Why isn’t there a Google News for video? That is what Onar Vikingstad, a 27-year-old Norwegian Web developer with a day job at Apple, asked himself before he created NewsClipper. The site is a side project of his that brings together news video clips from the Websites of ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, ESPN, Fox News, NBC, and MSNBC. He explains:
What I wanted to create with NewsClipper was a site that consolidates all news clips from the major TV news networks in one location. No more having to run around to different carefully managed and controlled individual websites. Basically it lets you view the latest news clips from the major TV networks in one location, without having to go to their slow sites overloaded with ads.
The site is dead simple. There is a list of video clips in a pane on the left which can be sorted by “most recent” or “most viewed.” You can create a playlist and sort by network or category (such as Politics, International, Domestic, Business, Technology, Sports, Weather, etc.). There is no search, but that is coming soon, as are viewer ratings and commenting features. Click on a link and the video starts playing in the middle pane. NewsClipper uses the open-source Flowplayer. The player offers full-screen viewing and—here is the controversial part—the ability to embed any video on any other site.
If you go to CNN.com, for instance, it does not allow you to embed any of its videos. You can e-mail a link, but that is it. With NewsClipper, not only can you watch videos from CNN, but you can use the embed code from its player to put them on your blog or MySpace page as well. (See this Obama speech video from CNN, for instance below). I am not sure if this is a copyright violation or not, but it is similar to what Veoh does with its Veoh TV downloadable client software. Vikingstad argues:
Technically, the video content/stream itself is coming from the TV network. I am just embedding it. So in a way you could say I’m embedding videos that are not proclaimed to be embeddable.
Technically, he my be correct. he is not hosting the videos. It is streamed from CNN’s servers. But the fact that he is stripping out the ads will not endear him to the lawyers at the TV networks. It is a really nice site, though. Check it out before it gets taken down.