This American Life hackathon: great audio deserves great tech

Building better listening experiences

We’re excited to be joining This American Life this weekend at their audio hackathon! Media developers, public media, and podcasting thought leaders will join forces Sept. 19-20 to prototype new audio technology.


Why does audio need a hackathon? Though podcast and radio on demand has seen its share of growth and innovation lately, audio technology is still catching up. As TAL writes at, “Captivating stories deserve an incredible listening experience — and better tech could make it easier to access, share and discover great stories and great moments within stories.”

The hackathon is an opportunity to bring programmers together to work intensely on important problems. Hackathons have inspired creative uses of Pop Up Archive’s technology before, like a searchable sound archive of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement. The combination of extreme time constraints and big ideas can lead developers to make progress on the features these communities need most.


An example of podcast analysis across 38M words via the API.

Our podcast and radio intelligence engine,, will be available for attendees to build upon a database of comprehensive audio data, including the entirety of the This American Life catalogue. We can’t wait to see what people build!

Pop Up’s Anne Wootton will speak at the event along with Ira Glass (This American Life), Alex Blumberg (Planet Money, Gimlet Media), Dana Chivis (Serial), and others.

Follow along to see what people build with the #audiohack hashtag on Twitter and Facebook!