Take the Audiosear.ch clipmaker for a spin

Share your favorite audio clips on Twitter

Have you ever tried to describe a favorite podcast episode to a friend only to realize it’s more of a “guess you had to be there” situation? Ever wanted to share a zinger of a clip, but feel silly sending a podcast link and timecode? We’re right there with you.

Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are optimized for text, images, and video — but not audio. How do we make audio content flourish on our feeds just as much as photos, gifs, and videos? Let the words speak for themselves, we say. The Audiosear.ch clipmaker makes it easy for anyone to select a favorite podcast moment and share it on social media as a short auto-playing video. 

We’re pretty psyched and can’t wait to share it with the world. But first, we want your input. Sign up to be one of the first to test the Audiosear.ch clipmaker today! All you need is a Twitter account.


The Audiosear.ch clipmaker is the result of years of experience and observations in shareable audio. Segmenting audio files into snappy, quotable moments can help change the way people experience podcasts, taking them beyond the solitary work commute or dish-washing routine into more people’s daily lives and interactions.

Lots of people have lamented and examined the un-shareability of audio on the web, from Stan Alcorn’s 2014 piece “Why Audio Never Goes Viral” to various NPR experiments with social audio. Shareable audio was a popular topic at This American Life’s Audio Hackathon in the fall of 2015 and ultimately led to a Knight Foundation-funded prototype for shareable audio. Most recently, WNYC announced the open-sourcing of their producer-facing Audiogram Generator.

Our goal is for the clipmaker to be useable by anyone and embeddable anywhere on the web. The clipmaker will function for any of the 10,000s of podcasts indexed (and ultimately transcribed) by Audiosear.ch.

Click on any of the tweets in this email to see the clipmaker in action. Clipmaker tweets include words as they are spoken in the audio and links to subscribe in iTunes — or potentially other platforms.

Sign up to beta test the Audiosear.ch clipmaker!

A search engine for election podcasts

As the U.S. presidential election ratchets up, political podcasts have seen a handsome spike in the iTunes charts. The Hillary Clinton campaign recently debuted its own show, With her, co-hosted by Clinton herself and Max Linsky of the Longform podcast.

It’s exciting to see the podcast medium take on a more expansive role in mainstream political discourse, where candidates’ words are replayed, parsed, and meticulously scrutinized, especially in the home stretch of the election.

But much of what is said in podcast interviews and discussions is completely invisible to web searches, making it difficult to find and share.

At Audiosear.ch, Pop Up Archive’s sister project, we’re helping to overcome that obstacle by generating full-text transcripts and descriptive tags that help identify and reference key moments of interest in podcasts. Here’s a sampling of quotes from Audiosear.ch transcripts that highlight recent developments as heard in 2016 presidential election podcasts.

With her: “Hi, Hillary”
Since the DNC convention, Hillary’s campaign (and podcast, by extension) has worked to portray her in a more personal light, with the hope that the beer-drinking, exercise-averse Hillary may resonate more with the average voter.

“I try to get exercise. Now I’m not going to pretend that I like it, because I don’t.” —Hillary Clinton

With her peaked at #1 on the iTunes charts on August 14, 2016. See more charts

The Savage Nation: 8-18
On the heels of his Milwaukee address to African American voters, Donald Trump discussed his “outreach efforts” on the right-wing Savage Nation.

Savage: “How would you help poor black people in this nation?”
Trump: “We need spirit. We don’t have spirit. We don’t have any spirit whatsoever. We need law and order. We have to have it. And that was my speech last night.”

The Run-Up: “Why She’s Distrusted”
Some commentators claim that Clinton’s growing margins in the polls are more of a referendum on Trump than a vote for Hillary.The Run-Up discusses persisting credibility issues that surround the Clinton campaign.

“Why wasn’t [Hillary] willing to have a government email account like every other employee of the State Department? That goes to the broader issue around the Clintons: that they simply don’t view themselves as being subject to the same regulations that the rest of the world has to comply with.” —Mark Landler, White House correspondent for the New York Times ​

The Run-Up peaked at #2 on the iTunes charts on August 16, 2016. See more charts

No One Knows Anything: “Trump’s Foreign Policy Is Foreign To The Republican Party”
Some top-ranking Republicans who have broken with party line to support Hillary say they find Clinton more reliable, especially on issues of national security.

“I wouldn’t trust Donald Trump to run the kitchen in a Wendy’s, much less our nuclear arsenal which is the largest and most capable nuclear force in the world.” —Republican National Security adviser John Noonan

FiveThirtyEight Elections: “Clinton Republicans”
Some say Republican support for Hillary isn’t that far of a stretch across the aisle, given her moderate-to-conservative foreign policy stance.

“The easiest Republicans who are able to reconcile with Clinton are the foreign policy establishment because she is pretty centrist…even a little bit hawkish, whereas on economic policy fairly liberal and social policy very liberal, which is kind of the way the institutional Democratic Party is going.” —political statistician Nate Silver

Rachel Maddow Show: 8/16
Restructuring in light of slipping poll numbers, Trump has hired Roger Ailes, the recently deposed head of Fox News, and Steve Bannon, CEO of Breitbart News — controversial picks that have added to the media circus surrounding his campaign.

“It’s a little odd that [Roger Ailes] the man at the center of the highest profile sexual harassment scandal since Bill Cosby would be brought on board by a presidential campaign while that sexual harassment scandal was still erupting… Of course, what’s expected about it is that if there’s anybody that doesn’t care about that kind of scandal, it’s Donald Trump.”

Glenn Beck: “Brad Thor: No Longer#Never Trump”

Glenn Beck, known for his incendiary right-wing politicking, calls Steve Bannon’s journalistic integrity into question now that he’s taken up with Trump.

“Steve Bannon, who is one of the worst people, now he’s become the CEO of the Trump campaign… Andrew Breitbart would be spinning in his grave.”

Search podcasts at Audiosear.ch

Analyzing podcasts through their language

Using transcript analysis to fuel podcast discovery

Lots of people get podcast recommendations from friends, social media, newsletters, or websites — which are pretty much the only sources available to them. Today’s podcast listening apps don’t offer much in terms of options for search and discovery.

A few apps have charts that reflect measurements of show popularity, or offer some insight into the listening habits of people who subscribe to the same show you do. But most podcast platforms simply don’t have much information about the podcasts they offer to listeners. There’s a title, maybe a short description, and possibly some listening data gathered by tracking users in the app. But the episodes themselves — their content, the topics they cover, people they feature, moods they strike — are black boxes.

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Making podcast search smarter

New ways to slice and dice podcasts: Audiosear.ch Podcast Finder 

What if searching for podcasts felt as fun and effortless as browsing on-demand video platforms like Netflix or Hulu?

We’re using the deep database of podcast metadata we’ve collected at Audiosear.ch, the podcast search engine and API from the Pop Up Archive team, to build better ways to discover podcasts. Audiosear.ch provides topic and network filters, discovery categories, and smart show search features to make finding podcasts easier than ever. Give it a try — and tweet at us to tell us what other options you’d like to see.

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A new tool for podcast recommendation

Find new podcasts with PodLikeThat

As we’ve surveyed people about podcast discovery, one common complaint from listeners is that when it comes to trying out new shows, it’s hard to know where to start. While best of lists and curated recommendation sources abound, it takes time and work to wade through the picks and answer one simple question: what podcast should I listen to right now?

We’re cooking up a few different podcast discovery options over at Audiosear.ch. PodLikeThat uses complex podcast intelligence to recommend podcasts based on the question: what other episodes do you like?

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Top resources for building a radio or podcast app

Open APIs for building the next generation of audio technology

No product is an island. Any complex software we use today is likely built upon the accumulated work of many programmers. Resources like code libraries and application program interfaces (APIs) are often used to create new products: for example, Foursquare initially pinpointed locations using the Google Maps API, countless e-commerce sites use the Square API to process payments, and The Echo Nest API provided music intelligence and recommendation capabilities to music platforms like Spotify.

When we talk about innovating new methods for sharing and discovering podcasts and other audio, there’s no need to start from scratch. Dozens of open APIs have been created in recent years to manipulate sound, search databases of content, and access metrics about listening patterns. The next big audio listening/sharing/searching app might emerge from the right combination of these tools.

Whether or not you code, this list of audio APIs might inspire you to think creatively about combining existing resources to create better tools for the future.

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Listen to This! Why It’s So Hard to Share Podcasts Across Platforms

Why your friends don’t listen to your podcast recommendations

This week we bring you a guest post from Shindo N. Strzelczyk, a Pop Up Archive software engineer who’s hard at work on the problem of shareable audio. This post has been modified from his full article on Medium.

Image via Flickr: In Her World by Nana B Agyei (CC BY 2.0)

If you’ve ever tried to share a podcast with a friend, you know that it’s not only hard to figure out how to do it, but also nearly impossible to get anyone to click on whatever link you end up sharing. Even if you know your one friend will absolutely love this episode and it will change their life and make them laugh, dance, and cry all at the same time—good luck getting them to listen to it.

People share TV show and movie recommendations all the time. Why is it so much harder with podcasts?

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Podcast discovery: one hand-picked podcast at a time.

Get daily podcast picks from tastemakers!

There are so many sources for podcast recommendations these days, it’s hard to keep track of them all. If you subscribe to multiple podcast newsletters, like The Timbre or The Podcast Broadcast, chances are your inbox is continuously piling up with more and more new audio stories to listen to — not to mention one-off best-of listicles or sites like NPR’s Earbud.fm.

The proliferation of all these sources is thrilling, but can also be overwhelming for the new or casual listener trying to wade through it all. And older recommendations can quickly be forgotten as a barrage of new recommendations piles up.

Where to start? At Pop Up Archive’s Audiosear.ch, we collect recommendations from all over, with the goal of simplifying the podcast discovery process.

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Building Audiosear.ch Charts

Taking a closer look at podcast performance

As Pop Up Archive builds Audiosear.ch Charts, we’re gathering more and more data points on podcast rankings over time. We’ve started with iTunes charts data (according to some sources, Apple’s podcast app accounts for 70% of podcast listening), and we’ll incorporate other sources from here. Using Audiosear.ch’s in-depth show statistics tool, you can examine podcast charts stats in multiple ways — and gain insight into the otherwise opaque algorithms that power the charts themselves.

Get the low-down on the current top 10 ranking podcasts — look at “Days on charts” to see if they’re newbies or top-10 veterans. In the top 10 chart for March 7, shown above, you can see that Alice Isn’t Dead and Pardon My Take have both spent less than a week on the iTunes charts.

Search for shows and compare rankings for any podcasts that have been on the iTunes top 100.  For example, see how Alice Isn’t Dead compares to the show that spawned it, Welcome to Night Vale:

Look at “peak rank” to compare current rankings to all-time podcast performance. Some comparisons may surprise you.  For example, take the comparison of Fresh Air, a public media mainstay, to WTF with Marc Maron, which is recorded in comic Maron’s garage. In spite of its rougher edges, WTF peaked in the #1 iTunes spot, whereas Fresh Air has only made it to #2.

See if a podcast is trending up or down on the charts using last month’s median rank. Looking to the example above, we can see that today WTF has fallen below its median rank from last month, whereas Fresh Air has remained right around last month’s median.

One thing to remember is that these podcast rankings put faith in the iTunes charts as an accurate measure of popularity. Of course, the charts would be more informative if they included number of subscribers or listens for each podcast. The iTunes charts seem to favor iTunes interactions (i.e. subscriptions, reviews) and upward momentum (more on that here) — what do you think?

Developers: build rankings into your app with the charts API endpoint

Until now, there has been no easy programmatic way to access podcast rankings, and iTunes offers no explicit way to pull podcast rank data from their API. By offering both current rankings and historical rankings going back to 2013 as structured data, the Audiosear.ch API provides developers with a new tool for building podcast popularity into their projects, apps, and podcast platforms.

Are you a developer? Try out Audiosear.ch’s Charts endpoint

Hungry for more stats? Let us know which podcast data points would be most useful to you. And stay tuned: we’ll be adding more data points to the API and the Charts page in the weeks and months to come.

Breaking down the podcast recommendation landscape

Results from our podcast discovery survey

A few weeks ago, we asked you some questions about how you find out about podcasts. Respondents — 56 in total — brought myriad recommendations to the table, from the apps they use to their favorite newsletters.

The answers reveal a landscape that is both active and varied, with lots of room for growth. Here are our key takeaways about the best sources of podcast discovery in 2016:

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