Video is a perfect medium for efficient learning. It combines the personality of spoken communication, the ease of access of written documents and the visual presentation of images. One drawback of video learning, however, is the difficulty of finding a very small and specific piece of information in a large video file. We’ve talked about the benefits of speech search technology over metadata before, but recently I used it as a discovery tool. It worked like a charm.

Here’s the story: Qumu just launched our shiny new Video Control Center 7.0 packed full of all kinds of new features and abilities. I was put in charge of creating a short video that gave a quick rundown of some of these features and, as I was filming, I realized I didn’t know how one of them worked. I had a vague recollection that our Senior Vice President of Products and Technology had covered this particular issue during a presentation at our User Group conference which I had attended via webcast a few weeks ago. Lo and behold, we had recorded every section of that full day conference and uploaded them all to our internal enterprise video portal. So now all I had to do was find the right presentation and then watch and learn. Simple, right?


The presentation was two hours long. I didn’t have two hours. Heck, I really didn’t have twenty minutes to spend looking for the information I needed. Then the proverbial light bulb popped over my head. I can use speech search to find the precise moment that he started talking about what I was looking for. I was on my way with the information I needed in minutes.

(Now here’s the point where I debate whether or not to tell you that the information I needed was that I had been completely overlooking a huge button on the admin page of Video Control Center 7.0 that allowed me to change the settings I wanted to adjust and I felt like a fool once I figured it out. Well, the cat’s out of the bag now.)

In case you’re unfamiliar with the nuts and bolts of speech search, it’s a technology that allows you to actually search the spoken words of an audio track, indexing the results by accuracy. This is not only helpful when you are searching for a video on a specific topic, but also when, like me, you are looking for a spoken word or phrase in a particular video. When you search for a word, speech search generates points on the player bar where the word has been found in the audio track; this enables you to go directly to the information you need and accelerate your learning process.

Learn more about video speech search technology here.