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3/24/2006
07:50 PM
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Podcast Provider Says It Has A Better Way To Search Video

Podzinger's technology enables full-text search of audiovisual files.

AOL, Google, and Yahoo offer the ability to search video content on the Web, but a podcast search company called Podzinger claims to have taken the capability a step further.

News on a platter:

News on a platter: "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." Is there a mute button on this thing?
It just began offering full-text video search, meaning its engine scans for content within videos by using speech-recognition technology to convert a video's audio into text. That compares with other search offerings that index data associated with audiovisual files such as text transcripts and metadata. "Our whole premise is you have to be able to search inside the audio," says Alex Laats, president of Podzinger, a division of BBN Technologies.

A company called Blinkx also offers full-text search from its blinkx.tv site. Like Podzinger's offering, Blinkx's speech-to-text technology listens to all the words in a video and audio file and creates an index.

A major difference between the two video search offerings is that Podzinger presents video excerpts and source segments in its search results window, where they can be played. The search links on Blinkx open a new window that calls up the content distributor's site. Blinkx's approach may be slower because the new site has to load, but it's also more accommodating to owners of copyrighted content.

Full-text search capabilities for audiovisual files could make it easier for content creators to earn advertising money off their content. Businesses looking to link their ads with relevant online content are likely to find the most complementary video clips if they know what's being said within them, rather than relying on bits of text that describe them.

Advertisers are interested. ATM maker TRM paid video blog Rocketboom $40,000 for five 15-second spots the week of March 6; Rocketboom also has struck a deal with EarthLink.

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