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Finding new podcasts is getting easier thanks to specialty search engines

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But does anyone really need them?

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The podcast search engine Audiosear.ch launched its newly redesigned website today. On it, users can search for specific shows, topics, people, and even direct quotes. It’s just one of a few audio search engines out there — like the bare-bones Listen Notes — but it’s one of the nicer-looking ones.

There are still some kinks to Audiosear.ch. When I searched for the E-list celebrity podcast Who Weekly?, the podcast I was looking for was more than halfway down the page. But obviously, if you already know the name of a podcast it’s much simpler to search on Google. Audiosear.ch comes in handy when you’re trying to recall a podcast you’ve already listened to, but can’t remember the name. A search of “david sedaris christmas elf” took me to the classic This American Life episode “Christmas and Commerce.” And if I only remember a quote from an episode for some reason (“a perky little hat decorated with spangles”), Audiosear.ch will also pull up that episode.

Several podcast apps, as well as Amazon Alexa’s Magic Podcast feature, use Audiosear.ch’s API, according to the company.

Of course, you could argue that anyone could probably find what they’re looking for with a Google search, and no one needs help finding podcasts to listen to in the first place. Audiosear.ch attempts to solve this curation problem by giving each podcast a “Buzz Score”: a 100-point rating system based on a podcast’s iTunes chart position and ratings. This helps, but it doesn’t really tell you if a podcast is good or not — just that a lot of people are listening to it.

The biggest appeal of podcast search engines seems to be the ease with which they cut out the middle man. If you Google “murder mystery podcast” you’ll get a bunch of websites that have made lists, which you’ll then have to go through individually to find a podcast. Sites like Audiosear.ch can take you right to the podcast. And those few seconds of saved time might make a difference if you’ve got hours of new podcasts to listen to.