Modern Feed - Professional Video Search
Posted on 04.08.2008
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There are plenty of options out there for video search and YouTube is no doubt the leader in the space. But a new player has some interesting qualities that are worth taking a look. Modern Feed seeks to index legal, premium Web video content and then filter that content with the help of human editors. Modern Feed is loaded with full-length programming - when available off-site, you will be notified that you are leaving the Modern Feed site and presented with instructions to watch the video on the site you are about to visit. For example, if you search "The Office" you will eventually be taken to NBC's site, or you can choose to visit Hulu, MSN or Comcast Fancast. You can choose through which format to watch video and there are some nice community features such as ratings. The nice part about the human-editor element is that they will filter mulitple results to feature the best feed, with the fastest load time and fewest problems. There are also editor picks and features showing which content is the most popular at the given time.
You can search by Network, Categories, A-Z or by simply typing in what you're looking for. Perhaps one of the best features is the ability to set up an account, add playlists and subscribe to certain programming so you can be alerted when new material is available. And there is support for iPods and iPhones - programming is limited at the moment but promises to grow in the coming months.
There are a couple of issues with Modern Feed. The most obvious is that for many shows you're at the mercy of whoever is hosting the video. This could mean slower load times, the need for a different type of media player, etc. This also means that you have to jump around to different websites, slowing down the entire process of finding and watching video.
When you search, a pop-up box appears. Type in "The Office" and there are two options, the NBC show and something from the Yale Office of Public Affairs. Search for "Family Guy" and only the FOX show appears - which begs the question ... why do I need a pop-up if I have only one choice? It's another unnecessary click.
Overall, it's a nice service. There is no shortage of content - while a site like Hulu is a bit easier to use and the player is of extremely high quality, Modern Feed is able to present a much larger inventory, even if you have to go off-site to view. I think one important theme comes out of both services - while YouTube is the king of user-generated content, these other sites are showing that for professionally created content, there are much, much better options than a grainy video shot by a teenager in his basement while watching TV.
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