Meet Pop Up Archive — Easily Save and Search Your Audio

PRX is always looking for ways to improve distribution tools and platforms for producers.  While we have mostly focused on getting completed programs to audiences across broadcast and digital, we are also increasingly hearing from producers and stations that the task of managing audio archives is a constant challenge.

So when we first heard of the remarkable efforts of Anne Wootton and Bailey Smith – the dynamic duo behind Pop Up Archive (winner of the 2012 Knight News Challenge) – we knew we should join forces.

An awesome partnership was born, and for the last several months PRX’s development team has been working with Anne and Bailey to create an easy-to-use web application that archives audio and a lot more.

Today the official announcement of the Pop Up Archive beta site is out (see below), and interested producers can request an invite to take it for a spin.

Among other things, the Pop Up Archive:

  • Generates automatic transcripts and keywords so that audio is both searchable and easy to organize.
  • Provides access to an archive of sound from around the world.
  • Has options for both private and public storage.
  • Saves time and money for producers, creators, radio stations, media organizations, and archives of all stripes.

Pop Up Archive is integrated with PRX so members of both can use their existing accounts, and will have the option of publishing their audio to PRX for distribution.

The beta site is open to testers for a limited time! Request an invite here.

The official press release is below.

Contact: Anne Wootton, 510-463-4066,

Pop Up Archive to create open search and access for audio

Web platform stores, transcribes, and organizes digital media

We gather sound to tell stories. Memories fade and material can easily get lost or degrade. But when it’s easy to archive, it’s easy to find the threads that create stories when you need them.

OAKLAND, Calif. – (May 13, 2013) – Pop Up Archive and PRX are elated to announce the launch of Pop Up Archive, a web-­based system that brings audio to life. The service is a lightweight web application that allows users to search and access audio files from anywhere, opening a door for content creators and journalists to strengthen their work. It is currently being developed as an invitation ­only pilot, but will open to the public in summer 2013.

Pop Up Archive allows media creators to save, organize and find audio without installing any software or managing a server. The system is capable of ingesting large amounts of digital sound and providing automated transcripts with subject tags, timestamps and robust indexing for powerful search. Visitors to Pop Up Archive can also access a quickly growing database of international sound from oral history archives, universities, media organizations and individual collectors. With this audio comes the potential to liberate undiscovered histories, bring new voices into media, and make archiving an integral and painless part of production workflows.

“Most small and independent multimedia publishers have not developed good systems for archiving and sharing their work,” said Michael Maness, vice president for journalism and media innovation at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. “Pop Up Archive opens a real opportunity for these content creators to increase the value of their work by allowing them to organize and access audio content and preserve it for future generations.”

Pop Up Archive is a winner of Knight Foundation’s 2012 News Challenge.

Voices from archives around the world are waiting to be discovered in previously
unsearchable audio.

Interested producers can request an invite at to join the beta test. Pop Up Archive provides unlimited free public storage through the Internet Archive, a San Francisco nonprofit founded to build an Internet library with permanent access to historical collections that exist in digital format. For more sensitive material, private storage options are also available.

The entire Pop Up Archive system will be free for a limited time, with tiered service plans in the future. Planned future improvements to the service include editable transcripts and keywords, additional options for handling rights and access to audio, group memberships and enterprise services for digital audio collections.

For larger media organizations, Pop Up Archive acts as a layer on top of existing content management systems and production workflows. Its simple web interface integrates with reporter habits to strengthen newsrooms — no clunky software. A simple drag-­and-­drop functionality allows users to add audio that becomes immediately searchable with context beyond the typical YouTube search result. Pop Up Archive is building a dynamic archival body of content that can be easily searched and accessed via API, informed by related efforts such as the American Archive Content Inventory Project and the Public Media Platform.

Request an invite today at for a free account to start making your audio searchable. Archive entire collections of raw audio and completed work — save time and rediscover amazing material by revolutionizing how you organize it.

About PRX
PRX is an award-­winning public media company, harnessing innovative technology to bring significant stories to millions of people. PRX operates public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering thousands of audio stories for broadcast and digital use, including signature programs like The Moth Radio Hour. PRX mobile apps include This American Life, KCRW Music Mine, Radiolab, and Public Radio Player. Contact: Jason Gordon, 212­627­8098; jason [at] pkpr [dot] com.

About Pop Up Archive
Pop Up Archive is building a collection of sound from around the world with partners and clients from a growing body of media organizations, oral history archives, and journalists. Born at the UC­ Berkeley School of Information and supported by the Knight Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the system is a lightweight web application that makes audio searchable without requiring technical expertise from users. Contact: Anne Wootton, 510­463­4066; edison [at] popuparchive [dot] org.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit Contact: Andrew Sherry, 305­908­2677; media [at] knightfoundation [dot] org.


Matter launches: new name, new space, new partner, applications open

Matter Ventures



We are super excited to announce the launch of Matter Ventures, the new name for the Public Media Accelerator. Not only does it have a new name, but also a new space in San Francisco, and a new investor and partner in KQED, who is joining PRX and Knight to launch the new company.

The New York Times covers the debut in the Monday December 3 2012 paper:

Partnership Offers Support For Media Entrepreneurs

Can the nascent entrepreneurial ideas bouncing around Silicon Valley help reinvent public media?

Matter Ventures, a start-up accelerator that will provide four months of financial and logistical support for budding media entrepreneurs, will be unveiled Monday by its partners: KQED, a public television and radio station operator; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; and the Public Radio Exchange, known as PRX.

We are also sending out an official press release on behalf of Matter Ventures and the three founding partners – PRX, Knight, and KQED:

Fusing Public Media Values with Silicon Valley Entrepreneurship, KQED, Knight Foundation, and PRX Launch Matter Ventures, An Accelerator for Media Start-ups

The intensive, four-month acceleration program is designed for media startups with multi-disciplinary teams who have early-stage prototypes, such as participatory platforms, mobile applications, B2B media services, and content production engines. Matter will invest in entrepreneurs who show high potential to create media ventures that make a meaningful, positive impact on society while pursuing a sustainable, scalable, profitable business model. Over the course of two years, the fund will run four class cycles, each consisting of five startups. Applications for the inaugural class, which will begin in late February 2013, will be accepted starting today through January 6th, 2013. An online application and guidelines can be found at

Applications are now open for teams interested in joining the first Matter class.   We’ve got a great space on Bryant Street in San Francisco, right in the thick of things in Internet land.

Matter office in San Francisco

We’ll be posting more information soon about information sessions and other ways to participate.

In the meantime, you can follow Matter. on Twitter, tumblr and Facebook.

And check out the growing coverage of Matter. in GigaOm, VentureBeat, Xconomy and others on the press page.

Raising Remix Rates

Good news for all PRX producers opting in for Remix!

Now that Public Radio Remix is on 10 stations (analog broadcast stations and HD in addition to XM 123), PRX is boosting acquisition rates for pieces on Remix to $45/hour  – a 50% increase from the previous rate. This represents our commitment to raising rates as the reach of Remix grows. The increased rates went into effect in September.

Remix is still an emerging service, and as it reaches more significant and measurable audiences we anticipate increased revenue from sponsorship, stations fees, and grants to help us cover costs and continue to raise rates for producers who choose to participate.

In the meantime, we’re getting great response from listeners and an enthusiastic embrace from a growing number of stations – now including WBUR and WGBH here in Boston.

Public Radio Remix is making a difference. It’s a format that makes it easy for forward-listening stations to say yes to the work of many indie producers. And, it is a sound that stretches public radio: the DNA is obvious, but it takes a shuffle culture and marries it with the storytelling revolution we’re all supporting.

We’re open to your ideas about how to improve and expand Remix, and if you’d like to get Remix on your station, contact us.

Remixing Public Radio in Boston late night on WGBH and WBUR

This is huge!

Public Radio Remix – our dedicated and decidedly offbeat story-driven PRX channel, is landing in Boston big time.

15 hours a week on WBUR 90.9 (Weeknights 1-3am, Saturdays 12-3am and Sundays 3-5am, and streaming 24/7 on and 25 hours on WGBH 89.7 (Weeknights midnight – 5am).

We’re night owls ourselves, so occupying the wee hours on the airwaves in our big home city feels like exactly the right place to start. It’s also just the right mix of folks up at that hour – taxi drivers, exam crammers, insomniacs – to enjoy these stories, and start telling some themselves.

Remix is built on thousands of stories hand-picked from and beyond, and woven together by some clever technology and editorial ingenuity. So even though avid listeners can find Remix across the dial, they won’t hear the same thing on both stations. We call it “intentional serendipity.”

A big thanks to our friends at WBUR and WGBH for taking the plunge! Please tune in and make sure to let the stations know you’re listening:

  • WBUR 90.9: Weeknights 1-3am, Saturdays 12-3am and Sundays 3-5am.
  • WGBH 89.7: Weeknights midnight – 5am.


Radiolab apps in orbit

We are jumping for joy to see the Radiolab iPhone and Android apps out in the wild!

Go download them here.

PRX developed the apps in partnership with the show, WNYC, and the design firm 1 Trick Pony and we are extremely proud of our team’s work over the many months and twists and turns entailed in creating such a remarkable experience.

PRX has also developed apps for WNYC and WQXR, as well as This American Life, KCRW and a growing list of top public media properties, so this was an amazing opportunity to take what we’ve learned, built and explored and join forces with the creative geniuses at Radiolab.

Congratulations to our partners, and big props to the PRX crew who put their all into this: Matt MacDonald, Becca Nesson, Devin Chalmers, and Chris Rhoden, with help from Andrew Kuklewicz and Chris Farski. You guys rocked it.

Here’s the download page on Radiolab’s site, and a short video overview narrated by Jad:





Corey Ford announced as Director of Public Media Accelerator

We are super excited to announce that Corey Ford is joining us as Director of the Public Media Accelerator, starting in April 2012. Full press release below.

One of the Accelerator’s main goals is to be a magnet for new talent, particularly mission-driven entrepreneurs with the vision to “change media for good”. We’re off to an exceptional start with Corey.

For information, interviews, photos contact:
Patrick Kowalczyk,
Jason Gordon,
PKPR, 212.627.8098


Corey Ford, Director of Innovation
Endeavors’ Runway program
and former PBS FRONTLINE producer, tapped to lead initiative

Cambridge, MA (March 7, 2012) – Corey Ford, director
of Innovation Endeavors’ Runway program, the start-up incubator at
Eric Schmidt’s early stage venture capital firm, and former producer
for the Emmy Award-winning PBS series FRONTLINE, has been tapped as
the director of the new Public Media Accelerator, a $2.5 million
incubator launched by Public Radio Exchange (PRX) and the John S. and
James L. Knight Foundation to spur innovation in public media.

As director, Ford will oversee all aspects of the Public Media
Accelerator (, which aims to do for public
broadcasting what accelerators like Code for America and RockHealth
are doing for government and health care, respectively. The Public
Media Accelerator seeks to “change media for good” by investing in
mission-driven entrepreneurs from media, technology, and design to
build ventures with the potential to reshape the future of public
media. Applications for the program will open in early summer 2012.
Candidates selected to participate will receive seed funding and join
an intensive mentorship-driven entrepreneurship program.

With his experience building a start-up incubator, producing
award-winning public media, and teaching multi-disciplinary
innovation, Ford is an ideal choice to lead the launch of the Public
Media Accelerator. He most recently served as the director of Runway,
an incubator for entrepreneurs at Innovation Endeavors, Google
chairman Eric Schmidt’s venture capital fund. Prior to that, he taught
design thinking innovation at the Institute of Design (“the”)
at Stanford University. Ford began his career in public broadcasting
managing the production of 17 films from creative inception to
broadcast for the PBS/WGBH series FRONTLINE, earning an Emmy and a
duPont-Columbia Gold Baton Award. He earned his MBA at Stanford and
was a Morehead Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel

“Corey is an exceptionally talented leader and exactly the kind of
mission-driven entrepreneur the Public Media Accelerator is designed
to serve.” said Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX. “He understands the
challenges facing public media and has first-hand experience in
helping entrepreneurs turn ideas into products and businesses. He
knows what it will take to inspire a new generation of innovators in
re-imagining public media for the 21st century.”

“I feel like my whole career has been built for this opportunity,”
said Ford. “I came to Silicon Valley from public broadcasting because
I believed deeply in its mission but was worried about its future and
wanted to figure out how to apply the lessons of entrepreneurship and
innovation to strengthen public media for the next generation. The
Public Media Accelerator is the opportunity to do just that. I am
excited to build an ecosystem that supports entrepreneurs who will
shape the future of public media by leveraging new technologies and
creating viable business models to deliver public media content that
is relevant for today’s audiences.”

About Public Radio Exchange
PRX is an award-winning public media company, harnessing innovative
technology to bring significant stories to millions of people. PRX
operates public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering
thousands of audio stories for broadcast and digital use, including
signature PRX programs like The Moth Radio Hour. PRX mobile apps for
public media include This American Life, KCRW Music Mine and Public
Radio Player. Learn more at

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality
journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster
the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and
communities are informed and engaged. For more information, please

The Moth Receives MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions

This is fantastic news, hot off the presses (full details below). Our friends and partners at The Moth are recipients of the prestigious “genius” award for nonprofits – The MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions. This is a transformative grant, will help fuel The Moth’s remarkable expansion and the breakout success of The Moth Radio Hour. PRX has some personal experience with this having also been a recipient of this award in 2008, and we can’t wait to see what this leads to for The Moth.  

Congratulations!   –  Jake


For information, interviews, photos contact:

Patrick Kowalczyk,

Jenny Chang,

PKPR, 212.627.8098





$750,000 grant will enable The Moth to expand Peabody Award-winning Moth Radio Hour into weekly series and preserve its 15-year video and audio archive of live storytelling


New York, NY – The Moth, the non-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling, today announced that it has received a $750,000 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions that will allow it to expand its Peabody Award-winning Moth Radio Hour into a weekly series, as well as preserve its vast video and audio archive of live storytelling events from the past 15 years.

Presented by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the award recognizes The Moth’s role in promoting live storytelling to an international audience and “documenting our common humanity.”

Founded in 1997, The Moth ( will celebrate its fifteenth anniversary this year. Since the first Moth evening in founder George Dawes Green’s living room in New York City, The Moth has presented more than three thousand stories, told live and without notes, by people from all walks of life to standing-room-only crowds worldwide.  Moth shows are renowned for the great range of human experience they showcase. Since each story is true and every voice authentic, the shows dance between documentary and theater, creating a unique, intimate, and often enlightening experience for the audience.

According to executive director Joan Firestone, the award will be used to increase the number of episodes of The Moth Radio Hour from ten each year to a weekly series beginning in January 2013. The MacArthur Foundation’s early support of The Moth Radio Hour contributed to its meteoric growth. Launched in 2009, the show is recognized as one of the most successful launches in public radio history, with more than 250 stations now airing the program. Presented by PRX (, The Public Radio Exchange, The Moth Radio Hour is produced by Jay Allison of Atlantic Public Media and by Catherine Burns, The Moth’s artistic director.

The award will also be used to preserve The Moth’s 15-year video and audio archive, protecting live stories of hundreds of storytellers from Malcolm Gladwell, Annie Proulx, and Al Sharpton to an astronaut, a pickpocket, and a hot-dog eating champion. In 2011 alone, more than 15,000 minutes of stories were recorded.

“Receiving the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions is an incredible honor for The Moth and a testament to the power of live storytelling,” said Joan Firestone, executive director of The Moth. “As The Moth celebrates its fifteenth anniversary, this award will enable us to take the organization to an exciting next level, reaching an even wider audience through our radio show, while preserving our vast archives for future generations.”

“From Chicago to Kampala, these extraordinary organizations demonstrate exceptional creativity and effectiveness,” said MacArthur President Robert Gallucci. “They provide new ways to address old problems.  They generate provocative ideas and they reframe well-worn debates.  And their impact is altogether disproportionate to their size.”

The Moth is one of only 15 organizations from six countries to be recognized today with the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. The MacArthur Foundation does not seek or accept nominations for these awards. To qualify, organizations must demonstrate exceptional creativity and effectiveness; have reached a critical or strategic point in their development; show strong leadership and stable financial management; have previously received MacArthur support; and engage in work central to one of MacArthur’s core programs.



The Moth is not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. The Moth has presented more than three thousand stories, told live and without notes, by people from all walks of life to standing-room-only crowds worldwide. The Moth features simple, old-fashioned storytelling on thoroughly modern themes by wildly divergent raconteurs who develop and shape their stories with The Moth’s directors.

The Moth conducts six ongoing programs – The Moth Mainstage, which tours nationally; The Moth StorySLAM program, which conducts open-mic story competitions around the country; The MothSHOP Community  Education Program, which brings storytelling workshops free of charge to underserved adults and high school students; The Moth Podcast, which is downloaded over a million times a month; The MothSHOP Corporate Program, which offers corporate storytelling solutions; and The Moth Radio Hour, which is, produced by The Moth and Jay Allison of Atlantic Public Media and presented by PRX, The Public Radio Exchange. The Moth Radio Hour airs on 250 public radio stations across the country.

The Moth’s executive staff are: Joan D. Firestone, Executive Director; Catherine Burns, Artistic Director; Sarah Austin Jenness, Producing Director; and the pro-active Board of Directors is represented by Anne Maffei, Chair.


# # #

Open your piece, share with the world


PRX’s mission is to harness technology to bring significant stories to millions of people. We’ve primarily focused on opening broadcast opportunities for producers with stations.

Last year, PRX introduced embeddable audio players — included as part of what we call “open streaming” — for producers with paid PRX accounts to use on an opt-in basis to share their work online. Not surprisingly, when we looked at last year’s stats the most listened-to pieces of 2011 allowed open streaming.

So we are excited to announce that as of now all new pieces on PRX will allow open streaming by default for all producers (producers can still opt-out to limit streaming if they prefer).

With one checkbox, open streaming allows:

  • Access to an embeddable player that plays the piece on websites and blogs.
  • Ability to share the full piece through Facebook’s player, rather than 30 seconds.
  • Full-length streaming on without requiring log-in.

For producers there are big advantages to opening your stream: more listening, more sharing, more ways for stations and audiences to find and connect with your work.

Over 8,000 individual pieces were licensed by stations from PRX last year, some more than once: 17,488 total licenses by hundreds of stations, reaching millions of listeners. Even as broadcast continues to get the biggest bang for distribution, increasingly producers want to get their work heard immediately on the web and PRX is continuously improving the ways we can help.

We’ll have more improvements to these streaming and sharing options coming soon, and are eager for feedback.  For some more explanation check out:

Why Public Media Needs an Accelerator

PRX has been busy gearing up for the launch of the Public Media Accelerator to take place at SXSW in March. The project is run by PRX and supported by a $2.5 million dollar investment from the Knight Foundation.


As we approach the launch, we’re already getting questions from people across media and technology. What is an accelerator and what role will it play for public media?

I address some of these questions in a new post today on the MediaShift Idea Lab blog.

It’s clear that public media needs its own accelerator — attuned to the needs and assets of the industry and connected to the talent and energy in the broader technology and media world… [O]ur measure of success is not profits and exits per se — it’s furthering the values and impact of public service media, with sustainability and revenue being critical to create a lasting effect.

Read the full post, “Why PRX, Knight Created an Accelerator for Public Media” over at the MediaShift Idea Lab blog.

Learn more and sign up for updates at

Donate to PRX – help make public radio more public

As 2011 comes to a close, we’re reflecting on a transformative year — for the world, for public media, and for us here at PRX.

Please support PRX with a donation

Our mission is to harness technology to bring significant stories to millions of people, and we are succeeding in new ways.

In 2011, PRX:

  • Distributed thousands of stories from independent producers, youth voices, and local public radio stations to millions of listeners on broadcast and online.
  • Won a Peabody Award for The Moth Radio Hour, produced by our co-founder Jay Allison.
  • Won a Webby Award for developing This American Life‘s iPhone app, part of our growing service creating mission-driven apps for public media.
  • Expanded Public Radio Remix — our channel showcasing the best independent stories — to five local stations in addition to our national service on XM 123.
  • Won an Empowerment Grant from Motorola for Generation PRX’s Community-Supported Bullying Stories.
  • Announced the Public Media Accelerator, a partnership with the Knight Foundation to seed innovative ideas expanding public service media.
  • PRX is a small nonprofit with big ambitions and impact. We are supported by grants, memberships and fees, and also rely on private donations to help advance our efforts.

    Please consider making a donation to PRX before December 31st, 2011 in the amount of $25, $50, $100 or more. You will be amazed with what we achieve together in 2012!

    Thank you, and Happy New Year.