Serial. 99% Invisible. Welcome to Night Vale. Homecoming. These and hundreds of other great shows have critics declaring we’re in a “Golden Age” podcasting; a moment where the choice for quality digital audio abounds, and where new voices and listeners connect daily through earbuds, car stereos, home speakers or office computers. Podcasting is just over 10 years old, but it has been nothing short of an explosion of cultural and sonic creativity: there are millions of episodes in more than 100 languages. But this exciting new media form is shockingly vulnerable; podcast feeds end abruptly, cease to be maintained, or simply aren’t saved and archived properly.
PodcastRE (short for Podcast Research) aims to avoid this fate for podcasts by preserving podcasts and presenting an interface for researching them. We believe that what today’s podcasters are producing will have value in the future, not just for its content, but for what it tells us about audio’s longer history, about who has the right to communicate and by what means….