VHS Tapes_full

Remember video rental stores? They’ll be one of those anachronisms we tell future generations about, like radios that took up an entire corner of the living room and when Montreal had a professional baseball team. When you wanted to rent a movie, let’s say Terminator 2, you’d drive to the store, walk to the Action/Adventure section, stroll down to the “T”s and hopefully find it between Terminator 1 and Terminator 3.

This is basically how metadata works. A file has what equates to a video store organization system embedded in it so when you are searching online, your search engine can find “Genre: Action/Adventure” and “Title: Terminator 2” and bring you the correct results.

But there was a problem with the video store organization system. A clerk had to put the video back after it had been returned (Be Kind, Rewind!) and that leaves room for human error. Let’s say it was the end of the night, Terminator 2 had to go back out on the floor, but our intrepid clerk, seeing Arnie’s chiseled jaw on the cover of another action movie, files it after True Lies instead of Terminator 1. Now when you’re looking for your movie, you can’t find it because it’s been misfiled.

Same goes for metadata. All kinds of content goes unseen because of nonexistent or poorly labeled metadata.

But search is becoming more and more complex every day. Let’s say you were looking for a video on your internal server, maybe through your social business portal. Once upon a time, you had to hope that whoever had uploaded the video had tagged it correctly, given it an applicable title, etc. With advances in searching like Qumu’s Speech Search, however, you can actually search the phonetic audio track of the video for your keywords, bringing you into direct contact with the content you need.

When searching for video content it’s important to remember that just because you can’t find it doesn’t mean it’s not there. But in the same way that online indexing through sites like Netflix and Hulu has revolutionized the way you pick out your Saturday night movie, Speech Search has changed the way we find video content in the enterprise.