America Online announced plans to add search options to its podcast offering by this fall.
AOL has become the latest Internet player to tap into the podcast craze, launching a podcast search service. The firm has secured a deal with search engine technology firm Podscope to add a podcast search capability to the AOL search engine.
A podcast "Search and Discovery" feature will be added via a new version of Winamp Media Player, while another search option will become available as a result of a new deal with TVEyes, AOL said. The new features are likely to become available this fall, according to the company.
David J. Ives, president and chief executive officer of TVEyes, whose technology and company are behind Podscope, said: Because of AOL's commitment to podcasting, consumer-created and broadcast media distributed as podcasts will gain truly global distribution.
Podscope creates a spoken word index for every word in audio and video files, makes the files searchable in the same manner as text pages on the Web.
Podcasts are radio-like shows that can be downloaded from the Internet to a computer or digital music player. They differ from traditional radio in that they allow listeners to "time shift," or listen to programs at their leisure. Podcasting is also different because the means of production and distribution is readily available to anyone. Podcasting is catching the attention of technology companies and even venture capital firms.
AOL's main podcasting feature, called Podcasting 101, includes programs from the eclectic Santa Monica, Calif., FM station KCRW, "This Week in Tech," "Sports Bloggers Live," "Reel Reviews," as well as feeds from the BBC, CNN and other sources. The company said original-programming podcasts from AOL Music, Moviefone, AOL Coaches and KOL kids, and RED teens will be added in the coming months.
In addition AOL.com has introduced new features and programming, including a Podcasting 101 guide, designed to make it easy for listeners to discover, experience and download some of the web's most popular podcasts.
Over the next few months, we will be expanding our podcast experience with more exclusive and original programming--from AOL and from partners--and adding more advanced search options, Bill Wilson, senior vice president of programming at AOL, said in a statement.