Apple recently acquired a podcast search company called Pop Up Archive, according to a new report from Nieman Lab. Apple, per usual, didn’t have much to say on the report, save for its standard boiler-plate statement that it “buys smaller technology companies from time to time.”
Though podcasting may have started out as something of a niche endeavor, it’s held a dominant spot in the mainstream for quite a few years now. These days, the selection of podcasts available across a multitude of genres is truly mind-boggling. In turn, keeping up to date with your own podcast subscriptions can be challenging. And if you ever find yourself looking for a specific audio snippet from a podcast you listened to ages ago, or even a particular episode, well, you know just how frustrating that can be.
And that’s where Pop Up Archive’s technology may prove to be extremely useful. The Oakland-based company over the past few years has been developing tools to “transcribe, organize, and search audio files,” even going so far as to release a podcast search engine called Audiosear.ch which shut down late last month.
The website has now been taken down, but the site’s old About Me page reads in part:
Audiosear.ch takes podcast discovery and recommendation to the next level. Our API is the most comprehensive source of podcast metadata in the English language, offering full-text podcast search, transcripts, and time-stamped annotations (proper nouns, brands) as well as topic clusters, keywords, mood, and ratings.
Even more intriguing is that Audiosear.ch’s search technology makes it possible to receive email alerts any time a designated phrase is uttered anywhere in a podcast. While it remains to be seen what Apple plans to do with Pop Up Archive, hopefully we’ll see some welcome improvements to the iOS Podcasts app in the near future.