RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is already used to ferret out thousands of news sites and blogs everyday. Now, RSS has fanned out and is being used by blinkx to distribute multimedia from personalized feeds available at its TV Video Search.
Blinkx.TV is a rich media search engine that uses a series of proprietary technologies to locate, transcribe and index broadcasts. The user determines the content's topic and sources.
In practice, users can subscribe to a blinkx "Smartfeed" after they input their search criteria and select the channels, podcasts or videoblogs that they want to have spidered.
The feeds deliver aggregated media as hyperlinks that can be read by RSS readers and opened with any supported media player. Blinkx does not provide its own media player and users may need to install software for playback.
Google and America Online offer Web-based media players integrated into their video search services.
The engine uses contextual voice recognition instead of pursuing syllabic noises so that it is less likely to mix up words or expressions that are phonetically close.
For example, a news reporter may have said "Wreck a nice beach" while discussing about a hurricane, but that could easily be misconstrued as, "Recognize speech," if it were not for the context of the report.
"The Internet has evolved into a vast media network, with more and more multimedia content becoming available every day," said Suranga Chandratillake, founder of blinkx.
"Much of the most current and compelling content on the Internet is in multimedia format - take breaking news, for example. Blinkx's unique automatic transcription technology and SmartFeed service help users navigate the increasing and diverse range of rich media that's available to them."
Partners will play a crucial role in blinkx's approach to establishing itself against its competition. A company spokesperson told BetaNews that blinkx will be making its search API available for developers to write against the blinkx index and integrate the technology into their Web sites.
Search providers including Yahoo and Google have made their APIs available to third parties in hopes that their services would become favored on the Web. In addition to its policy to open the API, the blinkx spokesperson also claimed that its content deals would "probably" surpass AOL and Yahoo to add to the value of its index.
Some of blinkx's partners include ABC, BBC, CNN, E! Entertainment, HBO, NBC, Reuters, Sky, and Fox News. In May, Google seeded its video search lineup with content from Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, and CNN. Yahoo has enlisted CBS News, MTV and many other sources from television networks.
Like blinkx, both Google and Yahoo have gone vertical and provide their own rich media search engines, but those lack voice recognition; instead relying on a combination of metadata and close captioning text.
AOL is the only other audio/video search provider that uses voice recognition for its searches. AOL's solution, however, is less complex than blinkx: AOL synchronizes audio with transcripts and does not examine context.
Blinkx Smartfeeds can be created at the blinkx.TV Web site. Feeds may be delivered in podcast form.