Swell Radio App Is Pandora For Talk, Sports And News Radio, And It’s Fantastic [Daily Freebie]

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Ever wished there was a way to make Pandora (or iTunes Radio) play little snippets of news, tailored to your tastes, just like it does with music? Free app Swell Radio does just that, and does it perfectly.

Dive right it — there’s no need for messing around with settings. Download the app, fire it up and you’re instantly listening to snippets of news from ESPN, whole episodes of 60 Minutes, segments of NPR’s This American Life or stand-up from Comedy Central. Once a segment is done, another seamlessly flips onto the screen and begins playing. The segment’s are all podcasts, really, but you never realize it — they all just blend together fluidly. The effect is that of a radio station tailored specifically for you.

Just like with Pandora, you can tag segments you’ve enjoyed with a “thumbs up,” which teaches the app your tastes, helping it to refine which segments to feed you. There’re also simple but remarkably helpful little buttons: one that speed up the current segment (for, say, digesting an hour-long news segment in 30 minutes), and another sets a flexible sleep timer.

There’re other ways to explore Swell Radio, like a list of trending podcasts, or listening to what friends have shared through Swell. But I’ve found that just letting the app feed me little bite-sized blurbs of news from my varied interests is a sublime, effortless joy.

About the author

Eli MilchmanWhen he was eight, Eli Milchman came home from frolicking in the Veld one day and was given an Atari 400. Since then, his fascination with technology has made him an intrepid early adopter of whatever charming new contraption crosses his path — which explains why he's Cult of Mac's test editor-at-large. He calls San Francisco home, where he works as a journalist and photographer. Eli has contributed to the pages of Wired.com and BIKE Magazine, among others. Hang with him on Twitter.

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