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NPR Launches a ‘True Multimedia Music Magazine’

Lexus sponsors app launch, to be promoted by an ‘in-app concert’

NPR is promising “an immersive audio and visual experience” optimized for tablet users. That’s the pitch for the NPR Music iPad App. It is available as a free download in the App Store. NPR earlier launched a news app.

To promote it, NPR Music will stream a concert by The Shins directly to app users from a venue in New York. The concert also will play beginning the next day on

The app launch also has its own sponsor, Lexus.

The organization is calling the app “a true multimedia music magazine,” combining audio, text and video. Content includes public radio live performances, interviews, programs, “advance album listens” and station streams.

NPR seems particularly excited about a visual playlist that can be saved for listening offline.

Features include browsing by content types and genres; a “persistent” audio player that allows for continuous discovery; and a playlist that can be built by drag-and-drop. “The app also encourages engagement and exploration through a Related Stories section and also a special feature that suggests NPR Music stories based on artists already in an individual’s iTunes library,” NPR stated.