Category: Podcasts

June 9, 2019 Off

Original Content podcast: Netflix’s ‘Always Be My Maybe’ is a surprisingly sweet romantic comedy

By Jill T Frey

“Always Be My Maybe” — a new film starring and co-written by Ali Wong and Randall Park — continues Netflix’s streak of solid romantic comedies.

That said, anyone expecting it to match Wong’s delightfully dirty stand-up (showcased in the Netflix specials “Baby Cobra” and “Hard Knock Wife”) might be disappointed. Instead, “Always Be My Maybe” feels like a throwback to ’90s romantic comedies; after all, Park and Wong have cited “When Marry Met Sally” and “Boomerang” as inspirations.

On this week’s episode of the Original Content podcast, we’re joined by Catherine Shu to review the film, which tells the story of Marcus (Park) and Sasha (Wong), two childhood friends who grow up together in the Bay Area, lose their virginity to each other and then drift apart — until they cross paths again in their 30s.

We didn’t all love the movie: Anthony, in particular, found some of the … Read the rest

June 6, 2019 Off

Original Content podcast: Director Grant Sputore explains how ‘I Am Mother’ draws from real-world robots

By Jill T Frey

When I first watched the new Netflix Original film “I Am Mother,” I assumed that the robotic Mother (voiced by Rose Byrne) was a CG creation. How else could you create a robot that looked so inhuman, and that could also run around the film’s post-apocalyptic environments so gracefully?

But in a bonus interview for the Original Content podcast, director Grant Sputore estimated that 99 percent of the shots of Mother are completely practical, consisting of nothing more than a person wearing “a fancy bit of costume.”

“It’s both a budgetary thing, because we knew how we were planning to make the film — but also, we’re children of ‘80s and ‘90s cinema,” Sputore said. “So we worship at the altar of ‘Robocop’ and ‘Predator’ and the first ‘Terminator’ and ‘Jurassic Park’ and all of Stan Winston’s work, which is most of those movies … It’s for our own … Read the rest

June 4, 2019 Off

Apple is now restricting Chinese language podcasts in China

By Jill T Frey

Just as podcasting hits the mainstream in the west, China, which is also experiencing an audio boom, is seeing restrictions tighten around shows as evidenced by new curbs from Apple.

This week, the U.S. tech giant has pulled a handful of Chinese-language podcasts from its Chinese Podcasts store, one of the few remaining channels for people in mainland China to find content immune from scrutiny by the country’s media regulators.

The crackdown seems to be taking an incremental pace so far. Three podcasters, including hosts of NickTalk and Two I.T. Uncles (两个iT大叔), confirmed with TechCrunch on Tuesday that their shows disappeared from Apple’s Chinese Podcasts app this week.

Several other noted shows, including Yitianshijie (一天世界), appear to remain unaffected, while others, such as Suijiya (随机鸭), seem to have suffered from a partial blockade. That’s to say that individual episodes appear in search results, but the podcast homepages are inaccessible, Read the rest

June 3, 2019 Off

Farewell iTunes: Apple brings standalone Music, Podcasts and TV apps to Mac

By Jill T Frey

Apple is dismantling its aging iTunes software with today’s announcement that it’s launching standalone versions of its Music, Podcasts and TV apps for Mac users on the next version of macOS, Catalina. These same apps are currently available on iOS where they’re separate from Apple’s two marketplace apps, the iTunes Store and the App Store.

The company announced the end of iTunes today at its Worldwide Developer Conference, where Apple VP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi poked fun at iTunes’ bloat.

“Customers love iTunes and everything it can do. But if there’s one thing we hear over and over, is can iTunes do even more?,” he teased before jokily presenting a version of iTunes that bundles in other Apple apps like Calendar and Mail, which got a laugh.

In reality, iTunes’ individual components are getting their own Mac apps.

The new Music app will be based on iTunes, and will … Read the rest

May 31, 2019 Off

Is the tech press too positive in its coverage of startups?

By Jill T Frey

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

It’s our first week in the new TechCrunch podcast studio, or it was for Kate Clark and Chris Gates. Alex Wilhelm will be back in SF next week. For now, we fired up the mics and dug into what was a veritable barrage of news.

First, Paul Graham’s contentious comments. The co-founder of Y Combinator tweeted some criticism of the tech press on Thursday; naturally, Kate and Alex had a few thoughts. In summary, Graham doesn’t seem to understand what it is we tech journalists do, and that’s a problem.

Next … Read the rest

May 24, 2019 Off

How to avoid an IPO

By Jill T Frey

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

We’re back to our old, weekly cadence. Which is all well and good, but after a run of doubling up episodes to keep up with the news cycle, showing up just every seven days nearly feels like vacation. But hey, we’re here for you (you follow us both on Twitter, right?).

There was a lot to go over, so please enjoy the following:

An IPO update: First up we checked in on our favorite children, the recently public. Uber and Lyft are still down. Fastly is still far up while Luckin Coffee is losing air like a pinched balloon. Also, Slack has a new ticker symbol, and we have thoughts about it.

Changes at YC: In case you hadn’t heard, YC has a brand new president by the name … Read the rest

May 23, 2019 Off

Original Content podcast: Dragons love symbolism, and other lessons from the ‘Game of Thrones’ finale

By Jill T Frey

This post and podcast include spoilers for “Game of Thrones.”

Remember how it felt six weeks ago, right before “Game of Thrones” returned for its final season? The excitement? The anticipation? That was so, so long ago.

Darrell Etherington, the original co-host of the Original Content podcast, joins us once again to wrap up our week-by-week discussion of the show’s final season. And while there were critics who liked the finale, we weren’t among them.

Anthony, at least, defends the first half of the episode, which deals with the fallout from “The Bells” and takes the story to its tragic conclusion. We might wonder why, exactly, a dragon would want to melt the Iron Throne, but it’s a bold, striking image — and the moments around it, with Drogon grieving for Daenery’s death, are genuinely moving. In fact, this opening half of the episode is full of striking … Read the rest

May 20, 2019 Off

How I Podcast: Criminal/This Is Love’s Lauren Spohrer

By Jill T Frey

The beauty of podcasting is that anyone can do it. It’s a rare medium that’s nearly as easy to make as it is to consume. And as such, no two people do it exactly the same way. There are a wealth of hardware and software solutions open to potential podcasters, so setups run the gamut from NPR studios to USB Skype rigs.

We’ve asked some of our favorite podcast hosts and producers to highlight their workflows — the equipment and software they use to get the job done. The list so far includes:

Jeffrey Cranor of Welcome to Night Vale
Jesse Thorn of Bullseye
Ben Lindbergh of Effectively Wild
My own podcast, RiYL

In the crowded world of true-crime podcasts, Criminal has managed to stand out, garnering the critical acclaim of sources ranging from The Atlantic to Entertainment Weekly. Launched in 2014 by Lauren Spohrer, Eric Mennel and host Phoebe Read the rest

May 18, 2019 Off

Original Content podcast: ‘Game of Thrones’ burns it all down

By Jill T Frey

This post and podcast contain spoilers for “Game of Thrones.”

Our original co-host Darrell Etherington returns for this week’s Original Content podcast, which is all about “Game of Thrones” — specifically “The Bells,” an episode that seems to have prompted more fan outcry than anything in the last seven-and-a-half seasons.

The controversy, of course, comes from watching Daenerys (Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons, the closest thing the show has to a hero) and her last remaining dragon burn King’s Landing to ash.

But we didn’t just spend 40 minutes venting of our anger and frustration. After all, in a series defined by its ruthless subversion of traditional fantasy narratives, how could the conquest of Westeros end in anything other than mass slaughter? And like “The Long Night,” “The Bells” is full of haunting, beautiful images — except this time, the devastation unfolds in broad daylight.

Plus, as the … Read the rest

May 17, 2019 Off

Unpacking Away’s $1.4B valuation, the startup studio model and CrowdStrike’s S-1

By Jill T Frey

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week was something a bit special for the team, albeit in a sad way. It marked the last episode in which we’d all be together in the current TechCrunch office. It’s a place in which we’ve spent so much time, so we were all a bit nostalgic. (TC is moving offices, nothing else is changing!)

Anyway, there was news to discuss!

After Alex went through what he called a “mid-quarter check-in” we got into the meat of things, kicking off with Kate’s recent story on Madrona’s new startup studio. The $11 million that will be spent on spinning up ideas and spinning out companies forms a model that could be exported to … Read the rest