Utilizing Apple's ad hoc distribution program, Stitcher let a beta version of their iPhone app loose on 100 testers today. While the app suffers from some stability issues, due to its unfinished nature, Stitcher provides a slick solution to those looking for customized audio programming.
Stitcher is trying to be to news and information what Pandora is to music. The service provides you with a variety of audio programming, broken down by topics, such as sports, technology, and world news. Sources for the app include CNN, CNET, ESPN, AP, WSJ, Reuters, and a variety of local sources. As you rate the various audio streams and podcasts, Stitcher learns what you might like and serves up content.
My favorite potential application of Stitcher is to create your own customized station for listening to on your daily commute. You could make a station that kicks off your morning with the sports scores from the night before, followed up by the top headlines from CNN, stories from your favorite local news station, and capped off by discussion of the hottest tech stories from CNET.
While there is a bigger market for music, I think that there is a sizable market for customized news and information. A lot of people listen to news and sports on the radio and Stitcher makes it easy to have a highly personalized stream to get you caught up on what matters to you.
Stitcher is a free, ad supported app. There is no word yet on when the app is going to be available to the general public, but the limited beta test ends at the end of this week.