npr-logo Of those of you who are NPR listeners (and by that I mean listeners to your local PBS or NPR affiliate radio station – not necessarily the podcasts), how many of you listen to the entire broadcast day?  Probably not many.

At this point, the only value an affiliate station has over the podcasts that exist for virtually every NPR program in existence is their ability to program the clockwheel of a station in a unique way so as to keep you coming back. 

The decision as to what comes at the fives of the news hour, which cultural and arts roundups are used – you could theoretically download all of those yourself, but as I’ve discussed again and again, the ability to automatically create a podcast playlist is severely lacking in almost all podcast players.

That ends now, and along with it might be the end of the affiliate station. I just picked this up from Lost Remote:

NPR has an API that allows you to mix up your own podcast using their content.

With today’s launch, however, the API now allows users to slice through the NPR.org archive to create custom podcast feeds based on virtually any aggregation (or combination of aggregations) in the API. To learn more about this, go to the NPR Podcast Directory.

Essentially, the last remaining role for affiliate stations would be the content production studio, since much of what is on the NPR network is produced at the local station level and syndicated out to the rest of the network.

The role of program direction, though, might be grinding to a halt.