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AltaVista Adds Multimedia Search

Compaq unit and IPO hopeful AltaVista Co. Monday added a new multimedia search service to its already popular Internet guide.

AV Photo & Media Finder is designed to provide users with the ability to search among more than 17 million photos, video and audio clips found on the Web. Supported formats include MP3, RealAudio, WAV, AU for audio, and RealVideo, QuickTime, ASF, MPEG, AVI for video.

The multimedia tool is considered a "specialty search," and is linked directly from AltaVista's homepage. Like the site's other searches, users type in a query and results are delivered as thumbnail sketches with brief descriptions, ranked by relevance and importance.

"With the launch of AV Photo & Media Finder, AltaVista is embarking on a whole new way for people to search and locate information on the Internet," said Kurt Losert, vice president and general manager, AltaVista Co.

"As the industry leader, AltaVista continues to develop innovative tools and features designed to provide users of all levels with the most satisfying Internet experience."