December 18, 2008
Contact:
Danielle Deabler, NPR



   

NPR LAUNCHES GROUNDBREAKING
"MIX YOUR OWN PODCAST"

PUBLIC RADIO FANS INVITED TO CREATE THEIR OWN LISTENING EXPERIENCE

NPR.ORG OFFERS ADVANCED STATION SEARCH TOOL, AND EXPANDED ACCESS TO FRESH AIR AND STORYCORPS



December 18, 2008; Washington, D.C. – NPR is launching a new online feature this week called “Mix Your Own Podcast,” making it easy for public radio fans to customize their podcasts by selecting from subject, program, station and favorite personalities.

This new feature, as well as advanced station search and expanded access to Fresh Air and StoryCorps, is made possible by NPR’s pioneering Application Programming Interface (API), introduced in July 2008. Web developers and everyday listeners can use the API tool to access, organize and display NPR reporting and programs, including work produced by NPR Member stations nationwide, on their personal websites and blogs.

Mix Your Own Podcast
Listeners can build their own podcasts by going to either the NPR.org Podcast Directory – http://www.npr.org/podcast -- or the NPR API “Query Generator” – http://www.npr.org/api/queryGenerator.php. There, they can customize based on more than 130 topics, or choose from stations and reporters of greatest interest. Mix Your Own Podcast complements the hundreds of podcasts NPR now offers through the API, as well as the dozens of premier titles listed in the iTunes Podcast Store.

This latest innovation builds on NPR’s three-year podcast program. NPR currently serves over 14 million podcast downloads of news and cultural programming per month, for a total of over 300 million downloads since August 2005. NPR podcasts currently ranked in iTunes’ “Store Managers Top 100 Podcasts of 2008” include Fresh Air, Car Talk, Live Concerts from All Songs Considered, NPR Books, NPR Technology and Planet Money. In recent months, Planet Money, which chronicles the nation’s current economic crisis, has frequently topped the iTunes ‘Most Popular’ list of new podcast subscriptions.

Overall, NPR’s audiences are growing at near record levels on-air and online, with 26.4 million people listening to NPR programs each week and 8 million people visiting NPR.org each month.

Station Finder API
To make it easy for listeners to incorporate a local station experience, NPR is presenting the Station Finder API – http://www.npr.org/api/stationFinder.php -- an online tool that allows users to find information about NPR stations by entering zip code, city/state, call letters, or latitude/longitude. The Station Finder collects information about the targeted station, including URLs to the station’s home page, program schedule, podcasts, and audio streams. The API currently contains local content from a wide range of stations and public radio producers, including those partnering with NPR on NPR Music -- http://www.npr.org/music; the API will be expanded to provide nationwide station content in the near future.

Fresh Air and StoryCorps Archives Now Available in the API
NPR and its public radio partners invite the public to use the API to explore the rich NPR.org archives. Fresh Air and StoryCorps are the latest additions to the line-up of programs and series in the API. A total of 10,000 Fresh Air stories, dating back to 1993, and 200 StoryCorps interviews are now available in the API. Content available to API users also comes from: Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition Saturday, Weekend Edition Sunday, Talk of the Nation, and Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!

What is An API?
An API enables websites to interact with each other and to more easily share content. The NPR API, launched in July 2008, provides access to more than 15 years of NPR and station-produced content, including audio, text, and photography, for developers to easily incorporate into their sites and blogs and share with larger audiences. The user can curate personal collections based on topics of interest, favorite programs or current events. The range of content available includes NPR news, books, politics, health and science, arts and culture, and international subjects. Also, a wide variety of non-performance NPR Music content – such as artist interviews, features and reviews – is available. NPR’s API site offers examples of innovative applications of the API that range from interactive mapping to reusable widgets. An example of an NPR API widget is: http://www.npr.org/api/widgets.php.

The API enables NPR Member stations to incorporate more NPR content into their websites -- for instance, aggregating national news with particular relevance to their local communities and combining it with their own station-produced coverage. Soon NPR stations will be able to share their own locally-produced news and other content through the API.

More information about how to use the NPR API is available at http://api.npr.org.

More discussion about NPR’s plans for the API and other online tools, including NPR.org, is available at http://www.npr.org/blogs/inside/

EDITOR’S NOTE: For a static screen shot of the Mix You Own Podcast tool on the NPR.org Podcast Directory, please visit http://www.npr.org/buckets/api/screen_captures/screen-grab-of-custom-podcast-tool.jpg.

A screen shot of the NPR.org API “Query Generator” is available at
http://www.npr.org/buckets/api/screen_captures/screen-grab-of-podcast-api.jpg.