Thursday, September 21, 2006


I first heard of this show in June when someone involved in the show e-mailed me asking whether I still reviewed podcasts. A valid question, I suppose, since my last review at that point (and currently) had been in April. Like so many ideas, I started this review blog with good intentions but found that running three blogs can take a fair chunk of one's time.

But here I am, giving it another shot. I'll try to be a little more regular in the future.

Which segues quite nicely into the podcast at hand: Bran (Regular... Bran... get it? Honestly, I kill myself sometimes).

Topic: Tech news
Length: approx. 30 minutes

With a name like Bran, you'd expect the show to some sort of health food podcast, but it is in fact yet another tech podcast. BRAN in this case is an acronym for Bloddy Roulla Yiacoumi Angus Kidman and Nathan Taylor, three tech journalists from Australia.

Roulla "hosts" the show and makes sure things stays peppy. All three take turns mostly opining on the week's tech stories, and they usually seem to know what they're talking about.

But a couple of things make this podcast stand out from the other myriad tech podcasts out there.

First, it's from Australia. This is an advantage both because, let's face it, who doesn't get a kick out of listening to an Australian accent? It adds a certain je ne sais quoi that other 'casts lack (unless of course you're Australian). But beyond that, it's also refreshing to get a non-US-centric take on tech news. Much as I love Leo Laporte and TWit, it can get a little tedious when they start talking about US copyright law and assuming it applies to the whole world (at least that's the impression I get).

Second, being Australian, they tend to be quite irreverent and often fairly raunchy. It's nice to hear broadcasters chewing over the issues like real people would rather than the watered down discussions we so often get on tech podcasts. And nary an episode goes by without some mention of Paris Hilton or Jenna Jameson. And the out-takes at the end of each show are worth waiting for.

Finally, if I were to make one criticism, it would be to do something about the cheesy theme music. The tune itself is catchy enough, but when the canned horns come in, I get Yamaha DX7-style flashbacks; the 80s were a long time ago. Come on, people. If you want to compete with Leo & Company, you'll need to do better than that.

But this minor quibble aside, if you're looking for a refreshing and irreverent take on tech news, tune in to BRAN. 4.5 stars.

As always, if you know of a podcast you think I'd like and should review, drop me a line.

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