PRX continues to colonize California with a new iPhone app for KPBS in San Diego. Get the app now.
Listen and view the station’s radio and TV programs and programming schedules. Read up on the latest local, national, and world news. Enjoy KPBS’s extensive arts coverage including their blogs, Culture Lust and Cinema Junkie.
For those interested in local programming, check the on-air schedules in the app and tune in live to Midday Edition, Evening Edition, and Envision San Diego, or get past episodes in On Demand. If you’re looking for something to do in San Diego, take advantage of KPBS’s events picks.
And, while you’ve got local on the mind, KPBS wants to hear from you – submit text, photos, and audio in response to assignments and help shape their coverage. This feature is a version of PRX’s Assignments product, which you can also see in the WBUR, WGBH, and VPR apps.
What’s next? We’ve got a KPBS app for Android in the works, and as with all our apps, we’ll continue to partner with KPBS on ongoing improvements.
We know, this blog has a string of app release announcements. But don’t you want to know about the new KQED app for iPhone? Of course you do!
KQED serves Northern California, including the Bay Area. This app is going to keep you busy.
If you’re a KQED member, you can enjoy KQED Perks — discounts offered by local businesses — more easily than ever. Scan through a list of discounts, find them on a map, and redeem by launching a virtual member card in the app itself. Just show your device to the business and the discount is yours – no paper card needed! This feature is a result of our integration of member benefits and member validation into the PRX station app platform.
As with all of our station apps, this app makes it easy to support the station. And don’t you think, with all this content and technology goodness, they deserve it?
WNYC’s new iPhone app is now live in iTunes, the latest product of our mobile partnership with New York Public Radio. The WNYC app follows on the heels of its classical cousin, WQXR, whose iPhone app launched last month. We’re working together on Android versions for both, coming soon.
WNYC is one of the top public radio stations in the country, with an exciting mix of news, culture, and music. The app was designed to present this abundance of content in a way that’s appealing and easy to navigate. You can listen to programming, read blogs and news feeds, find local events, pledge your support, and more.
The app is powered by the PRX station app platform, which streamlines the development and updating process while letting WNYC’s unique identity take center stage.
Learn more about WNYC and the app in this press release.
Vermont Public Radio is now on the iPhone. The VPR app is based on the PRX station app codebase, and the result is very much a Vermont app. That’s because VPR is deeply rooted in its communities, with regular news, features, and services. Their coverage of Hurricane Irene’s impact on the state kept a lot of people informed when information was hard to come by, earning them strong praise (and we’re sure much gratitude).
The VPR app is an expression of the network’s desire to inform and include its listeners. The Tell Us feature is based on PRX’s Assignments product, which lets VPR staff invite people to submit audio, photos, and text in response to specific assignments and topics. The app also offers classical music programming and commentaries from Vermonters.
Get the app now. Whether or not you have direct connections to Vermont and VPR, it’s great to see another quality app for public media out in the hands of the listeners we serve.
Assignments for good times…
…and not-so-good times.
We’re still buzzing from the excitement of getting the KCRW Music Mine iPad app out into the wild. The app exemplifies our desire to bring public media to mobile and tablets in new and amazing ways. Mark Ramsey says it well in this review.
With the launch flurry settling down, we’ve had some time to reflect on how the app came about. It was quite a process. Head over to the PRX Labs blog for an interview with Matt MacDonald, PRX’s Director of Project Management, on the concept and design, where he says things like:
One goal for us was to encourage musical exploration and delight so some of our interaction decisions basically force you to try out music that you might not be familiar with. We made sure to encourage that by not adding features like search or sorting and filtering tools.
Read Exploring The Depths Of Music Mine on PRX Labs.
We’re thrilled to announce the launch of KCRW Music Mine, an iPad app that gives you a unique, exciting way to discover new music.
Music Mine is the product of a close partnership between PRX and KCRW, with design by Roundarch and music intelligence powered by The Echo Nest. Nearly a year in the making, the app developed from lengthy brainstorming sessions about what a next-generation station experience on the iPad should — and could — be.
KCRW excels at a lot of things — music, news, local Los Angeles culture, food, arts, film. But rather than attempt to recreate the KCRW.com website, or duplicate the station’s existing iPhone app on the iPad, we went further. We chose a focused concept that spotlights KCRW’s expertise in music discovery and pushes the limits of the iPad user experience.
PRX and KCRW certainly weren’t the first to come up with an app that lets you listen to music or even radio programs about music. So we pushed further, drawing upon the formidable design talents of digital agency Roundarch to wield user experience and graphic design to truly set this app apart. The Echo Nest was also brought in for their “music intelligence platform” which gathers music news and multimedia content from across the web.
The result is stunning. This video gives you an idea:
The app is beautiful and appealing. But we weren’t just going for beauty. We wanted to transform the music discovery experience from simply tapping a Play button and getting what you’re given (though that’s plenty great, too) into something much more active. With KCRW Music Mine, you want to pay attention. You want to explore, with the knowledge that KCRW DJs will make sure you only find good stuff. You can use the app simply to discover new music to like, or you can choose to go deeper to learn more about the artist and their work.
Or, you can just tap a Play button and get what KCRW’s Eclectic24 gives you.
Not only do we think Music Mine reshapes the music discovery experience, we think it exemplifies the kind of mobile/tablet presence public media should aspire to. At PRX, we believe that new platforms are opening up great possibility for fresh new expressions — not just reflections — of stations and programs.
KCRW Music Mine is a perfect incarnation of PRX’s mobile goals: To partner with innovative entities to create cutting-edge mobile experiences for public media.
This post was crossposted from the PRX Blog.
Welcome to the new PRX Apps site. Here, you can learn about all of our apps, including the Public Radio Player, the granddaddy of them all.
Watch this blog for updates on all of PRX’s app work – there’s a lot coming soon!
Pretty soon, PRX will set to work on a major update to the Public Radio Player. We’ll fix some bugs and generally improve things. Depending on how much time we have, we might even add a new feature or two from the many requested.
Hooray, you say? You can say more than that!
Tell us what you want for the Public Radio Player. We’ve created an online forum for stations and app users to share ideas and see others’ ideas, too.
Now, it’s not like you’re not telling us all the time what you want. And we’ve gone through your blog and Facebook comments and made a list of those requests. But here’s another chance to weigh in. So head to the forum and be heard. You have till June 1.
Stations: Feel free to invite your listeners to the forum, too.
We know, we know. Android users want the Player, too.
Oh, the drama.
Here’s the deal. PRX wants to develop the Public Radio Player for Android. We know the Android OS dominates in smartphone sales. And I know we’ve been putting out teasers for a while – sorry about that. We made big progress last summer, thanks to the Google Summer of Code. But the app is pretty complex, and there’s a lot left to do. The original grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting did not fund Android – at the time of the grant, Android went from non-existent to fledgling. Meanwhile, PRX expanded our mobile app offerings to public media organizations, including This American Life and several stations. We’re a small team, and we’ve been busy with that.
But that’s not the only reason. Since last summer, we launched the This American Life Android app, with the same design and features as their iPhone app. That was a cautionary learning experience. For one thing, the adoption of the Android app has been less than 10% of the iPhone app. This, despite the reams of requests PRX and This American Life received from desperate Android users right up until launch. That may be an extreme situation, but — and I know all you Android users will not like to hear this — it’s true that app use by Android users is currently lower than Apple iOS users.
Yet it cost no less to develop.
There’s more. The beauty of Android’s openness is also a headache for developers (and it hasn’t changed much since this post last year). It’s many different versions of an OS across thousands of different devices. Despite our best efforts at testing, the This American Life app on Android is, shall we say, challenging for us and our users. As of now, media playback varies widely across devices, and it’s likely we’ll have to build our own solution. Netflix just announced they’re handling Android’s lack of a media playback standard by releasing on only five devices for now. Five, out of hundreds.
Plus, it’s not just about developing an app, it’s about caring for it once it’s in the wild, and caring for you, our *ahem* vocal audience. Audio playback sourced from thousands of station streams and podcasts compounds the issue. That’s true of the iPhone, but it’s even more true of the Android.
Oh wait, there’s even more. We are gearing up for a development sprint on the iPhone soon (watch this blog for an invite to give us ideas). We want to get at bugs and UI pain points, and make improvements for stations and users alike. When we do move forward on Android again, we want it to have the newest version of the iPhone app. So yes, more waiting.
I have an Android phone. A couple of my colleagues do, too. We would love to have the Public Radio Player (I use it on my iPod instead). But for a small, non-profit organization with tons of awesome stuff going on, it’s going to take more time.
Ok, commenters. Let us know what you think. As you can tell from our Give Feedback page, we approve all but the very rude, and we welcome niceness, too.
Today, we took some time to dig into the Public Radio Player’s stats. We knew they’d make us happy (a key requirement for any Friday activity), but, well, WOW:
The Player has had well over 3 million UNIQUE downloads*, and it’s currently averaging 3000 new users each day!
Thanks, everyone, for your support of this app and the stations and programs that power it.
* In other words, the Player has been downloaded to over 3 million different devices since launch. Amazing.