Searching For Video? Skip The Open Media Network, For Now.

The new Open Media Nework sounded interesting, after I read the Netscape Pioneers Launch Free Content Network article from about it. Like Google Video is beginning to do, it allows you to feed and have content hosted by the service (you can also feed Yahoo, but you have to host your own data). Unlike Yahoo Video, Google Video and other services, you can't just dive in and do keyword searching to find content. In fact, it was painful to even test the service at all.

First, you have to download an actual media clip to get started. What, just to see if you even want media? Then, Firefox wasn't happy about my attempt to do this. OK, I missed the note on the home page that this new service was IE only, despite being backed by Netscape pioneer Marc Andreeseen.

Nevermind. You want IE, I got it. Firing up Internet Explorer, I then found the media clip got kicked over into Windows Media Player, which then wanted to do all types of Microsoftian-upgrades of my music database, the program and so on. Joy. Then WMP failed to load the video, with the error message suggesting that that the server might be busy.

I tried again, this time selecting one of the sample videos at the bottom of the page. Now IE installed an ActiveX control. Finally, a new window opened up, piggishly slow in appearing and operation. It had an interesting guide to let me browse media by title, size, when it was published and other info. A small search box also let me do a query.

OK, what's a match for say "Google" bring back? What it doesn't bring back is anything fast! About two minutes later (an eternity in search years), my results appeared. Then my window froze.

Maybe it will get better in time. But at the moment, there are far better ways to find video content. Such as? Here are some recent articles from us on the topic:

About the author

Danny Sullivan was the founder and editor of Search Engine Watch from June 1997 until November 2006.

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