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The best way to search for podcasts

Finally, a search engine that helps you find exactly what you want to hear.

listennotes

Use ListenNotes to find people, places and topics across millions of podcast episodes.

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

It's easy enough to use a search engine to find a particular podcast. For example, are you a fan of "Battlestar Galactica"? Just hit up Bing, Google or Yahoo and you're pretty likely to locate (shameless self-promotion alert!) Battlestar Recaptica, a podcast devoted to the show.

But suppose you're interested in actor Edward James Olmos, who played Admiral Adama. Suppose you're interested in the physics of space travel. Now you're not looking for a specific podcast, but rather any one in which Olmos was interviewed, or that focuses on outer space.

Enter ListenNotes, a new search engine designed to help you find podcasts containing people, places or topics.

According to the developer, ListenNotes has cataloged nearly 400,000 podcasts -- some 22.5 million episodes. Using it is like using any search engine: just type in what you're after. ("Edward James Olmos," anyone? We haven't landed him on Recaptica just yet, but he did appear on a show called Electric Shadow last year. I discovered that via a ListenNotes search.)

Search results will direct you to iTunes, RSS feeds and websites, where available, but you can also use an inline player to listen to an episode on the spot.

You can also toggle the results between "episodes" and "podcasts," sort by date or relevance and filter by just about any language.

ListenNotes also shows trending searches, which is actually a great way to determine how best to use the engine. Right now, for example, the top topics include Wikileaks, Star Wars, and iPhone X ($999.00 at Apple).

So if you're wondering what the, er, podverse has to say about Apple's controversial new model, you can find discussion of it across a wide range of podcasts. You don't necessarily have to subscribe to a particular one just to find the episode containing the info you want.

For the avid podcast listener, ListenNotes is a truly handy tool, and far better than relying on a regular search engine.