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StaffIncremental BloggerSearching video Google style

Searching video Google style

Google is experimenting with how to search video over at video.google.com.

Right now the search is pretty weak. You can search the closed caption text from a variety of TV video clips. For the clips that I searched for, the video wasn’t available and the results aren’t even quite what I expected. There’s definitely more work to do.

I searched for the quoted phrase “Tablet PC,” for instance, and Google’s video search came back with only one hit. 🙁 It’s a Fox news clip from February.

Hmmm. I know there are more references to Tablets than this. I guess Fox is the only big company that Google could negotiate with. This is interesting. Negotiating video content for Google search is so…non-Google.

The Google way has been to enable the small person. How might a small station leverage Google search for instance to effortlessly bring people to their content? Of what about all of Scoble’s content. Or a freelancer? I see that Google announced yesterday that they’ll be opening up the video search to personally generated videos. This is a good idea. The search needs lots more of this.

But even on the commercial side, what about searching, well “commercials?” Yeah, I know it seems that we often have to jump through hoops to avoid commercials, but there are people like me that want to find them and sometimes it’s difficult. For instance, there’s a Toshiba TV commercial burried on the Web. It’s a bit hard to find. The commercial is playing on cable, but seems like I should be able to find it in Google’s video search. One challenge is that the video is burried in a Flash container.

Yep, finding video in Flash is going to have to be supported in a video search. Not just video from TV. Right now Google’s mission is focused on TV. Sounds like they’ll be opening this up–maybe not with Flash extracted videos. But at least it’s a start. Good idea.

Here’s some of what I’d like to see. When searching for video in my browser, I’d expect a search of “Tablet PC classroom” to return Microsoft’s classroom case study videos. Similarly, searching for “Tablet PC math” should retrieve xThink’s online video tutorials. Or “Tablet PC TIP” should return one of the several Tablet videos on Channel9.

Sounds like with Google’s announcement, Google is beginning to go in the right direction and free itself from just thinking in terms of TV content.

I’m looking forward to see how this unfolds.

Loren Heiny (1961 - 2010) was a software developer and author of several computer language textbooks. He graduated from Arizona State University in computer science. His first love was robotics.

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