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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New Islamic Podcast Review Series

As mentioned on the recent welcome message, my new role on Ijtema.net is to highlight the latest Islamic Audio content, insha’Allah.

My initial plan was to simply replicate the current formula we have been using the past few months for blogs, which is to subscribe to a bunch of Islamic podcast channels, and every week listen out for the ones I like the most, to post on my day (that’s Saturday, by the way – even though by my timezone, it is already Sunday!).

However, looking at the Islam section of the iTunes directory, I was faced with a whole bunch of new channels that weren’t there a year or more ago, when I last checked it out. I wasn’t familiar with most of the names shown, and had no idea which ones would be worth my time subscribing to – so how was I going to fulfil my new online mission?!

Then it hit me… I can’t be the only one thinking that way when faced with such a long list! With this revelation, I decided that what might be more useful, would be if I took the trouble of going through every channel on said list, and basically outlined what’s ‘hot’ and what’s ‘not’, from a somewhat Islamic perspective.

So from next week insha’Allah, you can expect a weekly review of so-called ‘Islamic’ podcasts – including the ones that have clearly been planted by people who are most likely not into their Islam, so much (like the guys behind the “Arabic Audio Bible” podcast, perhaps?).

I pray that my opinion – although personal, and mostly uninformed – is hopefully not irrelevant, and helps you to make wiser choices when it comes to selecting your online source of Islamic knowledge, and Muslim news, insha’Allah.

To end, I may as well plug the latest Islamic podcast to hit the scene, produced by Muslimmatters.org. I won’t bother reviewing it as such, due to my involvement in setting it up – I wouldn’t want to be accused of bias now – even though it’s, like, the best podcast out there, masha’Allah (except for the other podcast I help to produce for Nisaa.ca ;) ).

Until next week, insha’Allah