The new search engine is part of ABCNews.com's continuing effort to find ways to leverage the multimedia content from ABC on its Web site. ABCNews.com is in the process of finishing a total upgrade of its site, which includes a revamped home page, new editorial features, and the search engine.
ABC is proving that traditional news organizations that maintain a Web presence must incorporate the latest technological "bells and whistles" to compete with Web-focused news organizations. Sites such as MSNBC and HotWired also have recently relaunched with new features.
"This helps expose some of the great multimedia content that we produce," said David Geller, director of news engineering for ABCNews.com. "We're telling stories through data, so if we can enrich the message to attract a larger audience, through video, sound clips, or images, it's in our best interest to embrace these things," he said.
The Magnifi multimedia search engine, which is already live on the site, enables users to search by video, sound, images, and text key words. Search results offer previews of movie clips and images.
Users can see still frames from videos before they download them, which saves the time of downloading each movie to check if it is the right one, noted Magnifi chairman and CTO Eric Hoffert.
"We're giving users a choice, and saving them a lot of time from individually having to download the data and find out it's not what they're looking for," he added.