We’re sorry to report that on December 31, 2020 we will be closing this app. We’re doing this for a few reasons. The biggest one is that usage has significantly declined.

We launched the app in 2010—10 years ago!—when we kept only one episode in our podcast feed and had no mobile website, and when slower data speeds often made streaming difficult. Now, we keep 10 episodes in our feed, and nearly all listening happens on other podcast apps. The app is expensive to maintain, and we can no longer justify that cost relative to usage.

All episodes are available to stream or download for free on our website:

What’s New

Version 4.3.8

We’re sorry to report that on December 31, 2020 we will be closing this app. All episodes are available to stream or download for free on our website. We’ve also added the ability to export your heard and bookmarked episodes from this app, so you don’t lose that data. Questions? Email us at

Ratings and Reviews

3.6 out of 5
1.9K Ratings

1.9K Ratings

Benjamin7887 ,

Stick with the iPhone podcast app (for now)

So of course I love TAL. I look forward to it all week and it makes my commute very enjoyable. The thing is, of course I almost never listen to a single episode all at once, I listen while I’m driving so I stop it when I get out of the car and resume where I left off when I get back. The iPhone podcast app has never had a problem saving my place and immediately picking up where I left off once I start my car again. This app though? It happens only about half the time, sometimes the episode will resume as normal, and sometimes it resets to the beginning. It’s of course really frustrating when that happens, because then I have to scroll around and listen for the point where I left off. It’s a hassle. It’s the only problem I have with this app and if they fix it I will update my review to five stars. Until then, I’m going back to listening to TAL on the podcast app.

Sbns0110 ,

The sales pitch was...

So let me say I love This American Life. I chose to purchase this app because the sales pitch was: buy this app so that you can access the entire TAL archives. Then a week or two in to my purchase they locked out access to the archives. Not sure if it's a bug or not. There are 50-60 available still through staff favorites page etc. but that's not what was advertised. I see there is a live stream to listen to episodes randomly but it doesn't seem to connect. And if I'm going to listen while I have no cell service then I need to download ahead of time which I can't do with the live stream. So what's the deal? Fix the app and get it back to the original idea. Bottom line, I paid money to download the app so that i can listen to my selection from the archives and that doesn't work!


They have redesigned the app and they are back on track. I just started using the new version but it seems to be everything that was promised. Way to go TAL! You heard the criticism and responded with a great update! I love that I can search episodes by different info. For example if my friend says, “hey I was listening to episode 432 and it so crazy!” I can go search ep 432 download and listen. Changing my review to 5 stars!!! Thanks for making a great product!

Aslo White ,

Wish I could downgrade!

Like everyone else here, I love the show, but I really hate this app. The old version certainly wasn't perfect, but at least it worked! This app used to be the only thing that made my commute bearable...and now it's ruined! It takes forever to respond to commands, like play or pause, forward or rewind. Sometimes it just doesn't respond at all. All the episodes I marked as heard are now no longer marked as such. It's no longer possible to pause your listening, quit the app, and pick up where you left off. I really hope the devs are seeing these reviews! What could have possessed them to release this shoddy upgrade??!!
Apparently TAL can't seem to find someone who knows how to write an app that works. The same head-bangingly frustrating problems exist after purported "bug fixes" in the latest update. But now there's an added bonus! Now some of the episodes won't play at all! You tap "Play," and nothing happens! Same thing when you tap "Download"—nothing, nada, zip! It's just so AWESOME!
I would love to hear Ira address this problem on the show. He owes an apology to his listeners. Except, of course, we'd never be able to hear it unless we caught it on the radio.


This American Life LLC
29.1 MB

Requires iOS 11.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.



Age Rating
Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes


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