completely fiction, are presented in “breaking news” fashion. The style offers an attitude of sarcasm and silliness. The sound quality is well produced with a nice blend of mixing, music, speech, and other audio commentary. Since the show is only one minute in length, listeners must decide quickly if they either love it or hate it. Just as listeners are getting into the presentation style, the show is over. Giving four or five “breaking stories” in each episode would be very beneficial. The podcast is an accurate representation of The Onion. Just remember that while it sounds like a traditional media production, it cannot be taken seriously.

Rating: ★★★½☆

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Edgy Reviews From That Podcast Show: Entry 23: Podcast Academy, Planet Pulse, Typical Mac User

Podcast Academy

Every show is introduced by Michael W. Geoghegan. The podcast consists of a series of shows featuring different speakers in each episode from The New Media Expo. Due to the high quality of presenters, Podcast Academy is full of very resourceful information of which many podcasters need to be aware. Podcast Academy allows those not able to make it to the Expos to hear speakers with great business and motivational skills. As we were listening to Podcast Academy it became apparent that this is a great source of information for those thinking about becoming a podcaster and of strategies for the more seasoned new media producers. The entertainment value for each episode is dependent upon the talent of the chosen speaker. The length of the show often takes away from the value of the content as they can be over an hour. Overall, Podcast Academy is a highly useful show with great sources of information.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Planet Pulse

Astrology wizards Rick Levine and Jeff Jawer hosts this weekly podcast as a service offered by Tarot.com. Jeff and Rick describe the major astrological patterns of the day and the fact that they affect us, much like the changing weather. The daily shows rarely top five minutes. Specialties include Tarot, Astrology, Numerology and more. Planet Pulse is for knowledgeable listeners who already have an understanding of the topics discussed. The terminology used limits the show’s reach to a wider audience that may be curious. The two enthusiastic hosts caters to those involved in the special niche. Listeners are updated and given the earth’s location in relationship to the other planets and moon. This is supposed to affect our moods and thoughts, however the hosts fail to describe how this is the case. It would be beneficial for listeners to know how these facts apply to them. Sound quality is bombarded by background noise, hiss, and other artifacts making Planet Pulse “difficult on the ears”.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Typical Mac User

Victor Cajiao

Victor Cajiao is host of the Typical Mac User. The podcast is aimed at Apple users with varying degrees of understanding. Victor uses a one-two punch in the formatting of the shows. One episode, for example, will be reminiscent of a one-on-one tutorial experience. The next show will then be of a more interactive format filled with live calls, guests, and content to help listeners better understand the Mac, iPod, and iPhone required for maximum enjoyment. He shares helpful tips with listeners about Mac software and hardware as well as troubleshooting problems. Victor is honest when a listener asks him a question to which he does not know the answer. Regardless of the format, the sound production is well produced. No doubt this is due to Victor’s admitted need to have the shows “just right.” The length of this show varies; the tutorial episodes run about thirty minutes. These are the easiest to which to listen. Episodes over one hour were too long as it is difficult to take in that much information at once.

Rating: ★★★½☆

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