AOL Begins Rolling Out New Video Search Engine

Today, AOL begins rolling out their new, improved, and free video search service (beta) and so far, pardon the pun, I like what I see.

The new AOL Video search provides access to two databases of multimedia content.

First, you'll find more than 15,000 licensed and originally produced video assets that come from various AOL services, other Time Warner properties (CNN for example), and many content partners like the Associated Press. I've already come across news clips, movie trailers, music videos, and television programs. This material is labeled "Featured Videos" on a search results page.

Second, an AOL Video Search results page also includes listings of open-web video files. This content comes from SingingFish, a multimedia engine that's owned by AOL. This material is labeled as "Video Results from the Web" on a results page.

AOL Video Search offers several new features including:

  • Inline Playback of Video Clips via the AOL Video Player

  • Presently, the AOL Video Player will not work with Firefox 1.0.1+. However, AOL is putting the "finishing touches" on a version that will work with new versions of Firefox. The player does work with Firefox 1.0, Netscape 7.1+, and Internet Explorer. From the AOL Video Player you can search the database, browse content by category, and toggle the player into "full screen" mode.

  • A New Relevancy Algorithm
  • Dynamic Clustering of Video Search Results

  • It's likely that this technology comes from Vivisimo. AOL and Vivisimo announced a partnership earlier this year.

  • Ability to Sort by Results by Relevance, Video Quality, Duration, and Release Date
  • Preview Video Clips With Animated Thumbnails
  • Search Every Word Spoken in a Video Clip (Transcript Search)

  • This service is available for some "featured" video content. Results that come from the SingingFish database are found using metadata search.

  • User Created Playlists

  • As you review results, you can build a playlist of clips and then view all of their selection back to back

    Some video content requires a free AOL Network login to view. If you use AOL Instant Messenger, you're login and password should work here.

    Finally, another feature for AOL Network members allows you to have AOL Video Search recommend video clips you might find interesting in a box on the video search homepage. I've noticed that most of the recommendations I've been given today are movie trailiers. This makes sense since I clicked the "Improve these Recommedations" link at the bottom of the box and was asked to complete a very short survey (three questions) from MovieFone, another Time Warner service.

    More about AOL Video Search when I have more time to test it out.

    The full text of the AOL Video Search announcement is available here.