NPR app for motorists gets radio from the Web as well as stations

Some new Ford cars will let their drivers shout “hourly news!” or “topics!” and choose public radio programming either on their local stations or through a smartphone streaming audio from the Internet. Bringing in webcasts and on-demand streaming gives drivers a vastly greater range of listening options and could make it even easier for them to hear public radio without help from their local stations. That ability is already within reach for drivers who have a smartphone and a cable or adapter to connect it to a car stereo. But coupling a smartphone with the new NPR app to Ford’s SYNC AppLink system may help popularize web audio listening, a scenario that dismays some pubradio station leaders. Regardless, some station execs are also praising NPR for taking the lead as the first news organization to develop a dedicated in-car app that showcases its programming.