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Sound down on Singingfish searches

Multimedia content not as plentiful as hoped


Finding a specific video or audio file on the Web can be a challenge, but like most problems caused by technology, there’s an equal but opposite tech solution at hand — in this case, the Singingfish search engine.

Founded in 1999 and now owned by Thomson, Singingfish handles 1 millions queries a day from the search boxes in Win-dows Media Player and Real Networks Player. You also can search Web media listings directly from Singingfish central, which has been recently renovated to include new features, which are being tested.

The search engine brings back a broad swath of results that sometimes misses the mark; for example, a search for “American Beauty” found parodies, soundtrack samples and clips from various talk- and award shows with the stars of the movie, but no trailer. A search for “Hannibal” returned nothing but results about the city in Missouri. A search for the “Grinch” seems to hit the target, though; as with any test of relevancy, your mileage may vary.

The greatest limit to Singingfish, might be that there’s much less multimedia content (though it’s growing fast) on the Web compared to text, and what’s there is often locked away behind subscription walls and in a multitude of file formats that the end user may not be able to view, even after Singingfish has found it. (The service indexes Windows Media Format, RealAudio, RealVideo, QuickTime and MP3s, but not Flash, Shockwave or Java that may contain multimedia.)

If you’re looking to include your own media assets in Singingfish, they offer a paid inclusion program, and if you’d like to add a multimedia search to your site, you can pay them to do that, too.

Got a site to share with me? Email tfsmith@reedbusiness.com

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