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NPR Music for iPad

by Michael Yoch
Feb 15, 2012

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Michael Yoch

Today we are excited to announce the launch of NPR Music for iPad, a multimedia music magazine we hope will delight music lovers of all tastes and styles. The app is designed to showcase the best music content from NPR and NPR stations. This includes live concerts, exclusive first listens, original reporting and commentary. It also features quick access to over 100 NPR station streams through a persistent radio feature. The app takes advantage of the rich visual interface and tactile navigation of the iPad to present an integrated blend of text, images, audio and video.

Users of the existing NPR News app for iPad and NPR Music app for iPhone will notice some familiar conventions, as well as a variety of new features. These include favorites and a smart, graphical playlist.

Favorites and the playlist complement each other: favorites (represented by the traditional heart symbol) are for storing station streams and stories or songs you may want to quickly return to again and again; the playlist is your listening queue, which you can now see and interact with intuitively by swiping items into and out of the queue. You can also reorder them by dragging items from one spot to another with the "sticky" bar at the top of each tile.

To help users get the most from NPR's rich archive of content, the app will surface stories we think you'll like. In the right column on story pages we'll show you other stories you might want to see based on the one you're already looking at. Just below the playlist, the app will offer you stories you may like based, in part, on the items you have in your iPad iTunes library (see image above).

NPR stations have some of the best music content available anywhere and one of the app's greatest strengths is its expanded stations section. It's simple to locate stations you already enjoy and add them to your favorites list. Users can also easily find new stations to try based on genre, or via a featured stations section near the top.

NPR Music for iPad is part of our larger effort to deliver NPR Music's amazing — and often exclusive — content to users as widely as possible. We recently launched a browser-based live events platform for music that invites users to watch a live performance and participate in a simultaneous live chat that works on mobile, tablet and web browsers (including Android). We universally include some music content in our news products as well, such as the NPR mobile web site and NPR News Android app.

A great opportunity to try the new app's live video streaming capability will be on March 7 at 10 p.m. ET, when The Shins play live their forthcoming album Port of Morrow in New York at an event celebrating the album release and the launch of NPR Music for iPad. The app will also feature extensive coverage later in March from Austin's SXSW music festival. The app is AirPlay enabled so you can watch any of the videos on a bigger screen if you have an Apple TV.

We hope you enjoy the app. You can download it directly from iTunes here.

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