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I use them as white noise with the potential of an interesting tidbit here and there. I like having something playing in my headphones while working and podcasts have become something I turn to. Most of the time I'm focused on what's on my screen but every now and again an interesting story comes up that I stop to listen to.

Also about your search engine comment, Google has basically crawled and tagged through all your images if you use google photos. They've added automated closed captioning to almost every single youtube video. I would not be shocked if they're in the process of transcribing and indexing every single podcast available on google podcasts. Once they do that, you could probably search for "orange chicken recipe" and it would skip to the 55:16 where they're talking about that very thing.

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