With thousands of different podcasts covering every subject imaginable, it often takes a little trial and error to find the cream of the crop. To help with your search, here's a quick rundown of several podcasts on the market today.
Comedy: The Ricky Gervais Show
Although Ricky Gervais' podcast was released when the medium was still in its infancy, it still ranks as the most downloaded podcast of all time by the Guinness Book of World Records. Originally recorded between 2001 and 2005, the show features Gervais and his comedy partner Stephen Merchant comically musing over some of the broader questions in life with the show's comic foil, Karl Pilkington. With guaranteed laughs, the Ricky Gervais Show is required listening for anyone with an ear for comedy, and many episodes are free.
News and Politics: Left, Right and Center
Left, Right and Center offers even-handed discussion and debate from representatives of the main points on the American political spectrum. Matthew Miller, Robert Scheer and Arianna Huffington's weekly broadcast discusses current events and developments in U.S. and world politics in an informative and thoroughly entertaining fashion. In addition to the usual debate, each host is given a short opportunity each week to rant about whatever topic they wish without fear of rebuttal, making for some provocative and gripping listening.
Arts and Culture: This American Life
The award winning This American Life could easily be considered one of the greatest podcasts of all time. Created by Chicago-based public radio station WBEZ, this long-running show features essays, field recordings and short fiction based on specific themes regarding everyday America. Hosted by Ira Glass, each episode features a different theme each week, which is explored throughout several segments, called 'acts.' Though it has been running since the mid-1990s, the show still feels as fresh and vibrant, and provides interesting, thought-provoking commentary on the big issues and well as the smaller ones.
Technology: This Week in Tech
This Week in Tech is one of the most popular ongoing podcasts of any genre. TWiT - as it's affectionately known by its fans - features round-table discussions on a diverse range of topics surrounding technology news and reviews. The spontaneity, humor and charm of the show's host Leo Laporte and his rotating group of panelists sets it apart from the plethora of other tech shows available. While the main focus is on the latest gadgets and technology, the show's free-flowing format means that conversations can often veer into strange and equally entertaining areas.
Sport: Baseball Today
The long-established titan of American sports coverage, ESPN has hit a home-run with their flagship baseball podcast Baseball Today. The show's rotating cast of presenters, including Keith Law, Eric Karabell and Mark Simon, discuss the day-to-day events of the season, reminisce about historic milestones, interview the game's biggest personalities and, of course, dwell on the all the minutia of the game.