Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Video Search Rundown

I was originally going to do this entry about a new video search engine, until I found out it sucks. So then I decided to rate a bunch of video search engines. is a video search engine. I could not get it find anything useful. According to Buzzfeed it uses voice-recognition software to transcribe the audio content of a video, and then search through that. (This is a great idea, like transmitting medical orders via a giant game of telephone.) The end result is Blinkx finds things completely unrelated to your search.

Unless you're looking for really popular things, in which case you could... oh I dunno, use Google video search. Or YouTube. Or your local library's card catalog. I'm sure any of those will be more accurate. And possibly faster. ZING.

Blinkx has an ugly logo, whack advertisements every 5 seconds, and a non-working engine. Way to get me excited about a non-text search, and then failing to meet expectations. D, for dumb. Of course I'm hyperbolically harsh, when I went easy on Midomi. The difference is Midomi has no equals that function better, where as Blinkx does. Onto the ratings for proof!

In a completely unscientific survey involving too small of a sample size for statistical significance, I searched for "30 Rock Uncanny Valley":

1) Google video search and Youtube give me the correct clip:

2) gives me an unrelated clip as the top result, and the wrong 30 Rock clip as the #2 result. It shows the one where Pete uses the word "uncanny". Close but no cigar.

3) Truveo gives me an error message, telling me that to get more results, I should use fewer words in my query. When I just put "uncanny valley" the correct clip comes up as top ranked.
4) Altavista yields 0 results.
5) Yahoo! did not find any results.
6) Clipblast! found no results.
7) AOL video found that sock you lost back in 1997. But no video.
8) Neither did Vidsea.
9) Alltheweb also failed.
10) epic fail!

Total tally of the top video search engines: 2 winners, 1 runner up, and 8 losers. In order to make up for the lameness of these sites, here are 2 tangentially related, quality links: Kottke talks about approaching the uncanny valley from the other side, and links to a list of alternate image searches.

(From Buzzfeed, Kottke, and Wikipedia.)

No comments: