November 24, 2020

PBS Launches Improved Video Search Technology But More Work Needed

Andrew Phelps from the Nieman Journalism Lab provides a useful overview about the new technology.

To access the search tool simply head to the search box on PBS.org and go for it. The database contains more than 7,000 videos but  there is no advanced search interface so limiting to a specific program has to be done from a results page. We were unable to find any documentation (perhaps it will come) and a list of what programs are included in the database. Finally (for now) we were unable to run a search and then limit to specific date (useful for searches older than one month) and finally, an option to limit results to more than one program at a time.

The article also takes a look at the technology being used and will often the improvements discussed in the article. .

We think a bit of background about video/transcript searching might have been useful to include in the article.

So, here’s a bit of info about video/transcript search on the web.

More than 10 years ago we were exposed to video/transcript search on the web and one of the first places we were actually be able to use it was on the PBS web site.

Some of you might remember that you were able to search words as spoken on the PBS NewsHour, Nature, from a collection of “outdoor video” to name just a few.

Podzinger and Podscope were around during the podcast boom and services including TVEyes and Critical Mention remain available

The massive C-SPAN Video Library (every word of every program aired on the C-SPAN channels) can be keyword searched either by simply using the search box or with extra power via the advanced interface. Each results page is loaded with additional info that can often be very useful. Plus, just about each program offers a complete text transcript.

We look forward to use the new search technology now available on PBS.org.

See Also: PBS Launches Video Search Capabilities

See Also: Teacher’s Domain
A source for “classroom use” video (free)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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