Apple is making it easier to download free commercial and independently produced content through its new podcast application for iOS devices.

Podcasts came into being around 2004 when former MTV DJ Adam Curry developed a method of automatically delivering audio content to listeners of his online radio show. The “pod” in podcasts came from software that put those audio files on iPods. Apple later developed their own podcast functionality on the desktop versions of its iTunes software.

Now that many users of Apple’s mobile devices rarely sync their devices to PCs, podcasts ended up being relegated to back page status in the iTunes store app on iOS devices. Apple’s new app now puts podcasts front and center, providing a more intuitive interface for searching for specific shows and discovering new ones through an Apple curated “radio dial” interface.

The app allows users to “subscribe” to shows and have content delivered to the device automatically whenever a new episode is posted. Audio can be streamed over the Internet or downloaded to the device for offline playback.

A number of shows produced here in Connecticut are available on the app for free. This includes shows from WNPR,, and others.

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