Yahoo, keen not to be left out of the party has launched a beta search engine that focuses solely on Podcasts.

Called Yahoo Podcast, the service will let users search for podcasts by keyword, categories or user-generated topic coding ('tagging'), with the home page flagging up notable podcasts, based on popularity, user recommendations and ratings.

Surfers will also be able to listen to or subscribe to RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds for individual shows, episodes or entire series.

Users who listen to a podcast through the Yahoo! site can increase the playback speed to hear the audio at up to two times the actual speed, without the voices sounding like chipmonks.

In future, Yahoo plans to produce its own tools to help people put together and upload their own podcasts.

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