This American Life

Last modified
Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Description of App

This American Life is a hit public radio show and most weeks, the most popular podcast in the country.

This app gives you on-demand access to all episodes going back to the show's launch in 1995. In other words, you get the full archive of the series, at your fingertips. You can stream for free or (for 99 cents) download any episode, search by episode name or by a favorite contributor's name, or listen in order from the beginning.

This is a big deal, in both senses of the word. There's so much in here – hundreds of shows – you'd need 17 days and nights of listening to catch up. Every new episode is automatically added to the app. The app also connects you to all the episodes of the This American Life television show, which won three Emmys and aired on the Showtime network. (You have to pay 1.99 to download each full episodes from iTunes.)
*Never-before and rarely-before heard audio and video extras: including behind-the-scenes video with the show's producers, video outtakes from the TAL TV show, a video excerpt (of Mike Birbiglia) from TAL's live cinema event, Ira Glass interviews Terry Gross and vice versa, and some very old radio stories produced by host Ira Glass, including four Morning Edition stories by David Sedaris.

  • Browse by show contributor (including Sedaris, Birbiglia, Sarah Vowell, John Hodgman, and more)
  • Share episodes by email, Facebook, and Twitter
  • Keep your own favorites list, and get staff favorites, too
  • Station finder for listening to TAL on the radio in your area
  • A blog with show news and events
  • A countdown to the live weekly broadcast, which you can stream from the app.

This American Life is mostly true stories of everyday people, but it's also really hard to describe. Here's what it's not: It's not a news show or a talk show or a call-in show. Instead, it's stories that are like little movies for radio. There are funny moments and emotional moments and moments where the people in the story say interesting, surprising things about it all. It's a public radio show for people who don't necessarily like public radio. It's produced by Chicago Public Radio and distributed by Public Radio International.

Your purchase of this app helps fund This American Life.



Free or Paid


Apple Watch Support

Not Known

Device(s) App Was Tested On


Accessibility Comments

The only place I had trouble so far was on the 'time to live stream' field.

VoiceOver Performance

VoiceOver reads all page elements.

Button Labeling

All buttons are clearly labeled.


The app is fully accessible with VoiceOver and is easy to navigate and use.

Other Comments

Do pay attention to the fact that downloads from iTunes still cost money, but this is a reasonable way to support the show while having full streaming access.


0 people have recommended this app


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