Podcast Review: The Chaipod

Channel Title: The ChaiPod

Summary: Views on The Arts, Culture and Society from a Muslim perspective.

Creator/Host: Brother Dash – An American Muslim poet who is a personal favourite. Check out this video to see him in action.

Supplied Info:The ChaiPodô is a free audio podcast… Presented in a conversational tone much like one would have with a friend over tea. The ChaiPodô covers topics on The Arts, Culture and Society. New 30 minute episodes are released on the 1st of every month and each episode is available on demand by subscribing via rss and on iTunes [Note from iMuslim: I couldn't find the podcast on iTunes - being a new channel, it may take a few days to appear on the directory]. The ChaiPod is hosted by Brother Dash and often includes dialogues with experts, scholars, entertainers and personalities.

Last Podcast (title, date, info):Culture, Identity, Islam (3rd May 2008) Did you know that Islam has no set culture? Is it possible that your very own Western culture that you grew up with is perfectly valid and not something to put aside in the corner somewhere but perhaps championed? Join us as we discuss culture and identity over hot tea with world renown scholar and hadith expert Sheikh Abdullah Adhami, director of Sakeenah, Inc.

Podcast of interest (title, date, info): The podcast was only launched last week, so ditto the above!

Overall Review: As I mentioned above, I am already a fan of Brother Dash – in fact, I came across this podcast via an update on his Facebook fanpage! It seems that his oratory skills came in handy for interviewing Sheikh Adhami, masha’Allah, contributing to an interesting and fluid discussion on the relationship between Shariah and culture – one that would be of special interest to Muslim artists in North America.

I am no expert on Shariah, nor am I familiar with the Sheikh in question, but I found the level of discussion to be general enough to be safe for the masses, insha’Allah. There were no direct lessons on offer in terms of fiqh, because as promised in the description, the interview was indeed a conversational airing of ideas, almost stream of consciousness in style. The sound quality, and overall flow, was good, masha’Allah, especially for a first attempt.

Recommended audience: Not for your hardcore student-of-knowledge types – but worth downloading if you’re into Arts & Culture, and want something to chill to, especially whilst travelling on a beautiful Spring day (well, those were my circumstances at the time of listening to the podcast).

Score: 8/10 (masha’Allah!)

Podcast Review: The Adventures of Chester Radio

As promised a fortnight ago (sorry about the delay), here is the first instalment of a new series of entries, in which I aim to review the podcasts currently listed in the Islam section of the iTunes Store (iTS) directory (iTunes is currently the most popular client for subscribing to podcasts). For more information about podcasts and iTunes, read this FAQ written by Apple.

Before I begin, let me explain a little something that relates to the importance of these reviews. Users of the iTunes directory can search for podcasts of interest using the iTS search engine. The results appear in order of relevance, but also in order of their popularity, as determined by how many people are subscribed to the podcast using iTunes. That is, the more people that subscribe to a podcast via iTS, the higher up the search rankings that podcast will appear. So if you use the search term “Islam”, the most highly subscribed podcast channels that relate to Islam, will appear first in the search listings. This in turn gives these channels an edge when it comes to hooking new subscribers, compared to those channels that appear way down at the bottom of the list.

I am hoping that these reviews will help you make smart choices when it comes to deciding which podcasts to download, which will hopefully have a positive impact on the search engine rankings of worthy Islamic podcasts within the iTS directory, insha’Allah. Or at the least, it will stop you wasting your time and bandwidth on crummy mp3s that do not deserve a space in the Islam section!

Right now, I plan to tackle the list of podcast channels alphabetically – but I reserve the right to alter my strategy later on. :)

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