Some of my favorites:
- This American Life: They choose a theme and have reporters tell stories based on the theme. Typically 2 or 3 different stories stretching over an hour. Very entertaining. New shows released every Monday. I bought the iPhone app which allows me to listen to all shows going back into the 1990's! I donate as often as I can; it's worth it! I've bought a couple This American Life DVD's that are made from their show that lasted 2 seasons on Showtime. Who knows why the show didn't last, I love my DVD's and have watched them several times.
- Radio Lab: This is a very high quality science themed show. They cover a topic by telling stories, speaking to top scientists, and discussing scientific studies. The story telling is excellent and entertaining. The soundtrack and sound mixing is very good. My only complaint is the frequency that new shows are posted. 1 hour long. So good I've donated several times
- Planet Money: Podcast dedicated to current economic issues and told in a way that the average guy can follow and understand. If it wasn't for these guys I wouldn't have a clue what happened with the economy implosion. Very smart, witty presenters who never talk over your head. 2 podcasts a week, approximately 20 minutes each.
- BBC Global News: News stories around the globe reported with no bullshit. BBC reporters never interview or cover stories with kid gloves. I've heard reporters grill major political figures and not back down until their questions are answered. Plenty of coverage for America as well as Europe and the rest of the globe for that matter. Usually 20 minutes each and they post 2 a day Mon-Fri.
- Handel In The Morning: This is the Los Angeles KFI morning show recorded into podcasts. The host, Bill Handel, is a real asswipe, so I identify with him. His co-hosts are really funny and I always laugh hard when listening. There are 4 podcasts. if you have to choose just one, get the "Handel On The News" podcast. Great stuff!
- Ricky Gervais Podcasts: These are basically Ricky, Steven Merchant and Karl Pilkington sitting around talking. Karl has a warped view of the world and whatever he says is comedy gold. The only problem is that he says it being serious. That makes it even funnier. These podcasts typically cost money and are released on an erratic schedule. I don't care, I've bought them all and I anxiously awaiting further episodes!
People who aren't taking advantage of podcasts are missing out on something. Why deal with AM or FM radio when you can get what you want? Almost all are free, but if you like them, toss them a few bucks so they stick around.