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Peachpit TV's Top 10 podcasts of 2009

By  Jan 13, 2010

Topics: Digital Audio, Video

2009 was a standout year for Peachpit TV. With well over one million downloads alone across all of our channels (a record for us), we've continued to expand and educate creative professionals in the subjects of Photoshop, Mac automation, digital photography, and Dreamweaver … just to name a few. We’ve also managed to launch our very first Spanish-language channel with bilingual author Rafael Concepcion of Layers TV fame.

As a result, we thought a best-of list was necessary not only to recap an exciting year of shows featuring our best-selling authors but to also provide an overview of the diverse array of free content we offer to those who might not yet be familiar with our video tutorials. In no particular order, the Peachpit TV staff is proud to present the Top 10 podcasts of 2009.

Live at SXSWi with Kristina Halvorson

While 2009 was a difficult year for many on the economic front, one area that experienced exponential growth was social media usage. The companies that understood its dynamics flourished. According to a recent article on Mashable, 15,470 self-proclaimed “social media experts” exist on Twitter alone. The question to be answered, then, is how to go about establishing a reputation?

My personal answer (and opinion) lies in the quality of the content you’re promoting across the vast amount of networks. What good is a flawlessly executed strategy if the core of what it represents is less than stellar? Enter Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson. Her book stresses the importance of timely, useful, usable content that engages audiences and converts customers. Content is your site’s most valuable asset and should always be managed properly. In the video below, Kristina speaks to Peachpit’s very own Gary-Paul Prince about what motivated her to create a guide to the best practices involved in creating a terrific user experience.

Within the Frame: Episode 10

To HDR or not to HDR? High Dynamic Range photography is definitely a controversial topic that has ignited countless discussions, not to mention heated arguments, amongst professional photographers. Earlier this year, humanitarian David duChemin launched a podcast series consisting of his personal feedback on photos he selected from the vast Within the Frame Flickr pool based on his best-selling book of the same name. In the tenth episode, he explains how a beautifully composed HDR image was ultimately compromised by an unnecessary special effect. Bonus: Read what he and his peer Scott Bourne have to say about HDR photography.

Una dinamica de trabajo para una imagen tipo “Glamour Shoot”

For the first time in history, Peachpit launched a Spanish-language product in the form of the Photoshop en Espanol video podcast series with NAPP instructor and Layers TV host Rafael Concepcion. One particular episode that resonated with our audience was the one that addresses how to properly compose a glamour shot from beginning to end.

Jeffrey Zeldman discusses his new book…Designing with Web Standards, Third Edition

In 1998, Jeffrey Zeldman cofounded The Web Standards Project with his peers to develop a set of guidelines for reducing the costs and complexities involved with creating a site while increasing its accessibility and long-term viability. Five years later, the first book of the Designing with Web Standards series was published.

In the video below, Zeldman talks about the third edition of Designing with Web Standards with editor Michael Nolan. Why is this book necessary? The world of Web standards has recently started transforming after years of stasis and, as a result, hundreds of best new practices have been developed. These are all covered in this latest edition that features collaborative input from Ethan Marcotte. He also touches on HTML5, CSS3, and how they differ radically from their predecessors.

Ghosted Man Effect

Photoshop may be one of the most complex photo editing software programs on the market, but when you’ve thoroughly learned how to use it, the possibilities for manipulating images are seemingly endless. How do you achieve the effect of an outline containing a person wearing a suit without the person actually being there? Inspired by an ad he saw in a magazine for a popular TV show, NAPP instructor Matt Kloskowski shows you several different ways you can achieve what he calls the “ghosted man effect.”

Joe McNally discusses The Hot Shoe Diaries

While it’s rewarding to get to a point, as a digital photographer, where you feel you’ve technically mastered your equipment, the real question to be asked is whether or not your images are aesthetically pleasing. In order for that to be possible, one component you need to master, especially outside the studio, is how to work a flash and use it to your advantage. In this audio podcast, veteran photographer Joe McNally talks with our publisher Nancy Ruenzel about his best-selling book The Hot Shoe Diaries and what inspired him to address the issue of handheld flash usage at this juncture in his career.

Interview with Ami Vitale

Matt Brandon, also know as The Digital Trekker, is a seasoned travel photographer, so it’s pretty clear why his interviews with other professionals revolving around their career-related adventures are thoughtful and engaging. There’s a natural level of comfort and his discussion with National Geographic photographer Ami Vitale is no exception. Her worldview and forecast for the future of digital photography is refreshingly upbeat while her insights on capturing unique images make this podcast a must-listen.

Building Automator Service Workflows in Snow Leopard

The title of Ben Waldie’s series, Mac Automation Made Simple, is pretty self-explanatory. Apple’s automation software was designed specifically to make your life easier and Waldie's series contains tutorials with expert tips and tricks on how to optimize your workflow. When Snow Leopard was released in the third quarter of 2009, Waldie immediately created a timely tutorial to get you started on some of the software’s upgrades.

Editing Multiclips in Final Cut Pro

As online video consumption continues to grow at a rapid rate, production and distribution seem to eclipse the demand. In fact, over 20 hours of video content is uploaded per minute on YouTube alone. If you want to make an impact, your best strategy is to make sure your video looks like it was done by a professional. Enter Richard Harrington and Robbie Carman. Both men are Apple Certified trainers and have decades of experience between them creating and editing video on all different mediums. As a result, they’ve learned the tricks of the trade and they’re sharing them with you.

With Video Made on a Mac, they’ve authored a straightforward guide that illustrates how to effectively use tools including Final Cut Pro and Photoshop to get professional results in a timely, cost-effective manner. This podcast is one of the video files that accompany the book and a prime example of how to efficiently make the most of your time and effort.

Terry White's Favorite iPhone Applications

According to a recent article from Mashable, there are currently over 65,000 iPhone applications available through the App Store and counting. It can easily overwhelm the savviest of geeks in terms of keeping up with what’s available and useful. At last year’s Macworld Expo, Terry White, coauthor of The iPhone Book, revealed he doesn’t switch out apps often and was kind enough to share some of his favorites straight from his own phone.

What’s your favorite podcast from Peachpit TV? We’d like to know. And, of course, we’ll reward a few lucky winners for their feedback. Below is a list of books (plus one DVD) related to the episodes listed above. If you’d like to win one, check out and let us know which podcast strikes your fancy. It can be anything we’ve ever produced. Then, visit Twitter and type the following:

“My favorite episode from @peachpittv is [enter name of episode]:"

Next Friday, the 22nd, we’ll select 3 winners. Please, only one entry per user. Good luck!

The titles to choose from:

Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson

Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision by David duChemin

Designing with Web Standards, 3rd Edition by Jeffrey Zeldman with Ethan Marcotte

The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes by Joe McNally

Photoshop CS4 Power Session DVD by Matt Kloskowski

Video Made on a Mac: Production and Postproduction Using Apple Final Cut Studio and Adobe Creative Suite by Richard Harrington and Robbie Carman

Automator for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard: Visual QuickStart Guide by Ben Waldie

The iPhone Book, Third Edition (Covers iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, and iPod Touch), 3rd Edition by Scott Kelby and Terry White