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National Public Radio, a producer of news, talk, and entertainment programming, has launched an iPhone app to allow easy on-the-go access to its news articles, programs, and stations.

NPR's press release states that the app will offer users "the option to read, browse or listen to a robust selection of news stories and programs, or read and listen simultaneously if they choose."

The app's News tab shows the current top news stories and the ability to view more stories by category. The Newscast section allows users to listen to the most recent NPR Hourly Newscast. The Programs tab gives access to over 25 talk and entertainment programs, which can be streamed directly from within the app directly, or downloaded or streamed via the iTunes app through an included shortcut button. Users can also create a playlist of programs to listen to while browsing news stories. As with other third-party apps, audio played through the NPR app will not continue in the background once the app has been closed.

The Stations tab provides access to NPR radio stations across the country, including the ability to mark selected stations as favorites and use the iPhone's built-in GPS receiver and/or location triangulation to find the closest station.

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The NPR app is free and can be found in the App Store here (link opens iTunes). It is compatible with all iPhone and iPod touch devices running firmware 2.0 or higher.

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