Podzinger, a new podcast search engine from BBN Technologies, is worth a test drive. Instead of searching audio files for tags, it scans the spoken words, turns them into written words, and searches. I tried it out a few times. It was lightning fast and gave good results.

That said, its natural language programs can still fall short, especially with foreign names. I clicked for Loic Le Meur, the subject of last week's podcast. Here was my intro to the podcast:

Hello, Steve Baker here at Blogspotting. I have today Loic Le Meur. He's a leading blogger in France...

Here's what the software heard:

Hello -- steve baker likes fighting I Have today -- we plumber he's leading blocker in france...

Despite glitches, this software can locate podcasts, and it has lots of promise. The Defense Department just awarded BBN $16.4 million for technology to translate and transcribe foreign speech--a key to intelligence gathering.

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