Roll your own widgets and play NPR content

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NPR today invited Internet techies to take custom feeds of NPR text and audio– 250,000 stories going back to 1995 — and mash their own combinations for personal noncommercial or nonprofit use. It’s “the beginning of what could be some really cool stuff,” predicted Todd Mundt of Louisville Public Media, who said the idea was endorsed by public radio’s Digital Distribution Consortium. The network released an application programming interface (API) that tells techies how to play selected material in widgets and other Internet-fed outlets. A query generator spits out a section of code for selecting material by topic, program and date from NPR’s database. Available content so far doesn’t include Fresh Air, Diane Rehm This American Life and other station-produced shows. Several widgets for NPR feeds have already been developed, including the Reverbiage map (shown in miniature above) and Axion Searchable Radio, which displays NPR headlines on iPhones. But that’s just the beginning, as the Inside blog indicated in a preview comment yesterday: “We are very excited about this new tool and are looking forward to the inventive ways that you will use our content! After all, there are only a few of us but millions of you…” What do you expect to come of this? Comment or start a conversation on DirectCurrent.

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