Podzinger Launches, Moves Podcast Search Forward

Podzinger, which I wrote about briefly last month along with two other services, officially launched a couple of days ago. Podzinger is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts

In my post last month, admittedly when Podzinger was still deep in development, I could not make it work. I am still having problems with core funtionality.

Podzinger uses speech recognition technology that is supposedly also used by the CIA and other government organizations to turn podcast audio into searchable text. In a few quick searches, it seemed to be returning relevant results. Results can be listed by date or relevancy.

Users can listen to podcasts direclty from the search results, or download the file. Users can also subscribe to the feed or the search results via RSS.

This is where I ran into problems. A “killer” feature of Podzinger is the ability to listen just to the snippet that contains the search term. Links appear within the result that can be clicked on to hear the snippet. I see the links and click on them, but cannot get a single one to play.

This issue is addressed in the FAQs, and it suggest either using Real Player or being patient. However, I am getting actual errors, not just long delays.

When I click on a snippet, why is there sometimes a long delay from the time I hit play until the time I hear the audio playing?

Most media players including Quicktime require that the file be downloaded before play begins. You should not experience this delay with RealPlayer, since it supports something called the Range feature of the HTTP1.1 protocol that makes it possible to begin playing almost immediately at any point in an audio file.

Assuming they get this working properly, it’s a great way to search for content within podcasts and other audio files. A perfect new feature would be the ability for publishers and users to tag additional content within the file and allow others to jump right to that.

Also, Podzinger is obviously fully transcribing the podcasts…although I cannot seem to find the full transcriptions anywhere. If the transcription exists and has a permanent URL, I imagine podcasters would link to it like crazy.

Podzinger is supported by advertising and is also rolling out a cost-per-click product to allow podcasters to sell advertising into transcripts.