An iPhone app tailor-made for This American Life

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The latest public radio offering in Apple’s iTunes App store is from This American Life. For $2.99, iPhone users gain access to the 15-year archive of This American Life radio programs; episodes of the Showtime television series can be downloaded for an additional fee. Public Radio Exchange developed the app in collaboration with producers of TAL and Chicago Public Radio. “There is no doubt: it is a high-end app,” says Jake Shapiro, PRX executive director. “A lot of ingenuity went into it, and back-and-forth about what it needs to be. It needed a lot of development time to make sure it was high-performing.” Among the app’s nifty features: customizable searches allowing users to find their favorite episode or contributors, sharing tools, and a countdown clock encouraging users to live stream the first broadcast of each weekly episode, Friday evenings on Chicago Public Radio. “Note, ours is the only app providing a hand-held Geiger counter for the live show that drives interactive media inexorably backwards to 1968,” says WBEZ President Torey Malatia, in a PRX release. PRX recently received CPB funding to upgrade and relaunch its Public Radio Player, the free iPhone app providing access to the web streams of public radio stations, and to create a new local station app in collaboration with WBUR.