Multimedia Search Engines: Image, Audio & Video Searching

Please note: there is an up-to-date version of this post published in 2016: Search Engine Directory of Images, Video, Audio, Gifs, Memes, Podcasts & Radio.

The multimedia search engines listed below will help you locate sound, image and video files — as well as radio and television programs.

Images/Audio/VideoRadio & TV ProgramsRelated Articles



Find images from across the web, as gathered by the AllTheWeb crawler. To image search, select the “Pictures” tab above the search box. To find video files, use the “Video” tab. Choose the “Audio” tab to find MP3 and other sound files.


Find images, audio and video from across the web, as discovered by AltaVista’s crawler technology. To image search, select the “Image” tab above the search box. For audio and MP3 files, use the “MP3/Audio” tab. For video, select the “Video” tab.

Ditto (images only)

Search or browse to find pictures on the web. Matches are displayed in thumbnail format. Formerly known as Arriba Vista.

Google Images (images only)

Find images from across the web, as discovered by Google’s crawler-technology.

Kazaa Media Desktop (MP3 only)

Kazaa is widely acknowledged as the leading MP3 search and download service. Rather than crawling the web to gather music listings, Kazaa lets you search against a collection of music files that other Kazaa users contribute. That’s a great system for all those MP3 searchers who are after free music downloads and who aren’t concerned about copyright restrictions. (For legal issues involved, see the Nov. 2002 article from Wired, The Race to Kill Kazaa)

Lycos Pictures and Sounds

The Lycos multimedia search service. Lets you find pictures from licensed collections and from across the web. Also provides options to search for audio & MP3 files, as well as video clips.

MIDI Explorer (MIDI sound files only)

Allows you to search for MIDI files.

The Music Finder (artists & songs, not files)

Enter some bands or music artists, and the Music Finder will suggest others you may wish to consider. The search engine has a database of over 13,000 bands and artists.

Picsearch (images only)

Presents image results from across the web.

Singingfish (audio/video only)

Singingfish lets you locate audio or video files from across the web, through its own crawling activity and partnership with sites that provide feeds through free and paid deals. Singingfish lets you locate MP3 music files, as well as QuickTime, RealMedia and Windows Media files, as well. These formats are used to record content such as movie trailers, sporting events highlights, live music events, video news clips and more. (Review: Singingfish Grows As Multimedia Search Provider, Feb. 18, 2003)

Radio & TV Programs


Great service that lets you search through the audio files of popular US radio programs. Enter a subject, and you’ll be shown matching programs and even be taken to the exact points in the shows where the subject is being discussed.


A customizable web site that provides one-click access to public radio programming from around the world. (Review: Listen to the World, Jan. 28, 2003)


A searchable database of over 10,000 radio station web pages and 2,500 audio streams. This directory was formerly called the MIT List of Radio Stations on the Internet.


View segments from local television newscasts on your computer. A searchable database of current stories is available. May not load if you block cookies, lack Flash or other browser components (see FAQ).

Related Articles

Images Get Their Own Search Engine
Forbes, May 4, 2004

Profile of new technology from Pixlogic which is designed to let you search for images based on what it has indexed from the image information, rather than from text describing the images. In other words, unlike typical image search engines, it really can “see” what the image is about.

Search gets sketchy, as engines get the picture, March 31, 2004

Draw a picture, get matching image search results. That’s the hope of an experimental search engine at Purdue University. Story also discusses the new players trying to provide the same type service. Perhaps they’ll be more successful than some players no longer around, after the last round of promised image search advances. Certainly the economic climate may be more favorable now. For a look at some past players, see Searching Inside Of Images article below.

Researchers Hope to Improve Web Searches
AP, Oct. 16, 2003

Carnegie Mellon University researchers are using humans to play a game that they hope will lead to better image search results.

The Grammar of Sound
Technology Review, April 30, 2003

Need to search through audio recordings to find particular keyword references? New technology from Fast-Talk Communications aims to make this much easier. Of course, SpeechBot (above) has allowed you to do this for ages for selected news content. The service either lets you search against written transcripts to match portions of audio recordings or has used speech recognition to create transcripts where none are available. However, FAST-Talk skips the transcription step used by SpeechBot and other audio-indexing companies. Instead, it makes a sound — rather than word — transcription of a document. This is supposed to speed the indexing process.

Searching Images of Popular Culture
SearchDay, April 14, 2003

Want a look at a Time Magazine cover from 1923? How about album covers for Blue Note records, or Chateau Mouton Rothschild Wine Labels? A searchable image database lets you view all of these, and more.

A Review of Image Search Engines
TASI, Feb. 2003

Comprehensive look at finding images online.

Searching Inside Of Images
The Search Engine Report, Dec. 4, 2000

Roundup of players who were hoping to advance image search but failed to survive the dotcom downturn. Also describes the problem most image search engines have — the inability to actually “see” inside of images.

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