Depending on your politics, National Public Radio is either a valuable respite from the noisy gibberish permeating the rest of mass media, or a biased waste of federal funding. But what’s undeniable is that the organization is an excellent resource for discovering music, and that quality extends to its iPhone music app.
The excellent NPR Music (free) brings together a wide range of the organization’s musical resources, driving home just how influential NPR can be in the music space. It includes links to tons of public stations from across the country, some more musical than others; tapping a random station brought up Free Speech Radio News, which was great for an update on the situation in Libya, but not exactly music to my ears.
The app’s main page offers album previews, the song of the day (in full), video interviews, and studio sessions, as well as news and playlists broken out by genre. Users can also listen to specific shows, like All Songs Considered and Alt.Latino, and listen to live concert recordings in their entirety. The front page also links directly to a number of NPR music blogs, so you can read about music on your iPhone. Listeners can create their own playlists from this stuff, but can’t listen to them offline.
As if that weren’t enough, users can search by or scroll through a huge list of artists to find content related to them more directly. This is the type of app you can futz with for hours and still come away only having scratched the surface, preferably with a Wi-Fi connection, the app depends on grabbing new data from the server.
(See our full review.)