National Public Radio has launched (11/15) “The Infinite Player,” a Pandora-like online content discovery news/spoken word stream that listeners can customize. The beta launch is considered an experiment. When launched, first listeners will hear the latest NPR newscast. That’s followed by stories NPR thinks users will like from NPR’s three main focus areas: news, arts and life, and music. The only controls are skip, pause, 30-second rewind and, of course, thumbs up and thumbs down. “We’re calling it the Infinite Player because it will continue playing stories until you turn it off, just like the radio,” noted an NPR blog. “The player allows you to indicate whether you’re interested in a particular story or not. If you are, we’ll try to give you similar stories. If you’re not, we’ll do our best to find others you’ll enjoy. The player should deliver the type of serendipitous experience you expect from NPR, with recommendations based on your input, NPR editors’ judgment and story popularity.”
The experience is uses NPR’s local / national partnership with member stations. They’re working with NPR Digital Services and a number of stations to release versions of the player that combine both local and NPR audio into a seamless experience. So far, these versions include KQED, Michigan Radio and KPLU.
So far, the player only works in Safari or Chrome. The listener look for exactly what she wants, or queue stories in a playlist to run consecutively. Users will also have to either register or sign in with an NPR login, or Facebook, Yahoo, or Google.