This American Life

This American Life download

Official app for the public radio program This American Life, giving you access to the show's full archive.

You can download an unlimited number of episodes for offline listening. You can also bookmark episodes to listen to later, and track your progress through our archive by marking stories as heard.

Browse and download episodes hand-picked by the show's host, Ira Glass, and our staff. Use our new search and filter functions to find your favorite stories by topic, contributor, and year.

This American Life is produced in collaboration with WBEZ Chicago and delivered to stations by PRX The Public Radio Exchange. This app was developed by Black Pixel.

This American Life App Description & Overview

The applications This American Life was published in the category Entertainment on 2010-02-01 and was developed by This American Life. The file size is 22.49 MB. The current version is 4.3.2 and works well on 11.0 and high ios versions.

Thanks to user feedback, this update includes basic CarPlay integration. It also has some minor bug fixes. Email us at [email protected] with any feedback or feature requests.

This American Life App Tips, Tricks and Rules

This American Life Reviews


Don’t Waste Your Money  Acorntopper  1 star

App crashes any time you try to open the archives. Disappointing.


An average app, but an amazing show  brycemv  5 star

As much as I love the show, and I loooove This American Life, the app is only okay. It’s slow, and laggy, and sometimes set up a bit weirdly, but it definitely gets the job done. Still the best couple bucks I’ve ever spent 🙏❤️


Great reboot  lovesugarsync  5 star

I downloaded the TAL app because I wanted to binge listen after discovering what an amazing, awesome radio show it is. The app was not great, but if I recall correctly, I didn't pay for it; the iteration I first got was freemium and I didn't opt to pay. It was sort of buggy and just not very user friendly so I didn't have a strong inclination to use it, deleted it, in fact. Then TAL reduced its RSS feed to only the five most recent episodes so I looked into re-downloading the app. This time, it was pay only but not so great a price that I thought I'd feel ripped off if it was buggy. I was thoroughly surprised to see that they had totally revamped it and it was now pleasantly user friendly, with a beautiful UI to boot. I really don't understand the current bad reviews. I have an iPhone 6s with iOS 11 and it works flawlessly. It's EASY to navigate back to the "Home" page by tapping "Episodes" permanently at the bottom, where every episode is listed in chronological order from the most recent. You can download an episode from any page then tap the Downloads icon (permanently at the bottom) and it takes you to all your downloaded episodes. Yes, in the Recommended section, sometimes it's only one act of a whole episode—because the recommender wanted to recommend that single part. Go with the flow a little, people. Everything that people complain about in the dedicated app of my other favorite radio show, Radiolab, exists and works in the TAL app. You can mark episodes listened, read descriptions of the episodes, stay where you left off listening, and though I haven't used this function, you can snip audio bits directly out of an episode and embed it in other media—because they so strongly believe in the power of sharing their work that they grant you blanket copyright privileges. All this on top of having full, unfettered access to 600+ episodes of one of the greatest radio shows of the 20th and 21st centuries.


Good program, lousy app  mauzer66  2 star

I love this American Life but the app doesn’t function all that well. I can go into detail but I’m sure the apps creators know of the problems.....they should fix them.


Good, but not great.  aud_jones  3 star

This app serves its purpose which is easy access to all TAL podcasts. However, there are some listening glitches that I hope will be sorted out in the near future. I pause and play often when I’m using this app and the app sometimes won’t load or play the podcast I was on unless I close out of the app completely and reopen the app again. Sort of like turning it on and off. Then, today I encountered another listening glitch. If I press pause on the lock screen or the small listening bar at the bottom of the app, the podcast keeps playing. This is embarrassing because I unplugged my earphones and the podcast wouldn’t stop playing. Everyone in the quiet classroom I was in heard me listening to one of the crime scene episodes. My solution was turning my volume down all the way. This hasn’t been an isolated incident. I’m leaving this review because it has happened three times now in the same day. The most recent time I could only pause the podcast if I went into the app, opened up the podcast episode’s page and paused it there. Hoping the app developers can work this out soon because I paid money for this app!!!


Doesn’t work on the background  BobbyKang  2 star

If I doesn’t stay on the screen of the app, it doesn’t work. The show stops playing. A funny thing is it works sometimes lol Please fix this!

N/A 1234

Terrible please stop  N/A 1234  1 star

Please just post ALL episodes Apple Podcasts like every other podcast. I would love share my favorite podcasts with people that have never heard of TAL. Unfortunately I can’t do this with the TAL app because it sends them to the website which doesn’t work well with CarPlay, doesn’t save my place, doesn’t do well with restarting where I left off, doesn’t allow me to download, doesn’t synchronize across devices or the hundreds of other features that are built into the Apple Podcasts App.

NoCal JG

Can’t change story being played  NoCal JG  1 star

Accidentally clicked play for a romance story. App doesn’t respond to clicks to play anything else and there seems to be no means to simply clear the playlist. Love story, or app, from hell ;-(

FLA Johnny O

Am I missing something?  FLA Johnny O  2 star

My commute is about 10 -15 minutes, and For some reason I can’t pause, close the app, and come back later and pick up where I left off. Every time it starts me back at the beginning and I have to scrub my way through to remember where I left off. It’s really annoying and not something I would expect from a paid app.

Kimmie E.

Pause and Play Button Doesn’t Work!  Kimmie E.  3 star

I absolutely love the content on This American Life. The stories they tell are informative and interesting and you always come out learning something new. However, app has bugs that make the listening experience subpar. The episodes will never pause. I will press the play/pause button if I want to take a break and the button will switch from ⏸ to ▶️ but the podcast will continue playing. No matter how many times I click the button, the episode will keep going. I have to physically clear out of the app to make it stop playing and then my place in the episode gets lost. Please please fix this bug so I can actually enjoy listening to the podcasts!!


Excellent show, useless app  awildr  1 star

App won’t play audio in the background, you have to have the app open on your screen. When the phone locks, it stops playing. Pretty simple thing, pretty amazed that it wasn’t designed to work that way.


Great podcast great app  Hailos90  5 star

Being a late comer to This American Life, I found it cumbersome to listen to old episodes with the standard podcast apps or browsers. I really love the story telling of this show - it’s unlike any other - and didn’t want to miss out. This app makes it so simple.

Some Nitwit

Great stories, glitchy playback  Some Nitwit  4 star

Brilliantly told and produced stories. Tech-wise, though, the app often starts playback of its own accord at random times.


Not to happy  frank3514  1 star

Excellent podcasts but app is a waste. Bought it to access archives and listen to older casts but that does not seem to work. 5$ wasted for what I can get in iTunes

Warren Harding

Love the content dislike the app  Warren Harding  3 star

My rating is purely for the app as the content is exceptional. I’m let down by the app as it feels very clunky, slow and unresponsive to input. Through the last few episodes I’ve had to force quit the app after pausing as it just locks up.


THE BEST.  anniethebrave  5 star


Classy Giraffe

No 2017 podcasts  Classy Giraffe  1 star

They have stopped updating this app and it has no podcasts from 2017


Amazing  EllaSteyn  5 star

So interesting and very well done.

Mama Daniela

Best driving companion  Mama Daniela  5 star

I love you this American life. Now if only you could pass me my water bottle while I'm driving and open the crisps packet I would no longer need a co pilot!


The Only Podcast I Listen To  MunchiesMac  5 star

Simply the most wonderful stories to listen to. The hosts take me to new places, they make me think, and fill me with some kind of wonder. Well done to all involved.

idaho jason

App barely functions  idaho jason  1 star

Just updated the app. I choose an episode, tap play, and hear only 20 seconds or so because as soon as the screen darkens, the sound fades away. If I wake up the phone and go back to the app, the episode starts again. Same thing happens if I minimize the app to check email or something. The sound just fades out. Worst podcast app ever.


Trouble getting episodes to play  Kjoug  2 star

I like the access and have used this app for years and years, but I frequently can’t get the episodes to play on the redesigned app.


Crashes galore  CharlotteMeow  1 star

Love this podcast and the idea of this app BUT it doesn’t work well/consistently. For no reason it will just pause or crash completely. I have to restart the app and figure out where I left off a lot. Also, it doesn’t sync with other devices. So if you listen to an episode of a show on your phone and mark is as listen-to, it doesn’t do so on other devices so not great for multiple devices. Fix these issues and it’s golden. Otherwise, not worth the purchase. Just listen using other podcast streaming apps because this one is beyond frustrating. Still getting annoyed with crashed in May 2018. Wish you would do something about this!


FULL OF BUGS  Maekar_I  1 star

I love This American Life and I look forward to hearing it every week so I bought this app. The programs and episode are still awesome but this app is so full of bugs that it’s infuriating!


Mistakes Were Made  Bafflef  1 star

Consider the money you spend on this app a donation to public radio, I guess. Otherwise you just wasted $2.99. I bought it because I wanted to download old episodes for offline listening. The download player is very buggy. You can't play episodes more than once. The player freezes or seems to get stuck, or seems to be trying to play multiple episodes. I don't know, because I'm not a coder, and apparently neither are the people who developed this app.


New update caused more bugs!  Fell_in_a_hole  3 star

The latest update didn’t seem to do anything but cause more bugs. New episodes don’t show up on the main page and I can’t download any episodes!


What an update!  Dakoda29  5 star

New app is awesome! Thanks!!


Love the show, but very buggy app  Beccbe  2 star

I am a long-time fan of this American life, so I was looking forward to mobile access to archival episodes. However, I wish they could have tried to do less with the app, and done it more reliably. There are many bugs that remain unaddressed since the initial release, and they impact my experience enough that I’ve started listening to other podcasts or just waiting for the weekly release of new this American life episodes, so that I can use the regular iTunes podcast app (which isn’t great, either). A sample list of current bugs: - a random episode I have listened to in the past queues instead of the one I just paused, if I minimize the app and then bring it back up - the list of episodes I’ve downloaded won’t load without LTE or Wi-Fi - all of my checked “listened” marks disappeared after the most recent update - the play tracker skips backward in the episode sometimes (but not always!) if I minimize the app and bring it back up


Embarrassing  joeyclyde  1 star

The best show with the worst app. Newest update today deleted all my saved downloads and removed my hundreds of checked marked episodes as well. Just spend some money and get better developers please. The reviews of the Android version are just as bad. One man teams for no name apps run better than this app.


Great  swguimond  5 star

It serves its purpose of listening to the archives. I dig it.

H2O2 queen

💖 it  H2O2 queen  5 star

Love it, interesting and addictive, wish ireland would follow suit and learn from this amazing show!!!


brilliant show  Evanoquigley  3 star

Keeps me entertained on my hour long commute to and from work every day. Always interesting and informing. App works pretty well but could possibly use an update. If I don't listen to an episode all the way through I have to go find it again. Also I have an iPhone 6 Plus so my screen is huge and this app was probably built for an iPhone 3/4 as everything looks massive on it. Isn't always the most user friendly but it works for the most part and at 3 euro I really can't complain.


Love it.  Creaghfish  5 star

It's my favourite thing to listen to.


Doesn't work:(  Tinky123  1 star

I so wanted this to work but it doesn't play at all. Reviews online and their FB page show that it's not just me, others can't play, download, delete etc. A host of issues.


The best app I have on my phone  Alimilne  5 star

This American life has turned my commute to and from work into my favourite part of the day. Thanks Ira!


Best podcast!  Welcomeinjam  5 star

My favourite podcast and the app is great!


Love the show but the app needs work  Elfantastica  1 star

One of my favourite purchases, love being able to download shows offline when it works it's amazing when it doesn't it's utterly heartbreaking. The app crashes when you want to download, Harper high part two is in fact part one again. When you delete episodes it reads this instruction of let's download it again and sometimes the app is just plain unresponsive. And now most of the content has disappeared?!? I wouldn't mind but this is a rare time I've actually paid money for an app!

Deirdre Mc Mahon

Love the show, hate the app  Deirdre Mc Mahon  1 star

The subject line says it all. I love your show but the app is a disaster. Play button doesn't work most of the time, shuts down randomly and can't download for the most part. Sort it out!


Great App for a truly great show.  Kauaioo  5 star

Love the app, it makes it so easy to listen to the back catalogue of episodes and keeps track of what you've already listened to. It also lets you highlight your favourites, useful for sharing with friends.

Grace Collins

Like this app and love the show  Grace Collins  5 star

A show that just keeps on giving. My favourite thing is to listen to an episode on a long car journey.

This American Life Comments

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