The future of online video?
As one of my co-workers is want to say, “I’ve seen the future of video and it’s searchable.”
One of the most intriguing features of Adobe’s CS4 Production Premium release has been the idea of speech-to-text: the idea of converting spoken word in an audio or video file into text. It’s one of the things that many of our broadcast clients are interested in – making their online video searchable and connecting interested viewers with their video clips.
For example, I’m a baseball fan – show me a web site full of baseball video clips and I’m likely to spend a bunch of time on your web site. Now, allow me to make the videos searchable so I can look up my favorite players and I’m even more likely to spend time at your site. Spending time at the web site means revenue – and we’re all very aware of that in today’s economy.
If you’re new to speech-to-text, you can get the basics here – Adobe Speech-to-text
Coming back to video online, you already know that the vast majority of video in the world (~80%) is streamed via Flash. With things like YouTube and Hulu, it’s not a huge surprise. Plus, by adding H.264 to Flash 9 and above, it’s made a compelling format even better. Despite these facts, one thing has hampered some companies from leveraging Flash video: Searchability… Google, Yahoo and other search engines couldn’t index the video and harvest the content inside the video. Flash video was not searchable. Web designers had to manually associate keywords with a video in the web page to connect users who want to see the content. If you’ve uploaded a video to YouTube, you’ve probably entered some key words. On average, there are only about 2 key words entered per video. What if we entered this blog entry into the YouTube fields instead? Would it improve the results of viewers? I think the answer is an undisputed YES!
(Am I long winded at times or what?) SOOO…..
There’s been an update on the Production Premium web page which gives an example of searchable video. I’m particularly fond of the Olson brothers video which details their experience with Adobe products and the RED camera. You can type in a word and see where there are instances of that word. Click the second link here to get an idea of what I’m talking about.
I think there’s still a lot of work to be done – particularly around how to make this process easier. However, the fact that it can be done now is a big step forward and we’ll certainly look to see this technology develop further. The tools are already creating the content: Premiere Pro and Soundbooth create the metadata that contains the spoken words. Now, we just need to make it easier for users to create this data.
Creating a video that can be found by people who want to see it means more money for big companies and small alike. Do you agree – post a comment and tell me what you think.