App Name: The Moth Available Platforms: iOS and Android Price: $0.99
What does this app do?: The Moth, a non-profit organization devoted to the craft of storytelling, began almost two decades ago on poet and novelist George Dawes Green's back porch. It morphed into a series of highly successful live events on New York at which everyone from the veteran narrator to the amateur yarn-spinner could deliver a tale in front of a live audience. And later, it joined forces with the Public Radio Exchange (PRX), a Boston-based company that distributes public radio programming, to create "The Moth Radio Hour," broadcast in 250 stations across the country.
And now, The Moth is accessible through a mobile app.
The Moth App, also developed by the Public Radio Exchange and released Friday, brings mobile device users the personal, heartwarming, inspiring, eye-opening, even harrowing tales people tell.
"We believe story-driven audio journalism is critical for people to experience the world and part of Public Radio's heritage," said PRX CEO Jake Shapiro. "PRX's mission is to translate that into the digital world," he said.
The app provides users with access to the stories PRX broadcasts through "The Moth Radio Hour," as well as The Moth story archive. Once you open the app, users can scroll through a main feed to find the most recent stories. Tap on a specific story to start listening to one, favorite it and share it with others.
In developing the app, PRX focused on making the design and function as personal as the very medium through which it broadcasts the stories.
"Radio is an intimate medium and having the technology in your pocket is equally intimate," explained Shapiro. "Tech defines the experience as much as the stories, the way it appears, the way users find the material," he said.
Keeping in mind the personal way in which people interact with an app, PRX created a few features that underscore this sentiment, such as the ability to bookmark and share stories as well as the ability to archive and listen to stories offline.
Between live events, podcasts, a radio hour and a few other outlets, The Moth's reach has grown, yet its purpose remains the same as it was at its inception: to share the personal tale that connect people through the pure act of storytelling.
Is it easy to download?: Both iOS and Android versions downloaded within seconds. Users can start listening to stories right away, no need to create an account or login.
Should I try it?: The Moth app's beauty is its simplicity; the main screen displays most of the information you need to start listening. There are no fancy animated buttons or slick ways to get from one screen to the next. Users will find experiencing the app is as enjoyable and uncomplicated as turning on the radio or sitting around with friends sharing stories.