User Guide

The following paragraphs will outline the usage of Open Audio Search (OAS). This guide is directed towards users of the system and should help you get started easily. We intend to expand and improve this document over time. If something in here is unclear to you or you miss explanations, please feel invited to open an issue.

User Interface

The main page of OAS shows the Discover tab. It displays a sample of radio features from community media stations you might be curious about. These audio tracks, like many others, are indexed in the system and are therefore searchable through the search engine. Some basic information, such as title, duration and a short description, is already provided for every track in a box. If you want to get more information on a specific track, just click on its title to get to its detail view, which also includes the transcript. If you prefer to hear the audio track right away, just press the play button in the upper-right corner of the box.

As OAS is a search engine for audio data, one of its core features is to find specific words or terms in audio tracks. To accomplish such a search, you can use one of the search boxes in the title bar or on the frontpage. For more search options navigate to the Search tab and submit your query using the search box there. Results are displayed as boxes in the middle of the page and you can sort them by date of publication or duration. For each search result some basic information on the audio track is provided: the radio station, its title, duration, date of publication, as well as a short description of its content. But you'll also find snippets of the transcript where the search term was found. By clicking on the box around the snippet, you can jump right to the part of the audio track where the snippet was taken from. Of course you can also play the whole audio file from start by pressing the Play button in the upper-right corner of the box.

To fine-tune your search, you can use the search options (facets) on the left side of the page. You can filter the results by creator, genre, publishing date and/or duration. You can find examples on how to apply such search facets in the How To...-Section below.

In order to get more information on a specific track, including its transcript, just click on its title to get to its detail view. In the transcript, clicking on a word makes the audio player jump to the part of the track where it is mentioned.


To login as administrative user, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Login button on the right. In the pop up window, fill in your username and password and hit Login.

How To...

This section walks you through specific tasks you might want to accomplish:

Find a seach term in an audio track

Enter the search term into one of the search boxes, on the front page, the title bar or in the Search tab. Resulting audio tracks are displayed as boxes and snippets of their transcripts containing the search term are shown within. By clicking on the boxes around the snippets, you can jump right to the parts of the audio track where the snippet was taken from. VoilĂ  - you found the search term in the audio file!

Find all audio tracks of a specific genre

Open the Search tab. On the left side find the Genre search option and chose a genre from the list. To quickly find a specific genre, start typing it into the search box above the displayed genres.

Get audio tracks from last month

In the Search tab, you can filter audio tracks by their date of publication. Use the facet Publishing Date and enter corresponding start and end dates.

Filter audio tracks by their duration

Adjust the slider in the Duration facet on the left side of the Search tab.

Import new sources

To import new sources, login to OAS as described above and navigate to the Importer tab in the title bar. Enter the link to an RSS feed in the input field (e.g. Specify if you want to enable speech recognition and natural language processing by clicking on the corresponding switches. Confirm by hitting Save & import.

Get an audio track's transcript

Find the audio track you want transcripted by using one of the search boxes, e.g. in the Search tab. Click on its title to navigate to its detail view. Here you find the transcript displayed in the lower part of the page.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I contribute to OAS?

All contributions, bug reports, bug fixes, documentation improvements, enhancements, and ideas are welcome. Please open issues or talk to us on our Discord server. We want to welcome anyone and commit to creating an inclusive environment.

How do you transcribe audio tracks?

Feel free to talk to us on our Discord server.