January 28, 2008

Is anybody actually using image, video, or sound indexing?

I have quite the excess of “flu-like symptoms,” and nothing substantive I’m writing today is coming to fruition. So instead of forcing the issue, I’m going to put a few questions out for discussion.

Question of the day #1

Is anybody indexing the actual contents of still images, video, or sound files?

Obviously, there are applications that serve huge numbers of videos, pictures, and/or songs — YouTube, Flickr, iTunes, and so on. But generally, these media are just handled as files or BLOBs, while all the database indexing is on alphanumeric metadata such as title, tags, uploader, date, download stats, comments, and so on.

The technology certainly exists to be more sophisticated. Consider, for example, Oracle’s Still Image datatype, which in typical Oracle fashion implements the relevant parts of SQL/MM and goes yet further. (Similar things can be done for video and sound, although I’m not aware of any corresponding standards.) But to what extent is it actually being used?

Offhand, I can’t think of examples past the research/prototype level.

If you have examples, please drop a comment in this thread, or link to this post with a trackback, or both. I’ll moderate and check the spamcatcher pretty promptly. If all goes awry, I can be reached at contact at monash punct com, among other addresses.

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3 Responses to “Is anybody actually using image, video, or sound indexing?”

  1. Jay Pipes on January 28th, 2008 3:33 pm

    That’s an interesting question; personally I don’t know of any systems doing this, though I can ping Todd from Pandora.com and see if their doing something like this for their music libraries. They are a PostgreSQL shop, and not sure if they’ve developed some extensions to support this kind of thing…



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