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Public Radio Podcasts
December 11, 2008 10:11 PM   Subscribe

Public Radio Podcasts : NPR is a treasure trove of great audio content but most of it is not accessible via a podcast feed. This site uses the NPR API to construct proper podcast feeds for their shows that don't current have feeds (e.g. Morning Edition, All Things Considered) as well as per reporter and topic based feeds. Enjoy! [via mefi projects]
posted by Effigy2000 (31 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite

 
Great! Thank you!
posted by metricfan at 10:49 PM on December 11, 2008


I wished they finally gave me full-episode podcasts of all things considered, wait, wait, don't tell me and prairie home companion.
posted by krautland at 10:52 PM on December 11, 2008


Wait Wait has a full feed, doesn't it? Am I missing out on something extra there?
posted by Pronoiac at 11:38 PM on December 11, 2008


I think the creator's consciously avoiding duplicating the official podcast feeds.
* All Things Considered is on the unofficial site, listed under programs.
* From the Wait Wait site, the official podcast. I think the full archives are streamable.
* The official News from Lake Wobegon podcast

If anyone's wondering about other public radio programs, note that Public Radio International, home of This American Life & other fine programs, shouldn't be confused with NPR.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:31 AM on December 12, 2008


This is awesome! Thank you!!
posted by aGee at 12:37 AM on December 12, 2008


Last time I checked, Morning Edition and All Things Considered aren't currently available for podcast for totally legitimate reasons -- which is to say, they're the main shows that are broadcast on local networks, and which bring in listeners (and money) to underserved stations. When NPR shifted to online podcasting a few years back, these stations were (rightly) concerned that losing these shows would cause a major drop-off in local subscribers, and would put a number of smaller stations out of business.

That's why they haven't been available online up to this point. Which is a good thing, I think -- keeping local stations in business is good for business, esp. in public radio, where most of the great shows (Diane Rehm, Studio360, TAL, etc) are broadcast nationally by member stations. The funding structure for public radio is still pretty archaic, and they haven't quite figured out a way to make podcasting work for everyone. It's totally to NPR's credit that they haven't put these shows up for online syndication so far.

Similarly, it's better to pay for mp3s, even if you can download them for free. Also why it's better to pay for annoying cable TV packages rather than get your favorite channels a la cart (It'd be great to just watch the Sopranos, but PBS doesn't pay for itself). Neither do most of the (amazing) shows broadcast on local networks.

Got to keep the little guy in business!
posted by puckish at 3:12 AM on December 12, 2008


Good points puckish, but I think the NPR model actually isn't hurt much (maybe helped) by podcasts. I'd keep sending money to my local NPR station even if everything was available online, if for no other reason that I spend more than enough time in the car, and the radio is always available.

Plus, nothing like an airplane ride with non-stop Wait Wait...
posted by Ella Fynoe at 3:29 AM on December 12, 2008


I lost all interest in "Morning Edition" when they fired 25-year veteran Bob Edwards. What a shallow and bone-headed move (their own ombudsman lashed out at the stupidity of this). I remember the last non-Edwards episode I listened to: a snotty piece mocking Arnold Schwarzenegger's accent. I don't WANT to be part of the demographic that found that newsworthy.
posted by RavinDave at 3:37 AM on December 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Great !
posted by nicolin at 3:41 AM on December 12, 2008


On a similar, but related note, for those of you wishing to download (not stream) old episodes of This American Life, mp3s of the episodes can be downloaded here:

http://audio.thisamericanlife.org/jomamashouse/ismymamashouse/EPISODENUMBER.mp3

You can get the episode numbers from TAL's official website.

I created an unofficial podcast automating the process a couple years ago, and PRI sent me a polite letter asking me to stop, or else. They've sent similar letters to others who did the same thing.
posted by genome4hire at 3:59 AM on December 12, 2008 [5 favorites]


I wished they finally gave me full-episode podcasts of all things considered, wait, wait, don't tell me and prairie home companion.
posted by krautland at 1:52 AM on December 12 [+] [!]


Did you mean Whad'ya Know? rather than Wait, Wait? Always irked me that you can't get the full two hour show of that, especially since my local station cut it to one hour on their broadcast as well.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:21 AM on December 12, 2008


OMG - it's even selectable by person. I can "subscribe" to Sylvia Poggioli? I've died and gone to heaven...
posted by twsf at 4:49 AM on December 12, 2008


Also why it's better to pay for annoying cable TV packages rather than get your favorite channels a la cart (It'd be great to just watch the Sopranos, but PBS doesn't pay for itself). Neither do most of the (amazing) shows broadcast on local networks.

Er, what? You know that PBS and local networks broadcast over the air for free, right?

If the cable company carries all the local channels, they don't have to pay a dime to the local stations.
posted by designbot at 5:20 AM on December 12, 2008


Which is a good thing, I think -- keeping local stations in business is good for business, esp. in public radio, where most of the great shows (Diane Rehm, Studio360, TAL, etc) are broadcast nationally by member stations.

Another way to look at it… imagine how much cheaper the member stations' operating expenses would be if everybody switched to podcasts and they didn't have to pay for broadcasting equipment anymore. There's no obligation to support obsolete technology.
posted by designbot at 5:28 AM on December 12, 2008


Err, designbot, you know that not every listener of NPR is an avid computer/podcast user, right?
posted by cavalier at 5:35 AM on December 12, 2008


I listen to wireless streamcasts on this nifty device in my automobile I call RADIO.

</sarcasm>

No, but, seriously, this is awesome. I always run out of podcasts to listen to by Tuesday (by then I'm done listening to the weekend's episodes of Wait Wait, This American Life, and Car Talk.)
posted by grubi at 5:57 AM on December 12, 2008


It's convenient to have some of these programs available by podcast, but don't go killing radio quite yet, designbot. I sure wouldn't call it "obsolete technology" - certainly not for a huge portion of the planet that lacks wireless, broadband, dial-up, or heck, even electricity, and I wouldn't say that a company that produces news programs would be served by abandoning technology that allows it to reach its audience in a timely fashion.

This is a cool post - thanks!
posted by rtha at 6:02 AM on December 12, 2008


Radio isn't dead; it's just been QRL.
posted by Spatch at 6:21 AM on December 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


If there's enough people still listening to radio, then it will stick around. If there's not, it'll go away.

I'm just saying one is not morally superior than the other, so there's no reason to feel guilty about listening to a podcast. The only way to actually support your local station is to support your local station.
posted by designbot at 6:31 AM on December 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Just for reference, there are a ton of official podcasts on iTunes for both NPR and PRI. Planet Money, This American Life, Radio Lab, & the 7 AM News Summary are particularly good.
posted by designbot at 6:39 AM on December 12, 2008


This is a great way to tap into recurring segments on "All Things Considered." Thanks!
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 6:56 AM on December 12, 2008


I lost all interest in "Morning Edition" when they fired 25-year veteran Bob Edwards. What a shallow and bone-headed move (their own ombudsman lashed out at the stupidity of this). I remember the last non-Edwards episode I listened to: a snotty piece mocking Arnold Schwarzenegger's accent. I don't WANT to be part of the demographic that found that newsworthy.

Hm. Am I the only long-time (25+ year) public radio listener/member who didn't care that much for Bob Edward's voice and wasn't so upset to see him move along? He had a good run, but I think the show is crisper with the new hosts. (Though I have to admit Steve Inskeep's (sp?) laugh sometimes makes me cringe.) I would also not shed too many tears to see Liane Hanson move on from Weekend Sunday Edition. Her condescension to the puzzle players infuriates me almost weekly.

I dunno, if Morning Edition aired a piece that mocked the Arnold's accent, it sounds like a distinct outlier in their overall quality - I listen to the show nearly every day. Also, the host has nothing to do with the content of the individual pieces aired during their show, to be fair.

Are you sure the programming hadn't moved on to Click and Clack when the mocking was happening? ;-)
posted by aught at 7:07 AM on December 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


One of my local NPR stations went and replaced Morning Edition with "The Take-Away", this completely irritating morning newsblurb program where the hosts pretty much just introduce and discuss sound bites. And each sound bite is bumpered by these electronic bleepy-bloop Instant Messenger-type tones which serve no purpose except to say HEY HERE COMES A SOUND BITE! It felt almost condescending, really.

Thank goodness there are two NPR stations in Boston, or else I may have had to change my wake-up station to the insipid Loren & Wally. (I mean, it'd sure get me the HELL out of bed, but...)
posted by Spatch at 8:21 AM on December 12, 2008


Love it. Suggestion: I'd love to see Fresh Air Weekend in there.
posted by boombot at 8:24 AM on December 12, 2008


Bob Edwards offers a weekly fifty-minute podcast from his satellite radio show "Weekend" that's quite good. Sometimes I will skip an episode of "Fresh Air" if I don't know the guests or if I think I can predict the interview, but Edwards is always worth listenting to. He's well-prepared and still relaxed.

I would love a "League Of NPR All-Stars" of Bob Edwards, Scott Simon, and Jacki Lyden (whose voice is like delicious honey in my ears) broadcasting 24x7, but maybe that's just me.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:39 AM on December 12, 2008


By the way, the nincompoop who fired Edwards just resigned (a year back) to take a managing editor job at CNN.

G-d help them.
posted by RavinDave at 8:52 AM on December 12, 2008


NPR/PRI podcasts are a lifesaver at work. Put the ipod in the sound dock and spend the rest of the morning in a well-informed, calming fog of good feeling.
posted by Hachijuhachi at 10:09 AM on December 12, 2008


In other news, Day to Day and News and Notes have been canceled due to budget cuts. Both are operated out of NPR West.
posted by ALongDecember at 11:18 AM on December 12, 2008


Hi...author of the site here. I'm glad you guys liked it and got some value out of it.

Love it. Suggestion: I'd love to see Fresh Air Weekend in there.

The NPR API excludes content from Fresh Air and a few other other providers.
posted by mmascolino at 12:44 PM on December 12, 2008


I saw this on Projects a few weeks ago; a great idea, but due to the nature of my commute and where I live, I can't download the latest edition of the broadcast in time to listen at a convenient time.

At any rate, before I discovered this site, I resorted to recording my own podcast feed of ATC and Morning Edition (and the weekend versions of the same, of course) from an audio stream. I have to put up with that station's local news, advertising, and other quirks, but the result is that I can get the entire two-hour program in a single file for easy transfer to my MP3 player. I just have to remember to adjust the recording times when daylight savings time begins and ends.
posted by armage at 10:16 PM on December 14, 2008


This almost reduces my efforts to redundant. NPR now has a tool that let's you do what I have done (except that they have disabled All Things Considered and Morning Edition).
posted by mmascolino at 8:52 AM on December 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


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