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AOL Opens Video Search Engine to Developers 40

mytrip writes to tell us CNet is reporting that AOL has opened up their video search engine to developers. This push is being made in the hopes that it will drive more websites into using their service. From the article: "The goal for the APIs is different than the one that AOL had in mind when it opened up a number of its other applications to developers — notably its instant-messaging client AIM and IP telephony service AIM Phoneline. The AIM and AIM Phoneline toolkits were designed to enable modifications to the existing software, whereas the purpose of the new video-search APIs is to spread its video search engine to sites other than AOL."
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AOL Opens Video Search Engine to Developers

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  • I cant wait to see the rush of comits here
    • open your code and we fix it

      Isn't that what all the Open Source cheering squad advertises? All those "eyes" and all that? Can't complain about it now, the genie's out of the bottle.

      • They opened their API, not their code, even MS supplies their APIS. This is no more open than eBay's public dev APIs, Google Map's public APIs, or Amazon's public APIs. I don't seem to recall any Open ***API*** "cheering squad" or movement.
  • by Somatic ( 888514 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @11:42PM (#16135656) Journal
    More ways to use AOL services! It's kind of like being given different ways to stab yourself in the eye.
  • I wanna see... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by beckerist ( 985855 )
    I wanna see a program (I can't imagine it'd be in anything but Flash, at least given today's technology) that actually grabs words and basic content material from a video, and auto-tags it. Until then, a "video search engine" is really only a "video tag search engine."
    • by mctk ( 840035 )
      Even then it would only be a "video text search engine". What we really need is a program that records you on your webcam acting out a scene, then searches for a video containing that content.

      "How did that video go?" (kicks friend in groin) "Oh here it is!"
      • basic content material

        Can you kindly enlighten me on how one would act out a carburetor? How about the WTC?

        The burning question: how would one act out pr0n if, well, they need to look for it on the internet?
  • Wait a second... AOL has a video search?
  • Personally I wouldn't want to be associated with AOL in any way, shape or form.
  • by mcrbids ( 148650 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @01:16AM (#16135954) Journal
    AOL has spent its karma. They're on a strong, downward spiral. This in spite of the fact that one of the largest, coolest things to come out was largely funded by them. (Mozilla) Here's what they need to do to get back on track:

    1) Fire everybody in marketing. Re-hire a whole new marketing arm from the likes of Earthlink.

    2) Retrain their call support centers. Make it possible to quit AOL.

    3) Make a new corporate motto "don't be evil". Follow it. (Google seems to be weakening its resolve)

    4) Hire a bunch of highly qualified engineers, let them play, and let them decide what to sell.

    If they do the above, they have a ghost of a chance. If they don't, they're fodder for a buy out within another year or two. They might do OK if they merge with the likes of Earthlink - but not as equals. Only where Earthlink takes control and they do it the right way.
    • by MosesJones ( 55544 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @02:06AM (#16136097) Homepage
      Spent their Karma? AOL has NEVER been cool, AOLer was not a term of endearment went they first hit the internet, I was stunned in the mid 90s that people would pay AOL money to get on the internet. AOL is a marketing company their engineering has never been strong. Giving the keys to the asylum to a bunch of engineers is not going to help a company that is aimed at the mass market.

      If AOL wants to survive they need to concentrate on brand, and what they say they offer, rather than trying to compete with what others offer. Its a sad fact but when aiming at the mass market having the best product is almost a sure way to fail.

      Fodder for a buy out? You mean sell off I assume as they are currently merged with Time Warner.
      • that is aimed at the mass market

        Unless you're selling detergent, there is no mass market. The invention of the first search engine forever rendered the mass market obsolete.

    • "1) Fire everybody in marketing. Re-hire a whole new marketing arm from the likes of Earthlink." As in: when you receive spam, bother the faked sender? "3) Make a new corporate motto "don't be evil". Follow it. (Google seems to be weakening its resolve)" A company that's not evil doesn't need such a motto (customers are not that dumb), hence the reason why Google is weakening it, and probably keep doing it.
    • by wfberg ( 24378 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @03:49AM (#16136291)
      When AOL partly funded mozilla, it was already in its downward spiral. AOL was never a great company, but it was at one time a fucking huge company worth bajillions on the stock market.

      Up until the dotcom hype, AOLs businessmodel was pretty simple; you sell a subscription service that is slightly (but not vastly) expensive. Obviously, to maximize profits from subscriptions (and to make sure you don't suddenly lose 50% of your income from one month to the next) you have to make it hard for people to quit, and easy to signup (hence the AOL coasters that you got in the mail, magazines, etc.)

      It's a fairly straightforward business; you provide a simple service and try not to annoy people so much that it seems worth their time to jump through the hoops to cancel their subscription. Much like bland, unadventurous magazines and newspapers - their contents is maybe 10% useful and the rest is filler, but they stay clear of printing too much gore or "incest - how to?" columns. And they flood you with those subscription inserts.

      Then the dotcom hype happened, which meant that AOL was now worth bajillions based on basically it's name. "America" - can't go wrong there, you don't want to invest in Lithuania, and "Online", well, that has dotcom written all over it.

      In this period they did the stuff like fund mozilla, and buy the guys behind winamp (whose media player hasn't improved vastly, but their shoutcast [shoutcast.com] streaming audio site is just how streaming audio should be).

      Then, after the dotcom crash (and Time Warners (reverse)takeover of/merger with AOL) came the stark reality of post-dotcomhype business. Being an ISP is no longer a simple affair - with technlogies like cable (docsis 1.0, 2.0), (V)(H)(A)DSL (1/2+) being upgraded every two years, the death of dialup at the time where dialup had just become so ubiquitous that it's built into telephone exchanges; there's not much value in being an ISP (too much competition) and doing it right is hard. AOL had always been doing the ISP bit a bit halfheartedly, and even with TimeWarner on board, they found they can't really be a persuasive content company!

      So, cut to present time, and AOL is trying its damn hardest to get away from being an ISP, and to be as much as Google and Yahoo as they can.

      There's no reason they shouldn't be good at the things Yahoo and Google do. Except that they've sullied their brandname by sucking at everything they've ever done. And being mismanaged.

      Opening up AIM and trying to get their video search on other people's sites is just recognizing a simple fact; their brand sucks. They desperately need people to use their services first, find out they're worth using, and then worry about reeling them into 'the AOL experience' (with AOL's ads) later.

      AOL's best bet would be to start doing stuff under different brand names, if possible to set up small companies with just a few people, with a start-up kind of atmosphere, where they don't have to bother much about tying into AOL's infrastructure (and management structure) beyond perhaps using AIM screennames as some sort of single sign on mechanism.
    • by moqi ( 153268 )
      you speak quite highly of earthlink.

      i was a customer of earthlink for my dsl service for about 3 years. even though they had capped my bandwidth to half of what it was from my previous provider [down to 50KB/sec up/down from 100KB/sec] i thought their service was pretty good. consistant speeds, good latency. there were some periodic downtimes that were unexplained, most of which fixed themself after a day.

      i enjoyed their service until this year. my dsl stopped working, i figured it was one of the periodic d
    • by Ilgaz ( 86384 )
      They moved Netscape.net mail owners to AIM mail, promising a more modern interface with server features such as IMAP.

      I have logged into Netscape a bit later to see what is new. They really did some cool stuff, Flash/AJAX like dynamic stuff which is more like the new Yahoo mail beta. It supports IMAP (including SSL IMAP) unlike Yahoo who doesn't support even if you pay them. Their SMTP is TLS encrypted etc. too.

      More important of all, it supports OS X Safari which Yahoo beta doesn't.

      As their new method of doi
  • Shame its made by these shits [slashdot.org], its rather good.
  • According to AOL:

    "To gain access to the AOL Video Search AJAX API, you must first set up an API account."

    They then give you a member ID to use when instantiating their remotely hosted js class.

    Now why would I want/need to do that (set up an API account) when they have supplied a working example of the API with a working membership number. So what's to stop me just using *that* membership number in the handshake?

    They'll change the membership number in the example? Well it's easy to scrape the late

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."