Public Radio on the iPhone gets an upgrade

Tue, Jul 21, 2009


ArsTechnica writes of one place where public radio is actually thriving – on the iPhone.

Public radio’s existing iPhone app was already cool—it allowed listeners to hear public radio stations from across the country on their phones, live. But the new version of the Public Radio Player, released this weekend, adds an incredible new set of features that provide a glimpse at the future of “radio.” Welcome to the on-demand, in-your-pocket future, today.

The upgraded app adds the two most-requested user features: station schedules and on-demand access to past shows. Dialing in my local station (WBEZ in Chicago) starts the stream and displays the currently playing show, along with the schedule of the next show. Users can also tap to see the station’s complete lineup for the day; because the app allows access to streams from across the country, it’s possible to hear just about any show at any time.

Tuning into the show of your choice can also be done by checking out the new on-demand feature, which provides access to podcasts of just about every public radio show. Click on the show’s name, click on the episode you want to hear, and kick back while it starts to play. Because the on-demand feature downloads each show as an MP3 file, a 30-minute production doesn’t use the cell radio for more than a couple of minutes—a huge bonus for battery life.

You can check out the app on iTunes over here.



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