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iPhone Public Radio app adds on-demand content

A must-have for radio fans, Public Radio Player 2.0 not only streams live broadcasts from stations across the country, but also serves up on-demand content for hundreds of shows.

Listen to your favorite public radio shows on your schedule.

Is today my birthday? No? Because I just got one helluva gift: Public Radio Player 2.0, the latest version of the killer radio-streaming app, which now lets you listen to your favorite shows on-demand.

Missed last week's "This American Life"? No problem. The app has the latest episode. Want to catch up on "Talk of the Nation Science Friday?" You'll find several weeks' worth of back catalog. Same goes for "Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me," "Fresh Air," "Marketplace," and countless other radio gems.

Granted, you can get a lot of the same content in podcast form, but those downloads require precious space on your iPhone or iPod Touch. Here you just tap and listen.

As before, Public Radio Player also lets you stream live broadcasts from public radio stations around the country, and it easily zeroes in on local stations if that's what you prefer.

One particularly nice touch is that each station listing shows what's currently playing, be it "Morning Edition," classical music, or whatever.

The Public Radio Player app lets you search for shows and/or content.

You can use the search function to look up station call letters, show names, and even subject matter--and searches span both live and on-demand content. There's also a favorites list so you can easily return to specific shows and stations later on.

The new version seems a bit slower to load than its predecessor, but that's my only complaint. The addition of on-demand content cements Public Radio Player's status as one of my all-time favorite apps. I freakin' love this thing.