March 11, 2011 — For Immediate Release
Contacts: Ashley Sytsma
Edmonds, WA (March 11, 2011) — Rick Steves, the European Travel Expert, announces the release of his free app, Rick Steves' Audio Europe, for iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. Designed to help heighten traveler's sightseeing experience, it organizes Steves' vast library of audio files — 25 audio walking tours of Europe's top sights plus 200 tracks of travel tips and cultural insights from his radio shows — into geographic-specific playlists covering all of Europe. Interested travelers can learn more at www.ricksteves.com or go directly to the iTunes App Store.
For the past few years, 'Rick Steves' Audio Walking Tours' for Europe's top sights and museums have been a big hit on iTunes, with more than 4 million downloads. And podcasts of his 'Travel with Rick Steves' public radio show have reached an even broader audience online than through broadcast. Rick Steves' Audio Europe organizes this audio library so travelers can enjoy ready access to the information that relates specifically to their travel plans.
At the heart of this app is Rick Steves' series of 25 self-guided audio tours through Europe's most important museums, sights and historic walks. In London, Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome, Rick's voice will keep travelers' eyes focused on the wonders that surround them — not buried in a guidebook.
"This app thrills the tour guide in me," explains Steves. "The combination of hearing about the art as you see it heightens your ability to really appreciate it. It all sinks in more deeply and fluidly than the disconnectedness of the experience when your eyes jump back and forth from book to masterpiece, again and again. It frees you up to maximize your focus and be in the artistic moment."
Rick Steves' Audio Europe is designed to be used at home or on the road. Travelers always encounter downtime (riding on trains, for example), so, unlike most travel apps on the market, it also works offline. Once a user downloads their selection of files, they are saved on the device and a connection is not needed to listen. This will save travelers the cost of pricey European data charges and the hassle of finding a good WiFi connection.
Rick Steves' Audio Europe was created in partnership with Seattle-based company, Treemo Labs. "The development of this app was certainly a collaborative effort between my team and Rick's team," explains Brent Brookler, Founder and CEO. "We leveraged our existing platform to match the unique needs of a traveler using Rick Steves' content on the road. The end result was a very sophisticated custom audio file download system. This new technology is unique in the market because users can download and play not only audio files, but guided audio tours segmented by chapters with photos." He continues, "I think we are most proud of the simple and intuitive interface. It is extremely easy to use."
Rick Steves Audio Europe will save travelers hundreds of dollars in guided tour expenses and its public radio content will make sightseeing both more fun and meaningful. Handy PDF maps that complement the app's audio tours can be viewed on the device or printed from any computer. A work in progress, users can look forward to regular updates, including four all-new audio tours for Athens in April.
About Rick Steves
Rick Steves grew up in Edmonds, Washington and studied at the University of Washington where he received degrees in Business Administration and European History. But his real education came in Europe — since 1973 he's spent 120 days a year in Europe. Today he employs 80 people at his Europe Through the Back Door headquarters where he produces over 50 guidebooks on European travel, the most popular travel series in America on public television, a weekly hour-long national public radio show, and a weekly column syndicated by the Chicago Tribune.
About Treemo Labs
Seattle-based Treemo Labs (www.treemolabs.com) provides the most extensive Apps publishing platform with integrated social media, social networking, location services, gaming, commerce and content management tools. Treemo Labs works with some of the biggest brands in world including 60 Minutes, CBS News, CNET, Survivor, TheSource, Rick Steves and more.