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Home » Arts & Entertainment, iPhone, Old time radio (OTR), Technology

OTR on your iPhone for free

By: 22 February 2011 One Comment

OTR Streamer

Any regular visitor to First Arkansas News know the owner of this site is a major fan of old time radio (OTR).

The Weekend OTR series was launched shortly after this site was started, after all, and one of the more successful articles posted here was a story about Arkansas’ own Lum and Abner. As if that wasn’t enough, a new series was added a couple of weeks ago in the form of an entire section dedicated to the classic goodness known as OTR serials. Speaking of the serials section, we started adding Blue Beetle episodes last week, so make sure to head over and give those a listen.

At any rate, OTR fans who own iPhones are in luck as there are some free apps out there that stream those classic radio programs right to the device. Is there some irony in using current technology to reach far back into American pop culture? Perhaps, but who cares? It’s all great fun and that’s good enough.

By the way, you’ll need a Wi-Fi connection open to your iPhone when running these apps. They stream rather weighty MP3s to the iPhone, after all.

Having said that, let’s take a look at some of the best free iPhone apps for OTR fans.

OTR Streamer

This application puts over 1,000 OTR programs at your fingertips. The shows are categorized well and include everything from comedy shows such as Burns and Allen to famed westerns such as Gunsmoke. You’ll find Joe Friday keeping the streets clean in Dragnet and hardboiled detectives like Sam Spade, too.

The catch? The thing does show ads to the happy listener while the app is running. Also, there is the ability to save programs and listen to them later, but the free app will only store one at a time. Want to store more? You’ve got to pay for that privilege. Regardless, the free app is fully functional and shows are updated regularly.

Want a copy? Sure you do. Click here to get it.

Radio Spirits

Here’s an app put together by the folks over at Yes, we’ve got a great relationship with as that dynamite company has supplied the programs for the aforementioned Weekend OTR series for almost a year now. Still, it’s hard to deny that Radio Spirits has done a lot over the past few decades to preserve OTR programs and present those shows to both original fans and new converts.

Radio Spirits features the nationally-syndicated When Radio Was old time radio program that appears on radio stations all over the place (including KEWI-AM 690 here in Benton). That show is hosted by the enthusiastic Greg Bell. Bell, by the way, also hosts Sirius Radio Classics 118 and XM Radio Classics 164.

Radio Spirits allows listeners to both catch up on current episodes of When Radio Was and dig deep into the archives of the program. Also, it offers some cool bonus content, such as a station finder so that users can see if When Radio Was is broadcast on a station near them. Yes, it does flash ads at the user, but they are relatively unobtrusive and easily forgiven, seeing how much great content is made available for free.

So, what are you waiting for? Download the app here.

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email =

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