I love NPR. When we first moved to the US it was a wonderful discovery – Car Talk one week, Fresh Air the next. Countless driveway moments.
I don’t love pledge drive. Twice a year, for what seems like forever, your local NPR station tries to raise money, which they desperately need. We subscribe, but that doesn’t stop the pledge drive interruptions.
Enter stitcher.com. This wonderful free app (available for iPhone and Blackberry) is like a DVR for radio, but even better. Listen to a wide variety of sources, in any order you want to, anywhere: driving, working out, cooking dinner… Discover great new podcasts and news sources.
Highly recommended and ridiculously easy to use. It comes pre-loaded with a set of favorites and six categories. Like the awesome Pandora interface you can give thumbs up or down to a track, start/stop and skip to the next one. Like google mail you can favorite a track by selecting the star and its automatically added to your favorites station. You can re-order the favorites. It display how many refreshed favorites tracks you haven’t listened to. The ads are non-intrusive banners and most programs have no audio ads. Sorry if this post sounds like a commercial (I have no association with the company, just love both the idea and its execution).
What would I like to see: better search functionality so you can find a specific show (I was thrilled with both the amount of NPR and Australian programming available), perhaps some indication of duration of each track, maybe linking to the tracks website and tagging so you can follow up on something interesting you hear about or play something again. And of course, the iPhone needs to be able to let apps like this run in the background.
Just like Tivo changed TV forever and for better, stitcher has changed radio for me. Let me know what you think. Bye, bye pledge drive.