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npr road tripDriving across America soon? Know what station carries public radio programs for every mile of your journey, thanks to NPR’s Road Trip tool. You’ll get turn-by-turn directions from Bing along with the name and frequency of all the NPR stations you’ll be able to listen to every mile of your trip.

Stop “scanning” and go straight to the station you’re looking for.

If you’re a fan of public radio you know it’s the perfect companion for long road trips across the USA. Not only does a day of public radio teach you more than an average day in university, it also makes any trip go quickly by being consistently interesting.

Long trips involving many state borders mean constantly leaving radio stations behind you, though. You’ll start hearing faint static until you hear nothing else; then the frustrating search for your next station begins. You could loop around the stations 8 times before you find public radio back, and sometimes it simply doesn’t exist.

Stop the madness. Print a map for your trip with NPR Roadtrip: you’ll not only get turn-by-turn directions but also an indication of which NPR stations you can get when, and where to find them on your dial.

Using NPR Road Trip

Head to the NPR Roadtrip page and you’ll see a basic map interface. You can simply find out what stations are near you, if you want, by entering your current address:

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npr road trip

This is great if you’re going to be in the same place for a while, but is hardly perfect when you’re on the go.

That’s when the road trip feature comes in handy. You know the drill: type where you’ll start and where you want to be. You’ll get directions, but they’ll be spliced with station names and frequencies.

npr road trip map

The directions will let you know the turn or mile marker you can find certain stations at. You can click on any station to find out more about it, which is nice. Some NPR affiliates focus on music, while others focus on news, so details are good to know.

npr road trip

 

You can explore the map yourself to see the full range of any given station. This taught me that there really are no NPR stations for most of eastern Colorado and much of Nebraska, so I suppose I’ll be sticking with podcasts next time I drive through there.

Conclusion

NPR isn’t a centralized network of stations; it’s a service. Public radio stations across the country can offer NPR content if they pay for, but can also buy content from PRI (which offers This American Life Listen To 'This American Life' Complete Archives For FREE Listen To 'This American Life' Complete Archives For FREE Listen to any episode of This American Life, anytime, for free. That's access to nearly 450 hour-long episodes, all fascinating. You may not realize it, but the popular radio show from Public Radio International offers... Read More among other shows) and other not-for-profit companies that create shows. Because of this, NPR road trip won’t necessarily point to every public radio station you can find on your trip.

And by no means are public radio stations the only ones that offer great content. Sometimes you’re going to want to hear rock music or something else, so this tool isn’t quite perfect.

Still, it’s nice to know where the NPR stations are on the dial for the entirety of your trip. Stop randomly scanning and get the information you need up front. Will you be using this? Let me know in the comments below, along with any similar tools. Also check out these other NPR web offerings:

NPR Web App is Perfect For Listening To Or Reading News NPR's Web App - Perfect For Reading & Listening To News NPR's Web App - Perfect For Reading & Listening To News Read More

NPR’s Infinity Player Is Pandora For News Customize Your Radio News Listening Experience With NPR's Pandora-Like Infinite Player Customize Your Radio News Listening Experience With NPR's Pandora-Like Infinite Player Make listening to NPR online more like listening to the radio. Open one website then start listening to public radio news stories. Skip stories you don't like or give them a thumbs up or down... Read More

  1. Steven
    January 7, 2016 at 5:48 am

    Thank you. I like public radio, do not work in a cubicle and prefer to learn something real rather than listen to conservative political conspiracy theories on talk radio. Thank you for the info concerning this app.

    • Justin Pot
      January 7, 2016 at 3:17 pm

      Sadly the app seems to be gone, I should try to find a replacement at some point...

  2. CPNE
    February 13, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Having driven from Denver, CO to Lincoln, NE many, many times, I can tell you that Nebraska is blanketed with NPR stations. Eastern Colorado is not. The catch with Nebraska Public Radio is that they switch to classical music programming from 9AM - 4PM weekdays. However, if you have an HD radio they run programming on their .2 channels.

    Thanks for this tip - I make other trips that this will be useful for!

  3. Ed_kriner
    February 13, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    npr is 1% radio being in the "business" of mollifying America's cubicle class. 

    • jhpot
      February 13, 2012 at 4:15 pm

      The other 99% is what? Being all awesome?

  4. bobconstans
    February 11, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    A long journey with continuous Public Radio...

    • jhpot
      February 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm

       People like different things. When I found this, I was ecstatic.

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