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 which shut down late last month.

The website has now been taken down, but the site’s old About Me page reads in part: 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’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.