Pulling five-minute highlights from a 60-minute podcast

60 minutes for a podcast is quite long

Imagine a service where podcast listeners can select five-minute highlights from podcasts. I would very much subscribe to people’s highlight clips. In most cases sixty minutes in one podcast episode is way too long. Lots of chatter, but what are the best parts? Podcasts that are 10 minutes long are my sweet spot. Focused. To the point.

Soundcloud gets rather close to this dream, because listeners can post comments at specific points in the podcast. Several comments in one area means that spot is good listening. However, to find these sweet spots would require a good amount of clicking around. If these hotspots in podcasts could be automatically extracted into a soundcloud playlist, that would be very handy.

The newspaper publishing is going through an overhaul as editors are discovering that the future of news is not an article.

In order to leverage the knowledge that is inside every article published, we need to first encode it in a way that makes it searchable and extractable. This means identifying and annotating the potentially reusable pieces of information within an article as it is being written – bits that we in The New York Times R&D Lab have been calling Particles. This concept builds on ideas that have been discussed under the rubric of the Semantic Web for quite a while, but have not seen universal adoption because of the labor costs involved in doing so.

I would love to see podcasts start be encoded like particles where every episode gets dissected into segments that are indexed. I’d imagine some podcast creators would be concerned that only part of their podcast would be listened to. But that was same fear newspapers had 15 years ago as the internet took more and more readers away from print.

We need more ways of inter-connecting the various parts of content together in smart ways. No longer a huge publication like a newspaper on our doors. No longer a huge podcast that we have to stream through.

With this method, podcasts would be come more discoverable and grow the audiences for the best podcast content. Podcasters would be enabled to see which of their segments are the best.

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