Podzinger is a service that aggregates hundreds of thousands of episodes of podcasts, converts the entire text of the casts to text, and then delivers a searachable index. You go to Podzinger, search for a search, and you get back all the podcasts that have mentioned that term -- along with embedded players that can play you back the whole podcast, or just those segments where the keywords are mentioned. In a nutshell, this lets you do Tehcnorati-style full-text searching of podcasts, treating them like textual blog-entries. It's way slick.
Podzinger will deliver you an RSS feed of any search result -- you can bake in a search for your favorite keywords and get an alert -- with timecode! -- every time the keywords show up in a cast.
This is all de-militarized technology from DARPA's EARS (Effective Affordable Reusable Speech-to-text) program, and it's been developed by the venerable BBN company, which was also part of the initial development of the Internet.
Podzinger only works in English right now, but they're rolling out "North American" Spanish and Mandarin shortly.
The only downside is that Podzinger doesn't run well on Firefox for the Mac, because of known bugs with the way that Quicktime and Firefox play together. Mac users have to switch back to Safari to use it. Still, it's a small price to pay for a killer free service.
Update: Dave sez, "Our product, Podscope, is like Podzinger, except that we also index video
blogs and have a Firefox-friendly design."
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
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