Wednesday, November 4, 2009

VideoSurf: New Tools in Video Search Technology

Who hasn't been frustrated from time to time by searching for videos on sites like YouTube, then having to repeat those fruitless searches on other sites?  Text tags are often insufficient for locating the material you seek.   There are frequently duplicate results, not to mention increasing amounts of spam to wade through.  Video searching is a challenge that a number of start-up companies have been attempting to solve.  One exciting example is VideoSurf, which is a metasearch engine that lets you find videos with a single query from a variety of sources (YouTube, Hulu, Metacafe, Yahoo! Video, Fancast, Comedy Central,  and many more).  Still in beta, it's VideoSurf's ability to see inside videos which is its most promising feature.  It can see clips frame by frame, and with its facial recognition technology VideoSurf can return results that a text search alone wouldn't find.  When you conduct a search in VideoSurf, each result is displayed with a sequence of thumbnails from the clip.  You can select a thumbnail to start the video at that point.  It also minimizes duplicate results by recognizing and grouping them, and has the ability to detect spam videos.

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