December 23rd, 2010 → 2:28 pm @ Rekha at PRX // Comments Off
Yes, we’re AirPlay enabled.
This year the Public Radio Player made a great leap to multitasking and retinal display. We caught our breaths, and made another leap – into your entire house. Our developer, Andrew, opened his Christmas present early and behold: an Apple TV.
We think he was pretty excited about it, but he sounds even more excited by the fact that the Player is AirPlay enabled, and now he’s listening to his favorite public radio through his TV. Those would be REMIX Radio from PRX in the Featured Live section, and The Moth in Featured On Demand (great taste, Andrew!).
If you have iOS 4.2 installed on your iPhone/iPad/iPod, then you too can listen to the Player through your other AirPlay devices.
If you don’t have the gear, well… you’ve got one more day to add it to your gift list. Happy holidays, everyone.
So many of you have asked how to donate to your favorite stations from within the Player, and unfortunately the answer is still, ‘Apple doesn’t allow it.’
We last wrote about this in June. Maybe because it’s now the season of giving, but more people are calling on Apple to change its no-donation policy.
On the PRX blog, we describe our dream scenario:
PRX’s Public Radio Player iPhone app is a great example of what such a change could mean. The app has had over 2 million unique downloads. Nearly 500 noncommercial stations across the U.S. have a page in the app. Imagine if each page had a Donate button that, with two or three taps, let you send money to the station.
Nonprofits need donations, and mobile giving could be a real breakthrough for them. The folks at Care2, who care about nonprofits, set up a petition. Please consider signing it. Thanks!
Update: The New York Times just reported on this issue, interviewing PRX CEO Jake Shapiro among others. The petition now has over 2000 signatures… be sure to add yours!
November 24th, 2010 → 2:03 pm @ Rekha at PRX // Comments Off
If these Northeast travel stats are any indication, the travelers among you will have a lot of time to fill this weekend. We encourage you to use the Player’s Local feature to tune into the stations of your departure and destination for travel updates.
If you start to sense that the security line/highway traffic won’t be moving for quite some time, check out our content recommendations for ways to cope.
Please, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands of traveling Public Radio Player users out there, share your listening ideas in the comments below.
You’ll get there eventually, or the guests will come to you. That’s when we suggest you *turn off* the Player and turn a microphone on your loved ones (or the less-loved interesting ones). Friday, November 26, is the National Day of Listening. The event’s organizer, StoryCorps, wants you to interview the people around you to get to know them better and record their thoughts for posterity.
Get inspired by listening to the StoryCorps podcast on the Public Radio Player, where it’s listed on the Featured page of On Demand.
Right on the heels of version 2.1.3, known to historians as “The Multitasking Version”, comes version 2.1.4. When you install this latest update, here’s what you’ll get:
Plus a few other bug fixes and improvements. With each version, we aim to make the app better and better. So be sure to download those updates to get the full benefit of the Public Radio Player.
October 18th, 2010 → 1:15 pm @ Rekha at PRX // Comments Off
We know, with thousands of listening options on the Public Radio Player, you haven’t run out yet. But you should move this one to the top of the list.
We’re proud to announce a whole new kind of public radio listening, now available on the Player. It’s called REMIX Radio. It’s also from PRX.
REMIX Radio is “a 24-hour semi-formatless remix of the best public radio stories, amazing podcasts, fascinating interviews, found tape and intriguing sounds.” When host/DJ/Remixer-in-chief Roman Mars finds something interesting, it truly is. You see, public radio has a bit of an indie scene to it, believe it or not. And Roman lives there. Well, actually, he lives in Oakland, but he lives virtually in a world where public radio is hip, edgy, gripping, and revealing.
Until recently, you needed a satellite radio to catch REMIX on XM 136. In Spokane, WA, you could tune in on broadcast station KPBZ. Now, thanks to the Player, anyone with an Apple mobile device can hear REMIX.
October 5th, 2010 → 11:24 am @ Rekha at PRX // Comments Off
We know, you’ve waited patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) to be able to do other things on your devices while listening to the Public Radio Player. Well, it’s here. If your device/OS combo can background other applications, it can now do that with the Player. This includes certain iPods as well.
Why did it take us so long? Well, while we were in the code, we couldn’t stop ourselves from making other improvements. Better one update than many! Not only has the alarm clock been fixed (some people were having problems with it), we made it better. We made significant updates to audio stream handling, which will improve connectivity and performance and support more formats. Supporting more stream formats means more stations will be able to join in the fun. That’s a win for you, too. (Stations, view all supported formats here).
So be sure to keep an eye out for the app update — to version 2.1.3 — and if you like it, consider giving us a nice review in the iTunes Store. Tell us all things, good or bad, on our Give Feedback page.
If you’re reading this while listening to the Player, let us know that too.
Now go on and listen to more great radio!
Apple made several interesting announcements yesterday during its music event.
Here’s one that we’re particularly looking forward to: iOS 4.1. This update to the relatively new iPhone/iPod operating system releases next week, and we think it will improve the experience of 3G iPhone owners using the Public Radio Player and other apps, too. Simply put, iOS 4.0 does not play well with the older, 3G iPhones. For some people, this means your apps, including the Player, may move more slowly or crash more often.
While one never knows how a software update will work until it’s ‘out in the wild,’ we suspect many 3G owners are looking forward to next week. Public Radio Player users have something to look forward to as well in a couple more weeks: An update to the Player that will enable multitasking on your devices.
August 20th, 2010 → 12:52 pm @ josh // Comments Off
Go Figure, the blog of NPR’s Audience Insight & Research group, posted some very interesting data showing hour-by-hour audience patterns for visitors to NPR’s online and mobile channels, and compares them with public radio broadcast listening.
The first slides (embedded below) show the number of listeners to NPR member stations side-by-side with visitors to NPR.org. On weekdays, rush hour commuting boosts radio listening and delivers the largest audiences to local stations in the morning and late afternoon. In contrast, visitors to NPR.org shoot up around 9 AM, after folks get to work and find themselves “occasionally” browsing the web. The NPR.org visitor numbers stay strong throughout the workday hours.
NOTE: On the NPR blog, they emphasize that the slides with radio and web numbers have two separate axes (red for web, blue for broadcast). Looking closely at the numbers, you can see that NPR broadcasts on local public radio stations remain NPR’s largest source of audience.
Moving forward in the slides, you see the data for NPR’s mobile offerings. The NPR News iPhone app brings in the largest number of visitors and shows a significant peak during the weekday morning commute. You may be surprised to find NPR’s mobile formatted website (m.npr.org, counted separately from NPR.org here) sits well ahead of the NPR apps for Android smartphones and the iPad. The iPad and Android apps are more recent additions and it will be interesting to see how this data evolves over the next year. And I like how the iPad has a bump in traffic around 10 pm. It looks like many iPads spend the night on the bedside table!
I’ve been working under the hood of the Public Radio Player this week to organize our database of programs, stations, and streams. In the process, I’ve come across a number of programs with titles that simply jump off the page. By their names alone, I am willing to count myself among their fans.
Here are some of the great ones:
August 5th, 2010 → 4:48 pm @ rene // Comments Off
Tapping through the Public Radio Player I found myself diving into guilty pleasures — pop culture and celebrities — and being pleasantly surprised with KCRW’s Guest DJ Project. You can find it by going into On Demand, then Categories, then Pop Culture.
Artists, entrepreneurs, chefs, and an array of other cultural icons share who they are through their personal musical tastes. From Tyler Perry to Cillian Murphy to Anthony Bourdain, KCRW gives a unique twist to the idea of celebrity by having them bring and explain five music faves. While these people are public figures, the intimate setting of the KCRW studio brings out deeper stories that make me feel like I’m a fly on the wall in their one-on-one conversation with the host. When Tyler Perry recalls his mother calling him right after she heard a Boyz II Men song, I could tell this wasn’t just another publicity interview. Finding meaning in specific songs is something we all can relate to.
Each guest DJ gets around 10 minutes so each program is short, sweet, and straight to the point. The Guest DJ Project website has playlists, information, and a transcript of each interview.
Rene Dongo is a senior at Emerson College majoring in Film Production. He’s interning at PRX this summer, and he’s always asking to borrow the iPod.