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Back in 2010, U.S.-based nationally syndicated news organization, National Public Radio released its well designed news magazine app for the iPhone and then later for iPad.
NPR is also well known for a wide variety of music programs and podcasts, so it’s fitting that it recently released the iPad version of NPR Music.
This multi-genre app is absolutely great for music lovers who, like myself, don’t listen to the radio as much they use their iPad or iPhone. NPR Music both adds an awesome listening experience, and a wealth of music reviews, articles, concerts videos.
When you first open NPR Music on your iPad, you’ll quickly see that it’s more than a radio app. It’s a multi-genre magazine that includes all the major genres of music–Rock, Jazz & Blues, Classical, Hip-Hop/R&B, World, and Electronic/Dance.
The top half of the app consist of a Cover Flow layout of featured articles which are updated on a daily basis. One of the advantages of NPR Music is that the content is streamed from hundreds of news and music outlets of NPR, so users constantly get fresh content.
The middle section consists of featured songs from various genres that you can listen to and add to your playlist. Featured songs are followed by the Radio section. You can select and add from nearly hundred public radio stations available to the home page. Tapping the “More Stations” button you can add and favorite additional stations to your Favorites page. The developers of NPR Music made sure that you can customize NPR Music so that it fits the type of music you love and want to quickly access.
The top menu bar of NPR Music is divided between Articles, Videos, Programs, Genres, Favorites and Search. The app contains a searchable artist directory of 5000 bands, musicians, and singers, including interviews, reviews, performances, features and news from NPR Music archives.
All content presented in both a literal and visual display which makes for easier browsing and selection. This content is one of the best ways to discover new music and get updates about your favorite artist.
When I searched Miles Davis, I was presented several dozen selections of videos, many of his most well known jazz selections, and interviews with artists who worked with or knew Miles.
The program selections for NPR Music include All Songs Considered, AltLation, 50 Great Voices, Piano Jazz, and Mountain Stage (live folk and Americana music).
You can save your Playlist for offline listening, and under that section you get recommendations based on your music selections.
As you might expect, with an app like this that adds so much content, the download time for music and other links may take a while. But fortunately you can listen to music selections while you browse the app to read articles or conduct searches.
The iPhone Version
The iPhone version of NPR Music contains similar features, but it also includes sections devoted to music blogs and concerts. You can also more easily search by artist in the iPhone version.
In my experience so far with both versions of the app, the music stream rarely has problems, and the quality of the audio is sufficient for my tastes.
But let us know what you think of NPR Music. Are there other similar apps that you can suggest for our readers to check out? Let us know.