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AOL Buys Video Search Firm 44

Eric Newman writes " is reporting that America Online has purchased From the article: 'Truveo has a proprietary technology called visual crawling that lets it automatically discover video files on Web pages, enabling customers to see updated information on news, sports and entertainment. The acquisition, which closed Dec. 21, was AOL's fifth last year. News of the deal wasn't released until Tuesday. Terms were not disclosed.' Note that the deal closed the same week that Google bought a 5% stake in AOL, in part to collaborate on video technology."
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AOL Buys Video Search Firm

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  • by User 956 ( 568564 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2006 @12:51PM (#14436880) Homepage
    'Truveo has a proprietary technology called visual crawling that lets it automatically discover video files on Web pages, enabling customers to see updated information

    And by "updated information", of course, they mean "porn".
  • already implement an effective video search [] technology?
  • How? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tacokill ( 531275 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2006 @01:02PM (#14437036)
    How, excatly, does this thing work? I am not an expert in search technologies but one thing that jumps out at me is this:

    How do you index videos and put context around them?

    Does it parse the language that is being spoken? Does it read the subtitles? For example, if I snip a 1 minute story on the G-7 summit from CNN, how do you know what the story is about if I don't tell you? To my knowledge, there is no sophisticated technology solution for this aside from reading the subtitles and indexing that.

    I've thought about this alot. Everyone and their dog seems to be coming out with a video search engine of somekind and not a single implementation has explained how they are going to do the indexing.

    I suppose they could take the Yahoo approach and view/sort each video that is submitted. But that is not a realistic long term solution, IMHO.
    • Re:How? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Otter ( 3800 )
      Reading Truveo's site, it looks like a) it gets all its metadata from the context in which it's found, not from examining the video itself and b) their real accomplishment is being able to fish through the different layers behind which most news sites put their video. It doesn't sound super-imprressive to me, but AOL seems to disagree.

      As for your question -- presumably you could pipe the audio portion to a speech-to-text tool and parse that, no?

      • Re:How? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MoonFog ( 586818 )
        So it basically does for videos what Google image search does for images if I've understood this correctly? Not that there's anything wrong with that, it works alright with Google images so far.
        • Re:How? (Score:2, Funny)

          by Rei ( 128717 )
          What they don't mention is that to get rid of the videos when you're done, all you have to do is pick up your screen and shake it for a bit.
        • Re:How? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Otter ( 3800 )
          So it basically does for videos what Google image search does for images if I've understood this correctly?

          If I understood the Truveo site correctly -- yeah, it's similar to Google image search except with a supposedly better crawler.

      • it looks like a) it gets all its metadata from the context in which it's found, not from examining the video itself

        I think you're right about that. If it was actually crawling the video itself I believe that would be breaching the copyright violation since the crawler would be acessing information that would not be publicly available. I'm almost positive that there is no way that major movie corporations would agree to letting aol just search through their content and make it searchable that way. I mean w
    • I'd guess they tag them, but it should be easy enough to test. Submit your G-7 video but say it's a dog on crack then search for both and see which one's a hit.
    • Re:How? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Big_Al_B ( 743369 )
      The simple technical solution is to embed meta-data in tags.

      Some of that can be automatically populated, such as creation date, length and file type. Some has to be manually added, such as title, rating, or genre.
    • Re:How? (Score:2, Informative)

      by OakDragon ( 885217 )
      A quick search turned up two abstracts for video search algorithms:

      A Fast Multi-Resolution Block Matching Algorithm for Multiple-Frame Motion Estimation []

      Efficient Video Similarity Measurement and Searc [] (probably grad students here)

      I felt my brain being damaged while I looked them over, but they appear to employ something similar to image matching with the added component of movement. It looks like if they are implemented as desired, you could find video similar to a reference piece. This is not useful

    • Truveo's real accomplishment is their crawler. While this particular site does not do anything that much outside of metadata indexing, there is research currently being done toward effective non-metadata indexing of video content. For one major group of researchers, see the NIST-run TRECVID [] conference.
    • Everyone knows that they just use a bunch of monkeys in cages that are continually being shown clips. The monkeys then sort the clips into Porn and Not Porn. Optimization studies have concluded that any further sorting is not worth the huge increase in MEMB(Monkey Effort Measured in Bananas).
  • by digitaldc ( 879047 ) * on Tuesday January 10, 2006 @01:04PM (#14437050)
    but I only saw a slow-moving floor.

    But seriously folks, the search engine works rather well. Its interesting to note that the ads on truveo are by google, and [] is another viable alternative.

    Even though we are just getting started, we have already indexed an extensive collection of web video that you will not find in any other search engine.
    Google will soon take care of that.
  • is basically google image but for video... Take google's image search crawler logic, replace jpg with mpg (or rather wmv or flash...) and voila. explain why is so awesome?
    • It's awesome because it's been bought by AOL, you know, Awesome Online... The internet's largest provider of awesome internet experiences.
    • Wake Up (Score:2, Informative)

      by billsoman ( 917346 )
      It is nothing like Google's strategy, which (like Yahoo's) is inherently limited and hyper-expensive, depending as it does on doing deals to arrange feeds from content providers, who can decide what to share and who will eventually and inevitably extract their pound of flesh. Truveo's technology does not depend on feeds, nor metadata (notoriously bad). Their servers instantiate and visually crawl the content, including dynamic content, and extract information from the content itself and its context - inclu
      • In short, did you notice how has a place where you you can submit RSS video feeds? That's odd, their visual crawling isn't good enough to find them itself?

        I did read the article and a good portion of the truveo website. All I found was marketing speak about how they "visually crawl" the internet and how they visually interpret surrounding content.

        Regardless of what they do to interpret the pages & video, it boils down to the fact that they are extracting information content from the pages/v
  • Video! Now, please wait while new content is loaded. Loading...
  • And now, the stream of p0rn related jokes in 3...2...1...

    "Hey, looks like Clippy found 5000 new videos, let's see what ... CLIPPY! You little pervert!"
  • This is all assuming the metadata is correct (any um... adult video afficianado knows that's not the case) or even exists. If Joe Grandma uploads something from from camcorder to a personal website, she'll likely skip the ship. I also have a habit of re-encoding most stuff I get from P2P sites, or anything in undesirable formats (.wmv, asf, .mov) which automatically strips the metadata.
  • Check out AOL Hi-Q Video []

    Its video delivered by Kontiki's p2p grid technology .

    Wonder if Google will end up delivering content in this Manner .
  • For those who missed the reference:

    "The Internet is for Porn" is from the outrageously funny Broadway musical "Avenue Q", a takeoff of Sesame Street.

  • Why would they buy this company when they already own ? I will have to do some research but maybe someone else knows?

    Singingfish is was a Seattle based video search and image search company which was picked up by AOL. Kind of weird that they would be two of the same type of company.
  • Wow. Crawling video will suck up bandwidth -- for both the search engine and the host. I hope it's worth the effort...

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor