I never thought podcasting was a big deal until I gave up on radio and started listening to them almost all of the time I spend in a car alone. I got tired of hearing local talk radio sensationalism and then there's those crazy-bad commercials... I needed a break, and there is so much great content out there for free. I decided I'd rather be productively learning something rather than getting all road-ragey because of the local political scene blasting through my speakers every day.
Something I love about podcasts too are that they come to me. I don't have to remember to find and download them. Once I subscribe, they just show up and are always in my pocket.
I use an app on my iPhone called Downcast (iOS App Store link) and it's great. It costs a few bucks but I find it much better than the Apple Podcasts app.
Why use a dedicated app? Well, for one it lets you time-shift like a Tivo. You can skip ahead 15 or 30 seconds at a time if there happens to be an ad you'd rather not hear, and you can skip back if you want to hear the previous 15 or 30 seconds with just a swipe of the screen.
The best part of using an app though is that it lets me listen at 1.5 speed. There are other settings (both faster and slower) but I find it works well at 1.5 the best. Typically the pacing of conversation is such that it just works better at a higher speed, not to mention I can listen to more during a commute.
So why am I talking about boring old podcasting at all? Two reasons:
First, Apple just announced that there are 1 Billion subscriptions to podcasts through iTunes. That's Billion with a B. If you're not listening to podcasts, you might want to try them out. Go ahead. I'll wait.