Vox Populi: Popular podcasts on the net

The overwhelming popularity of portable MP3 players has brought with it all new innovations in using this new technology. The most popular application that has come out recently are podcasts.

Podcasts are the automatic distribution of MP3 files via RSS or XML. With podcasts, a user downloads software and installs it in order to receive their favorite podcasts automatically from the podcast’s website. Apple iTunes is an example of a podcast software that can deliver podcasts to your personal computer. The files that are downloaded come in an mp3 format and you can then listen to them in your personal computer or better yet, on your portable MP3 player so you can bring your podcast episodes wherever you go.

Podcasts are like radio programs with one big difference. Anyone can make and distribute their podcasts. This makes it a true populist initiative. Podcasters can rant about their favorite political issue, talk about their CD collections, discuss plot twists in their favorite comic book titles or even advise people about how to make podcasts. The subjects and topics that can be discussed in podcasts are only limited by your imagination.

Just like popular TV or radio shows, there are already podcasts that can be considered as widely popular. Below are some popular podcasts that you should try:

The Onion Radio News – This is a daily podcast that features short news clips from The Onion’s 24 hour radio news network. For those who still don’t know The Onion, it is an online “news network” that puts a satirical spin on the latest news and political issues.

New York Times Front Page – This is a daily summary of the top headlines of every weekday morning.

X-Play Daily Videogame Podcast – This is another daily podcast that offers gamers the latest gaming news, tips, tricks as well as previews of upcoming games.

Meditation Station – This podcast is aimed at people who are stressed and are seeking to achieve a little focus on their hectic lives. The regular meditations can help you de-stress.

This Week in Tech – This award-winning podcast finds Leo Laporte and other well-known tech luminaries discussing the latest tech trends.

Science Friday – Making Science Radioactive – this weekly podcast discusses the latest news and trends in science, technology, health and the environment.

Ebert & Roeper – Popular film critics Ebert & Roeper review and discuss the merits (or demerits) of the latest movies showing in Hollywood.

Indiefeed: Alternative/Modern Rock – This is a great way of getting great songs from the alternative/modern rock genre. Everyday the podcast features one song that includes information about the artist as well as where to buy the album. This podcast is redefining how music is being delivered to people.

The Catalyst Podcast – This is a community that aims to raise the next generation of leaders and teaches them about the church and culture.

Penn Jillette – The popular and edgy magician airs excerpts of his popular satellite radio show to his fans.

Travel with Rick Steves – This is a weekly hour-long conversation with experts and callers about travel, culture, people and the kind of stories that you only get when you travel.

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