blinkx-couchBlinkx has opened up some new functionality on their video search engine to help you search, explore and discover new content. The new home page of Blinkx offers three new options “Entertain Me”, “Inform Me” and “Give Me My Own Channel” to improve your video browsing experience.

“Every day, millions of people come to with a specific search in mind – looking for a particular program or video clip,” said Suranga Chandratillake, founder and CEO, blinkx. “But increasingly, we’re seeing our audience use our site more like a TV: people want to sit back and be entertained, or use the information blinkx can generate about a video to guide their browsing experience. With our new homepage, we’re offering a more enriched viewing experience for the Web’s vast array of video content.”


Each of the three buttons represents a custom-made playlist of content from the web. Inform me features today’s news from around the world from sources like Reuters and Associated Press, in fact they seem to be the only sources for the news so it may be limited in its scope. When I checked earlier today there were maybe ten to fifteen videos available in the list. Entertain me shows you the latest and hottest videos that are meant only to entertain. The problem is that if you leave the channel and want to go back and see the content again, the list will have changed and the specific content you wanted will be gone.

Possibly the most interesting of the three new buttons is the Give Me My Own Channel option. You start with a keyword or phrase and it generates a playlist from it. I used ‘video games’ and sadly, it seems to only pull content from YouTube and two of the ten results had nothing to do with video games. Another thing is that you can’t track back to the original video straight from the Blinkx interface. Bothersome when you want to find out more about a particular video. For example I saw a film trailer and I wanted to see if it was legit or fan-made but there’s no way to get any kind of further information.

While there’s no denying that these new features are a step in the right direction, they seem to be but a baby step. Limited sources, ever-changing content and being locked into Blinkx without a way to get more information on the videos all make these new features flawed.

Blinkx does have some other cool features like speech tags where they analyze the sound of a video and pull tags straight from spoken words in the soundtrack. They’ve implemented facial recognition so they know who is in the videos, and you can click on a face and get a playlist of videos with that person. They are analyzing the video and cutting it into scenes, this isn’t always perfect, especially if there’s a long intro or a lot of movement as I saw an intro cut into ten scenes in one example.

Overall they’re moving forward and helping consumers find more video, but they also seem to be limiting the information available on the videos. If you posted a video to YouTube and wanted it spread, Blinkx would be more of a hindrance than anything. Someone might see your video but has no way to share it with others or find out who the video was created by. It seems like Blinkx is attempting to quietly keep people on their site and that’s it. 

Not sure why, but as a side note, this new functionality didnt work in my Google Chrome browser.