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Jul 8
AOL Podcast Search
AOL has launched a BETA (anyone surprised?) podcast search service. At first glance this is easy to dismiss as yet another bandwagon-hopping-me-too service on AOL's part, but upon closer investigation I think they may have something here.

The AOL podcast search actually searches for instances of words of phrases within podcasts. You know what else? If it finds something for you it will let you play the snippet of the podcast that contains that phrase.

There have been a few fledgling podcast search services so far and at least one of them aimed to search within the podcast as well. As far as I know, though, this is the only service that will also play the snippet for you. Given that some podcasts are pretty long, a search that simply tells you that your word is "in these six podcasts somewhere" isn't that helpful. Being able to immediately listen to the part of the podcast that deals with your search, however, seems quite useful to me.

I understand that this is a complex technology and will take time to develop fully, but it's a critical technology. If podcastst are to become useful as research tools, for example, there has to be a better way to assess their content without investing hours listening to them. There has to be a way to scan them as we do web information.

Hat tip to Easton at Business Blog Wire for the find.

2 Comments/Trackbacks

Has anyone actually heard any of these snippets. It is indeed very difficult it is to match audio against the printed word. I looked up "fireworks" and got some very inconsistent results in terms of the snippets. I am willing to bet that there may be some manual intervention going on. I could be wrong.

And I didn't even find my own podcast. Just what's up with that?

Hey Ninja,

I can't hear them, but I run Linux and it's not uncommon to have Flash problems on Linux. I assume Windows and Mac users can hear them...can you?

As for not finding your podcast - did you submit your show via the 'submit podcast' link on the top right? You'll have to that first, I expect.

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