Windows Live.com is working on some interesting new features in their beta search service, most notably video search. It’s not on the front page yet, but on the section of the site ironically missing the word beta on its logo: beta.search.live.com. Video search is hot right now: Google gave its video search a promotion to the front page two weeks ago, AOL’s new video site is big on search and startup Pixsy making the most recent splash by targeting this search vertical explicitly. Windows Live is aiming to be a full service start page experience for users and wouldn’t have been complete without this.
The Live video search index appears to to be comparable to Google and AOL video search – though everyone gets destroyed by Yahoo! video search in terms of sheer numbers of results. The results page is very simple so far, a single column displaying thumbnails, titles, source, duration and summary in clean boxes. File type and more information are available in a drop-down from the corner of each result.
The video search is in the “more” tab of the beta page, but after one video search it’s moved to its own tab on the top of the page. Among typical options on the advanced search page is a field for geographic location and though the site says this will help with relevance it’s apparently not in use yet as my results are no different.
Once Live spreads across the planet, as it inevitably will, it’s good that it will have video search amongst its many offerings. If the geographic relevance gets turned on and if video had one feature that Live is experimenting with for image search (see below), then this might be more compelling.
The other notable addition to the Live beta is the image search scratch-pad – which lets you save individual images to a sidebar over several searches. Multiple collections can be built and named, though it’s not clear what you can do with them yet. If that’s of interest, see our previous review of FlickrStorm, a lightweight service that offers this functionality and more for Flickr searches.
If everyone has video search now and Live.com is supposed to be the future then it would be nice to see it move things like video search ahead instead of being just another utility. Perhaps that’s what startups are for, though. Since Live will be put in front of huge numbers of people, it’s good that it looks like they will soon be able to use a viable video search engine. Thanks to O’Reilly Radar, where the first review of this was spotted.