Playing With Audio Content on My Phone

While experimenting with various audio sources that I can access on my iPhone, I came across an interesting site from NPR for mobile phone users. ( )They have created a site optimized for viewing on a mobile phone with links to NPR radio reports that you access by dialing a phone number. Instead of streaming the story to you as you would expect via a web page connection, this interface presents you with a link to a phone number that you dial to hear the story over a phone connection. This is basically the lowest common denominator approach and is geared to more basic mobile phones and not things like the iPhone (well at least not if Apple and Adobe every get Flash working on the iPhone) or Windows Mobile devices. Below are some screen shots.

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Snap 094714-2The iPhone and the iPod Touch both will both play streaming MPEG content through the Safari web browser and many radio web sites have content in this format. For those of you interested in accessing NPR content on the iPhone or Touch via MPEG streaming you do have some options. Many NPR affiliate stations do broadcast audio streams in MPEG format which is what is needed for the iPhone and the Touch. iRadio, from Conceited Software is an application for the iPhone and iPod Touch that allows you to access thousands of web based radio stations. (note, your iPhone/Touch needs to be jail-broken in order to load applications...) The interface is a bit unwieldily, but it does allow you to access a large number of radio streams. I wish that iTunes on the iPhone/Touch would do this.

The BBC has optimized their podcasts for the iPhone/Touch. This article from the BBC web site, BBC Podcasts on the iPhone and iPod Touch (beta), outlines what is available. These are MP3 files that stream nicely on a wi-fi network, but don't work very well on EDGE. When you visit the BBC Podcast page ( ) through an iPhone or iPod Touch you are automatically directed to a page optimized for display through Safari on these devices. Screen shots below...

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