Popping Up in Premiere Pro and Audition
An interview with the creators of Pop Up Archive, a cutting-edge solution that makes sound searchable
by Nakiesha Koss
In 2012, Pop Up Archive co-founders Anne Wootton and Bailey Smith set out to push media forward. As journalists they’d seen firsthand the challenges facing audio producers. While pursuing their Masters degrees at the UC Berkeley School of Information with a focus on uniting technology and media, they identified the need to search, organize, and archive audio. We sat down with Anne Wootton and software engineer Shindo Strzelczyk, to learn how the team developed an award-winning solution for this industry need.
How did Pop Up Archive come to exist?
AW: Working with sound and video can be incredibly frustrating. Whether a file is born digital or gets digitized, the data has little value if you can’t find it. We saw the need for audio to be organized in a way that makes it accessible. It started out as simple forms for adding better metadata and we quickly began working with speech-to-text technology. We worked with the Public Radio Exchange (PRX) to develop the platform. They helped us with the initial infrastructure. Today, Pop Up Archive offers a lightweight, straightforward solution by automatically tagging, indexing, and transcribing audio files – allowing users to search for exact moments in a matter of seconds.
Who uses Pop Up Archive?
AW: We built Pop Up Archive with producers in mind. They are focused on the business and the art of creating, and are not necessarily archivists or technologists. That being said, our customers range from individuals to large enterprise groups including radio stations, news rooms, podcasts, and archival collections. Anywhere there is audio, we are there to help. More details about our users can be found on our website.
Where does Pop Up Archive intersect with Adobe video and audio tools?
AW: Ultimately we want data to be valuable in the act of editing and producing audio and video, which is the point where our technology dovetails nicely with Adobe tools. The people who are working with Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Audition are in many ways our ideal users as they understand the core fundamental reasons Pop Up Archive was created. We’re excited to get it in front of more people through plug-ins in these Adobe tools.
SS: When considering how to best develop for interoperability with Adobe applications, we realized our website was already really easy to navigate. So instead of creating something from scratch, we made a window to our site inside the software. Users can drag and drop from within their editing program. The scrubbers are synced, so in the Pop Up Archive extension you can click on the exact moment you want to edit and go directly there in Premiere Pro or Audition. With the “Import to Premiere Pro” button, users can import a transcript to the metadata of their project. All the code lives on our servers, so updates in our system are immediately reflected in the extension. It’s very intuitive for anyone who is familiar with the Pop Up Archive website.
Now that it’s out there for people to use, what’s the best part?
AW: We are constantly thrilled to hear from reporters and radio hosts who are using Pop Up Archive to log and produce stories that might otherwise be impossible. We’ve also gotten to work with some really special collections. The day-to-day feedback is extremely fulfilling.
What’s next for Pop Up Archive?
AW: We are continually evaluating the best applications of this technology for the radio and audio industries. We will continue to innovate based on customer feedback, synthesizing what people want and what is working well to inform next steps.