One of Google’s new services includes the ability to search the closed-captioning text of TV programs.
There are several cool things about this, not the least of which is the illustration of the search results with frame grabs from segments of the program, accompanying bits of text. To test it, I tried searching on “deadwood” to see what sort of references there are to my new favorite program.
To my surprise, it found a screening of John Ford’s My Darling Clementine. Suddenly, I was staring at a frame grab of Henry Fonda as Wyatt Earp!
I’m also happy to see Google use frame grabs this way. It helps to legitimate claims for “fair use” of them for scholarly/teaching purposes.
Google Video Search, according to Google:
Our mission is to organize the world’s information, and that includes the thousands of programs that play on our TVs every day. Google Video enables you to search a growing archive of televised content – everything from sports to dinosaur documentaries to news shows.
Just type in your search term (for instance, ipod or Napa Valley) or do a more advanced search (for instance, title:nightline) and Google Video will search the closed captioning text of all the programs in our archive for relevant results. Click on a program title on your results page and you can look through short snippets of the text along with still images from the show. Visit the “About this show” side panel to learn when this show will air next.
Right now we’re just testing this product, so you’ll find programs only from a limited number of channels, which we’ve been indexing since late December 2004. You can expect to see more and more content as we continue to add new channels.