Closed Captioning Hits Google Video

Google has begun providing closed captions for selected videos in its Google Video database, has learned.

The service went live last night, a Google spokesperson confirmed.

The videos with close captioning range from content produced by Nova to user-created media, typical to Web 2.0’s video platforms.

Now the hearing impaired can enjoy the intricacies of such titles as “motocross crash at greenvalleys extreme park.”

The measure to increase accessibility to Google content comes a little more than a month after the company announced Google Accessible Search, a way for the visually impaired to find Web sites friendly to their needs.

But the service could also provide Google some differentiation from rivals amid an explosion of video over the Web, not to mention user-generated video sites.

Market leader YouTube has spent the last sixth months fending off copyright suits and adding produced content through partnerships with traditional media outlets such as NBC and Warner Music Group.

Even today, Microsoft announced its own entrant into the space with its Soapbox, an addendum to their MSN Video product.

YouTube leads the user-generated video market, with greater market share than MySpace, Google, and Yahoo as of August 16, according to Hitwise market research.

Meta-search engines such as and AOL’s video crawl the Internet to bring all its burgeoning content together. But video search remains difficult because unlike Web search, there typically isn’t any text for crawlers to recognize.

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