Crunch time: crafting audio news features efficiently

“No one gets into reporting because they like transcribing. …Overall [Pop Up Archive] is very accurate. I’ve seen it improve a lot in the time I’ve been using it and it’s helping us hugely in our day to day management and production of stories.”
—Audrey Dilling, KALW Crosscurrents

Audrey Dilling has been a reporter and producer for “Crosscurrents,” a daily news magazine at KALW in San Francisco. She has primarily produced features about water, reporting stories that are six to eight minutes long. That may not sound like a lot — until you realize that each feature is composed of at least three interviews, plus ambient sound, and that the raw tape for each interview prior to editing can run from twenty to forty minutes long. To help her use time efficiently and streamline the production process, Audrey uses Pop Up Archive to transcribe and organize tape. Continue reading

Three stories of what it is to be a mother

Dorothy Canfield Fisher said, “A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.” This Mother’s Day, listen to three stories from our archives about the rich, complicated, one-of-a-kind bond that exists between mothers and their children.

Wikimedia

Alfreda Duster, daughter of Ida B. Wells Studs Terkel Radio Archive

Ida B. Wells is a giant in American history. An African-American woman who was born a slave in Mississippi in 1862, she went on to become a journalist, editor, feminist and early leader in the civil rights movement. Her work has been honored in journalistic awards, a museum, a society for investigative reporting by journalists of color, and even a postage stamp. In 1971 her daughter, Alfreda Duster, spoke about the side of her only a daughter would know. Listen. Continue reading

Introducing the new and improved Audiosear.ch

In 2014, our co-founders — Anne Wootton and Bailey Smith — were very, very busy.

Every day they were commuting from Oakland, CA to 500 Startups’ Mountain View accelerator  as they developed Pop Up Archive, a business then in its infancy. They talked about developing a product that was like Google for all types of audio. Then the podcast “Serial” was released. Continue reading

People and the earth: it’s complicated

Earth Day, which is observed on April 22nd this year, was first celebrated in 1970 an estimated 20 million people attended the festivities. Since then, this holiday has become an important national reminder of the importance of preserving and protecting our environment. Today, we bring you three pieces from our archives that explore various aspects of our relationship with Mother Nature. Continue reading

Pop Up Archive: A partner in production

The Stoop is a forthcoming podcast from Hana Baba, Leila Day, and Julie Caine that tackles oft-ignored aspects of race and identity. They describe the project as “a space where fun, funk, and journalism come together in a podcast that’ll go deep into topics about black identity that aren’t openly discussed.”

Continue reading

Celebrating TryPod one listener at a time

TryPod is a recent effort hatched by industry executives to combat “podcast unawareness.” The goal of TryPod is to grow the overall podcast audience by encouraging people to share their favorite podcasts with those who don’t yet listen.

In 2016, 24 percent of Americans (67 million people) listened to a podcast in the past month, up three percent from 2015, according to last week’s Infinite Dial report from Edison Research.

Nancy Mills is a resident of Washington DC. She’s 67 and retired, and she’s a podcast power listener who is celebrating TryPod in a serious way. We spoke to Nancy about her listening habits and what she’s learned about how to be an effective podcast evangelist.

Let’s start at the beginning. How did you become a podcast listener?

My daughter encouraged me to try it, but I don’t remember how I actually got started. Lots of hunting and clicking I think. Continue reading

Innovating new forms of audio storytelling

We’re delighted to share that we’re partnering with BuzzFeed and Stitcher to host Come and Play, a two-day audio storytelling hackathon where artists, storytellers, producers, developers, designers, and others will come together to find new and fun ways to tell stories with audio.

Participants will quickly prototype new tools for interacting with sound. They’ll also be treated to lightning talks from amazing speakers, including Lo Bénichou (Wired), Jenny Radelet (Stitcher), Avery Trufelman (99% Invisible), Kawandeep Virdee (Medium), BuzzFeed Audio’s Ahmed Ali Akbar (See Something Say Something) and Tracy Clayton (Another Round), and Audiosear.ch’s very own Bailey Smith.

When: May 13 and 14th
Where: BuzzFeed San Francisco (989 Market Street, one block from the Powell Street station)

If you love audio and want to play around with new ways of using technology to tell and share stories, sign up to participate!

Please note that signing up for the Hackathon does not ensure enrollment. Unfortunately, we have limited space and will be selecting candidates based on need for various skill sets. You will be notified if your application has been approved by April 14. Please let us know if you have specific travel requirements that may necessitate an earlier response date.

We’re excited to start playing. Sign up here.

Come and Play is sponsored by BuzzFeed and Stitcher, in cahoots with PRX.

 

 

See you in the archive,

The Pop Up Archive team

Creating an audio montage from 50+ hours of tape

Source: Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Presidential primaries are a huge deal everywhere, but they garner particular importance in states like New Hampshire, where their early timing positions them as bellwethers of what is to come. 2016 was one of the most contentious and protracted elections cycles yet, and New Hampshire Public Radio wanted to produce as much excellent primary coverage as they could — and make sure their primary night coverage was picked up by other stations across the country that were also following the race closely. Continue reading

CastNinja: a desktop alternative to iTunes

CastNinja is a new web app by Jesse Morris that uses the Audiosearch API. 

Jesse Morris is a big podcast fan. He tries to expose himself to a broad range of topics that interest him, and he’s fascinated by podcasts as a form of unregulated media that can address something as inane as socks or as elaborate as French Revolutionary history.

Jesse is also a software developer, and while he typically uses an app on his phone to listen to podcasts, sometimes he wants to listen on the web to avoid running his battery down. He used to use iTunes, but stopped after he switched to using his Android device for music and podcasts. He found that it was difficult to find a good replacement for desktop listening — so he decided to create his own, CastNinja, using the Audiosear.ch API.

Finding the Audiosear.ch API was a happy piece of luck for Jesse: he was looking for an API that provided metadata and MP3 source information for podcasts, and he happened upon a thread on StackOverflow that mentioned Audiosear.ch. He read the developer documentation and went from there.

“I looked at other tools but didn’t find any great candidates… Audiosear.ch was easy to use and provided all the metadata and hosting information I needed — and it was very easy to get it up and running quickly.”

CastNinja’s user interface is deliberately simple. It provides an interface for seeing top shows and the ability to create an account and subscribe, but doesn’t it push alerts to you. Jesse says he designed it more in the model of Twitter, where you follow a podcast and see the latest episodes. Users can also see popular shows they might be interested in, and create playlists to listen to.

Jesse says he found the Audiosear.ch API intuitive and easy to use. “I looked at other tools but didn’t find any great candidates. iTunes was one option, but I’ve read that their API is poorly designed and difficult. SoundCloud was another possibility, but their API is focused on embedding their player as opposed to permitting access to metadata. Audiosear.ch was easy to use and provided all the metadata and hosting information I needed — and it was very easy to get it up and running quickly.”

CastNinja started as a desktop solution to podcast listening, but — once all the functionality is in place — Jesse would like to develop a mobile app as well. While the app wouldn’t initially add any new bells and whistles, he’s keeping an eye toward what it would take to scale, and what the next steps might be in terms of growing and responding to his user base.

Try CastNinja here, or give the Audiosearch API a whirl yourself!

See you in the archive,
The Pop Up Archive team

TriPod podcast celebrates New Orleans’ past

Weatherbeaten wharves in New Orleans. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

To celebrate the tricentennial of New Orleans, WWNO — the NPR member station for New Orleans and the 13 parishes of southeast Louisiana — wanted to create something intimate and rich that captured the history of the city in a meaningful way. The result is “TriPod: New Orleans at 300,” a unique on-air program (and podcast) that, over the course of three years, celebrates the city’s past through short, documentary-style episodes.

Laine Kaplan-Levenson is the host and producer of TriPod. TriPod’s 10-minute episodes air bi-weekly, and each one is its own mini history documentary. A recent two-part episode (I, II) for example, told the story of a World War II internment camp called Camp Algiers that housed Europeans who the United States thought might be Nazis.

Laine produces the show on her own, but she has an auxiliary team of historians, professors, and museum curators who help her identify the stories behind some of the city’s most compelling pieces of history. Each month they sit down to discuss different topics to cover. After selecting the topic for the next show, Laine reaches out to people to start interviewing. As the sole producer, she knew she would need to rely on tools in order to keep up with the bi-weekly schedule, so rather than transcribe tape by hand — as she has done in the past — she signed up for Pop Up Archive. Continue reading