News from AOL this morning that they've acquired video search engine and video crawling technology, Truveo, for an undisclosed sum. The deal was formally signed on December 21st and is being made public today.
From the Truveo site:
For video to be searchable, it is also necessary to collect meaningful text metadata to associate with each video file. Of course, we rely on standard techniques, such as mining closed-caption transcripts and importing RSS feeds. The vast majority of video on the web, however, does not have any closed-caption or RSS metadata available...Whenever our visual crawlers find a new video on the web, they can also "visually" examine the context of the surrounding web application. In most cases, this examination reveals a bounty of rich and detailed metadata related to every video.
So, as of today AOL owns both Truveo and Singingfish multimedia search sites and their crawling technology. Seattle-based Singingfish was acquired by AOL in 2003 and still maintains a standalone site along with a presence on the AOL Video Search site. It will be worth watching how AOL uses each technology.
According to AOL, look for the Truveo technology to begin appearing on AOL Video in the next few months.
As I've pointed out before, AOL continues to develop into a major player in the video/multimedia search scene. 2005 was a big year for AOL Video Search that included:
- The launch of the new AOL Video Search site. It's an impressive site. I posted this overview on the day it launched.
- Announced several new content partners including Reuters, MTV, and iFilm.
- Had success streaming live and offering archived versions of musical performances from Live 8
- Began beta testing AOL Hi-Q? that allows high quality (in terms of file size) video files to be downloaded while your computer is idle.
Finally, a few weeks ago we learned that video search is a part of the new Google/AOL deal. The announcement says that both companies will collaborate in, "video search and showcasing AOL's premium video service within Google Video." What this means is still to be determined. Where will AOL video results appear on Google Video results pages? How many results will be shown? Will they be separated into their own section or merged with Google results? Will both companies eventually negotiate together for new content? As they say, especially in the world of video, stay tuned.