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Listennotes.com: a search engine for podcasts
Among my friends, at least, it seems that podcasts are a rediscovered treasure. (Check out Jayson DeMers’ Forbes piece, Why Podcasts are Popular, and the 2017 Edison Research Infinite Dial Study on podcast statistics.)
The demand is growing, but how do you find podcasts without the effort of subscribing to a feed? Listen Notes is a search engine for podcasts.
Currently reaching across more than 410,000 podcasts and 24 million episodes, Listen Notes is searchable by people, places, and topics. Listen Notes is searchable in multiple languages. It offers autocomplete support as well as the ability to add a custom search to your own website. You can also examine trending searches.
The search was built by Wenbin Feng, a Software Engineer in San Francisco, who is an avid podcast listener and firmly believes in a bright future for the podcast movement.
Feng explains that subscribing to podcast series may not be the solution. Not every episode is worth the time to listen.
Think about this: In the early days of the web, people bookmarked websites on their browsers and regularly visited those few websites. When Google became a verb, fewer and fewer people need to bookmark websites. We just search for web pages. Oftentimes, we don’t care what websites these web pages belong to. A podcast is like a website. An episode is like a web page. I bet that the “Subscribe to a podcast then listen” model will change. Listeners will search & find individual episodes to listen if there’s a podcast search engine that actually works . . . If I’m interested in a certain topic, I would just find a lot of episodes from different podcasts about this topic, and binge listening all of them.. .
While very cool for the podcast junkie, at the K12 level, Listen Notes offers a search providing access to an alternate information format, potentially exposing students to a variety of “takes” on current issues. Podcasts are usually free (despite their ads) and eminently portal. Podcasters often present engaging models of the art of storytelling. And podcasts may also foster active and focused listening away from the distractions of a screen.
About Joyce Valenza
Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza
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