January 27, 2022

Audio/Video Search and Retrieval: News, Research, Demos and Tools (Roundup)

We’re seeing renewed media attention being given to multimedia search technology. Here are two recent articles, a new demo, and links to several other tools.

Of course, research on making this happen has been going on for many years and there have been several tools that have come and gone.

A Favorite

One search tool that has been online since 2007 (no charge to access) is the C-SPAN Video Library. This database allows users to keyword search EVERY word spoken during a program on ANY of C-SPAN’s networks and also utilize metadata. More than 215,000,000 hours (and growing daily) of content is available to search and view. Included in this massive collection are thousands of author interviews as well as political rallies, speeches, etc. Btw, the C-SPAN Video Library won a Peabody Award in 2011.

Keyword/metadata search is one of several ways that audio and video content can be searched.

Articles and Tools

1. This New Platform Makes The Contents Of Videos As Searchable As Text (via Fast Company)

To make poorly labeled videos easier to discover, Manhattan-based video analysis startup Dextro is launching a platform that analyzes and tags the contents of publicly available videos, using algorithms to identify common scenes, objects, and speech. Mic, a news site aimed at millennials, has partnered with Dextro and will use the platform, called Sight, Sound & Motion (SSM), to discover newsworthy videos that may otherwise be difficult to find.


The SSM platform relies on algorithms that recognize patterns associated with particular activities and events. Dextro founder and CEO David Luan told Fast Company the technology could easily identify videos of the Pope speaking in America this week by detecting scenes of crowds of onlookers, images of Pope Francis himself, and spoken words associated with him.

Read the Complete Article

Direct to Dextro Demo

2. Searching Deeper on Online Video (via NY Times)

“We think search is a critical component of any video service, and our programming in particular is rich in opportunities to offer many different kinds of search,” said Diane Tryneski, HBO’s executive vice president for technology and chief digital officer. “When we’re producing a program, we create so much information even before a single frame is shot. Location, cast, crew, script, scenery, props. There’s so much rich metadata, and you never know what one individual user is going to find interesting.”

In time, Ms. Tryneski suggested, you’ll be able to search on “hug it out” and jump to the exact instance in “Entourage” when the agent Ari Gold first uttered that phrase. Or maybe you’ll be able to get a list of links to every scene in “The Sopranos” that takes place in Silvio Dante’s strip club, the Bada Bing. But not yet.

Read the Complete Article

3. Emmy Award Winning Search Technology

Nexidia, a company that’s been around for more than a decade, offers several products for media providers and is also a major player in the search technology used by call centers (as in “this call is being recorded”) to review what’s being said by staff and customers.

One technology developed by Nexidia offers is not based on metadata or a transcript. It utilizes phonetic indexing (phoneme analysis) of the words spoken. It’s both fast and accurate.

About a month ago Nexidia won an Emmy Award for this technology.

4. Pop Up Archive (Speech to Text Search Technology)
Fee-based service designed for media producers. A one hour free trial available.

5. Audiosear.ch
Keyword search (words spoken and metadata) a selection of radio programs and podcasts Powered by Pop Up Archive. Keyword alerts available.

6. Slides From a Recent Conference Presentation About the American Archive of Public Broadcasting Now Online
Metadata search avaialble with video coming later this month. Several other video search tools are listed in this post.

7. TV News Archive Video Search (via Internet Archive)
Search and view clips of U.S. television using closed captioning. Free. Content back to 2009.

8. Materials From the Now Concluded SMART Multimedia Research Project
EU research. Some of the demos still work.

9. Report From EU (2010) European Commission Information Society and Media Cross-disciplinary Challenges and Recommendations regarding the Future of Multimedia Search Engines

10. Multimedia Search Demos From German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence

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.