The Internet Archive is a remarkable resource for preserving our internet heritage. One way to utilize their large archive of audio is to use their advanced search feature to convert any search into a podcast.

Why would you want to do this? 

  • Generate a podcast that looks for music based on keywords
  • Turn lecture topics into a podcast
  • Make an existing audio collection into a podcast
  • Revive a dead podcast that no longer has a home

It is surprisingly easy to do, it just involves:

  1. Knowing what you would like to turn into a podcast
  2. Confirming that the Internet Archive has that in audio format
  3. Visiting Advanced Search
  4. Running a search and returning an RSS Result
  5. Plugging that RSS feed into your Podcasting App

Sound pretty great, huh?  Well let me walk you through it by creating a podcast of old episodes of American Top 40 with Casey Kasem.

I did a quick search for American Top 40.  I browsed a bit and found that a user has created a collection of audio recordings.  But how do I turn these results into a podcast?  That is where Advanced Search comes into play.

You simply need to use one of their “advanced” search terms.  For example here it will be:


You scroll down to the Advanced Search section of the Advanced Search page and enter that in the Query box.  Now before you hit enter, you want to change the output of your search. 

Instead of returning a standard list of web results, the Internet Archive allows you to return an RSS feed.  So your search will look something like this before you hit “Search”.

What you get back, should look something like this URL.

Now you just take that URL and plug it into your favorite Podcasting App and it should populate with content.  It will look generic, so if you have the capability, edit the name of the Feed and maybe add some art that you find online.

This search only returned 50 results, but if you want more, you can go to the “Number of Results” field on the Advanced Search form and adjust that.

When you refresh your app, the search will run again.  So if new content is added that meets the search criteria you entered, you will get new audio to download.

With the growth of podcasts, audio has taken its place besides video and text as an important component of the internet.  As you can see from this post, the Internet Archive is not just doing its best to preserve this material, but also to make it convenient for people to consume it using popular technology.  So why not experiment with their Advanced Search and see what sort of Podcasts you can create.