Xoopit, the social webmail plugin that indexes your Gmail account’s media attachments, has launched Gmail Media Search. The new feature compliments Gmail’s standard text search by including a sidebar that lists file attachments, photos, and videos. The first 500 TechCrunch readers to sign up here will gain access to the service, which is currently in private beta.
The Gmail Media Search sidebar separates search results by type, offering thumbnails of the top matches from each category in a manner that resembles Apple’s Spotlight. Users can also hone their searches by only listing content that has been received from certain contacts. In practice the Media Search is a perfect compliment to Google’s standard search, though I’d like to see some more options (for example, the ability to check off certain file types to search).
As we noted in our original review, Xoopit goes beyond simply searching through attachments by crawling your inbox for links to media. This means that when someone sends you a link to a Flickr album, the photos within that album with be indexed and searchable as well.
For now Xoopit is only available for Gmail, but the company has plans to expand to other webmail platforms like Yahoo Mail and AOL in the near future. They also plan to integrate the new media search with their iGoogle widget, which should make finding photos and attachments even more convenient.
You can check out a screencast of Gmail Media Search here.