VideoA Look At Other Video Search Tools

A Look At Other Video Search Tools

In his post about the release of Google Video, Chris mentions that I planned to post a look at other video search tools available both for free and for a fee. Chris was correct, here’s the overview.

Before jumping into non-Google video search tools, I’ll say that I’m somewhat “underwhelmed” (at this point) by Google Video. Many of Google’s recent introductions and announcements have been at the “wow” level. I was expecting that with their first multimedia search offering (something that has been rumored for some time and something other companies are offering) Google would have a more robust service at beta launch. Come to think of it, Google Video might not be an accurate name since the GV is currently offering only still images from TV. GoogleTVTranscripts or GoogleTVGuide might be better names. Of course, this is Google and I’m sure things will change quickly.

After taking a look at Google Video, here are other video search services you’ll want to take a look at.

Btw, expect more posts about video and audio search tools in the near future.

Video Files
As Chris notes in his post, unlike Yahoo’s recently released Video Search beta*** and AOL’s SingingFish, Google Video is not searching video and other multimedia files that are made available on the open web. It will be interesting to see if Google offers this type of service in the future.

Btw, both AltaVista and AllTheWeb have offered video and audio search tools for several years.

*** Update, a new service coming soon from Yahoo! Video. See this post.

So, how about being able to search the actual words spoken during a television or radio program and then being able to watch or listen to those words being spoken? It has been possible for many years.

Here are a few tools and resources you might want to take a look at.

TV and Radio Programming
+ BlinkxTV
BlinkxTV (beta) uses speech-recognition technology to create searchable text transcripts (versus using the closed captioning as Google Video does) and allows you to search, find where your search terms are spoken, and then view or listen to the material on your computer. Thousands of hours of programming are available including material from the BBC, NBC, C-SPAN, and ESPN.

+ Speechbot
This demo from HP has been online for years and also uses speech-recognition technology to create a searchable transcript. At present, about 15,000 hours of audio programming is available.

For several years, Virage (a provider of multimedia search technology, now part of Autonomy) have offered several useful and interesting demos using content from PBS. These tools use the closed captioning associated with each broadcast.

Here are few PBS favorites:

PBS NewsHour Video Search
Keyword search segments of the program beginning in February, 2002. —
Scientific American Frontiers Video Archive
“Every episode of the series, from 1990 to the present, is available for online viewing [and searching].”

American Field Guide
Keyword search (or browse),”the sights and sounds from a wide variety of environments throughout America. We’ve collected over 1400 video clips that enable you to experience America’s wilderness firsthand…”

From the site, This FREE professional development resource helps teachers quickly and easily find standards-based Mathline video clips and lesson plans on different mathematical topics and teaching techniques for grades K-12.

The FeedRoom
This service doesn’t allow you to search the actual words spoken during a television newscast but offers the opportunity to keyword search metadata and then view clips from local newscasts around the United States. You can find a map with links to local FeedRooms here. A National
FeedRoom also is available as well as one from Reuters. Btw, RSS feeds are also available for many FeedRooms.

Other Video Search Providers
Many other companies play in the video and audio search space. Most of them offer subscription services and/or license their technology. Here’s info about a few of them.

+ ShadowTV (fee-based)
Utilizes the closed-captioning from most U.S. news networks and local stations in major markets, search in real time, view the video on your computer. Keyword alerts within minutes of the words being spoken. Powerful search capabilities. You can register for a free two week trial. CriticalMention offers similar services.

+ reCAP
From DC based, Fednet. “Search and replay congressional video within moments of the debate.”

+ StreamSage and Nexidia are two other companies that license their speech recognition technology in this area. StreamSage offers a public demo (still online but not updated) called CampaignSearch where you can search video and audio content about the 2004 U.S. election.


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