My problem was that I didn't have an iPod. I recently got an iPod touch and was cruising (painfully) around iTunes in search of something to Warcraft. I had heard of rumors about apps for the touch that were for or based on WoW. I did a search and found a lot of little gems. It was ironic because about a day later Blizzard starting throwing out Cease and Desist orders to app makers, and not only ones that charged money. Anyway (as I'll blog about my iPhone/Touch apps later) I noticed that iTunes was suggesting two podcasts. As enthralled as I am in WoW at the moment I couldn't see the harm considering podcasts are free.
I grabbed the WoW Insider show and The Instance. Wow, was I amazed. I couldn't believe I enjoyed a poorly executed radio show as much as I did these two. When I say poorly executed radio show, what I mean is these are just regular guys sitting on Vent, Teamspeak, Skype, or some other program and recording their conversations. There isn't someone sitting at a sound board playing sound effects that fit and set the mood. Its very clear that these guys take a lot of time to prepare for the show and have a flow outlined before they broadcast. So while its not as "action packed" as your local shock jock on the radio, it is still very entertaining. I usually listen in the car or when I'm working away from my desk. Both shows have a live stream going while they record on the site UStream.com. So while I listen later, its possible to listen live and join a chat room.
This new found love not only drove me further into WoW, but it also became like a drug. I needed more podcasts to listen to! I searched all over iTunes and found every newly updated one I could. All I can say is wow. A lot of these shows sound to be 17 year old kids who can't keep mic levels balanced and who can't entertain a gnat. I feel I was lucky in finding WoW Insider and The Instance first as they are easily the most professional out there. Now I know what you're thinking, who cares about professionalism when talking about a video game? Surprisingly enough, I do. Eventhough podcasts are almost like make-believe radio shows that don't really exist, a professional sounding show is much easier to listen to than a horribly done one. When the person talking has an uncontrolable lisp or can't pronounce the sound an R makes, it really makes the experience painful. There is one female host, for example, that is crude and laughs at everything she says. I have a very immature sense of humor so I should love this podcaster. I don't. I find her terribly annoying to listen to. And its not "the shows" fault. She missed the latest edition and it was probably the best show they've ever done. If it were like that every week I'd probably put it on the same level as the two previously mentioned podcasts.
This brings me to an internal question. If I find this host annoying and difficult to listen to, why do I subscribe and continue to listen? I don't feel I'm a glutton for punishment but I think its fair to say I'm a dork on an epic scale. As crappy as the podcast is with her on it, its still a radio show about WoW and I want to hear what they have to say. I think what it boils down to is that when I'm listening to shock jock, I'm wanting to laugh. When I am listening to a show about WoW, I'm wanting to hear news and opinions about WoW and not penis jokes. I'm sure this makes me a hypocrite, but I can't help it.
I'll eventually post the podcasts I listen to and probably link to them. For now, I'm still trying to see which shows are the best and which ones aren't. I can think of three or four "must listen to" shows and a couple "if you're bored and have nothing better to do." I can also think of some "I'd rather take a palm sander to my genitals." So I'll write a more in-depth look at the podcast scene later. For now, if you don't podcast, do yourself a favor and go grab the latest WoW Insider show and The Instance. At first the guys and gals talking will sound like legendary dorks but once you warm up to them and realize that you yourself is a legendary dork, you'll really enjoy them!