Saturday, March 26, 2011

Why is This American Life so addictive?

This American Life, with Ira Glass, a Chicago Public Radio broadcast, is addictive.

I have always heard parts of the program on our local NPR station during my commutes or drives, but never really diligently listened to this program.  I became officially introduced to this radio show by my coworkers, and began diligently listening to the program.  My girlfriend calls the program This American "Wife", because of how frequently I listen to the program.

In fact, this show has became so popular that Simpson's parodied it:

The reason why I find this program so interesting is because it opens my eye to the rest of American where otherwise I may not have experienced within my bubble.  I believe the program has made me a more cultured and well rounded individual, verses the expert political commentary garbage that FOX news loves to air.  Besides being educational, sometimes their shows are just pure entertainment, for example, their special on "The History of Pimping".

With the This American Life iPhone app, it is nice to be able to listen to the program on my drive to work (when I'm sick of listening to the weather or traffic, or when NPR is having their pledge drive) and walk to the office.  The application also offers this great feature where you can bookmark all of the shows you would like to listen to so you have a "playlist".  You can also temporary download 1-episode at a time so you're not tied to your internet connection and it's buffer speed when you listen on the road.

The downside of the app is it crashes very often, so if I didn't finish listening to a particular episode from beginning to end, chances are the app will reset when I come back to the program, and I will have to scan through the show to figure out where I left off...

This seems to be a common NPR problem, as my NPR news app has the exact same issue.  I have to physically restart the app at times in order for the application to update correctly and for me to get the latest news. 

You can listen to all the past and current shows here for free.

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