Podcasts are great. Even though podcasts have been part of iTunes since 2005, in the past few years, we have entered a golden age of podcasting. There are more podcasts available, more people listening, and better tools than ever before.
I listen to a lot of podcasts, and often get asked for recommendations. Everyone's preferences will be a little different, but here are the ones I currently listen to regularly...
All Time Favorite
I guess S-Town is ostensibly about clocks, roses, and a poor town in Alamba. But in reality, there's no way to describe it: just listen. It's the best podcast I've ever heard, and it's only 7 episodes. Seven Episode Series.
Slate's Political Gabfest
By far the best political commentary out there. Three hosts, three subjects a week: each with a different perspective. Never dull. This is my favorite podcast. Weekly: Thursdays, ~1hr
Bite-sized stories from presidential history: well explained, fascinating stories from the past. Hosted by John Dickerson (see a trend?). Weekly, ~1hr
Democracy Now! Audio
An hour long news program from an independent nonprofit organization, entirely funded through viewer contributions. The first 15 minutes are the day's headlines — I often stop after that. Daily: around 10am (First 15 minutes are best)
A weekly podcast with Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway. Very funny but also filled with good insights. Weekly: Fridays, < 1hr
A weekly podcast covering the week's tech news. It can be frustrating when they talk about tech at a rudimentary level. The hosts don't have a very longterm perspective, but the show is still worthy of consideration. Weekly: Thursdays, ~1hr
A weekly interview podcast with Peter Kafka. He's a great interviewer, and there is a wide range of guests from authors to EICs to directors. Nothing beats this podcast for a deep understanding of the internet media landscape. Weekly, ~1hr
The Talk Show With John Gruber
Single host + guest style. John Gruber is the most famous Apple columnist. He's got great insights, but he is rarely critical of Apple, which can be frustrating. Weekly, < 2 hours
Accidental Tech Podcast
Three hosts talking about tech, with an Apple focus. To complement The Talk Show, this podcast is much more critical of Apple and their decisions. Weekly, < 2 hours
Under the Radar
A "never longer than 30 minutes" podcast about independent app development by two great indie developers. There's a new topic each week. Anyone creating their own apps should be listening to this. Weekly, ~30 minutes.
Tomorrow with Joshua Topolsky
This is my second favorite podcast. I'm a big Josh Toplsky fan, though be warned: he's a polarizing figure. Tomorrow is about tech, power, and the future. It's hard to explain: you just have to give it a listen. Weekly, ~1hr
A podcast similar to the books: a look at everyday life through a particular defition of economics: the study of decision making. Read the book before listening to the podcast (or, you know, don't).
A seasonal, heavily-produced investigative journalism show. This podcast made podcasts mainstream again. Just ask the question "What do you think about the Serial podcast?" to strike up a conversation at any coffee shop.
Stories from prisoners. As advertized, "EarHustle brings you the stories of life inside prison, shared and produced by those living it." Weekly, >1hr.
Real Time with Bill Maher
This is a audio replay of Bill Maher's Friday HBO show. He is a polarizing figure. Between the time I'm typing this and the time you are reading it, I'm sure he's been in another 10 scandals. The best part of his show each week is the final 10 minutes, called New Rules. Weekly, Saturdays, 1hr
Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend
Conan is very funny, but the standard late night interviews with boring celebrities telling fake stories about their kids doesn't let Conan's humor really shine. This podcast is very different. Every interview so far has been very funny. Weekly, Mondays, 1hr
No Longer Running
I've previously recommended podcasts that are no longer in active development, and have too short of a halflife to be worth listening to now. These include:
- Welcome to Macintosh
- The Late Show Podcast
- Face the Nation Diary with John Dickerson
Updated: August 2017, September 2017, January 2019