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Amateur clips the focus of Blinkx search engine

Due to rising popularity

The popularity of user-generated video clips has led Blinkx to tweak its search engine towards finding this this type of content.

Blinkx is letting users of its video search engine look specifically for user-generated clips, as the popularity of this type of amateur video continues to rise.

Blinkx has introduced a special channel on its search engine for users only interested in finding amateur video clips, the company plans to announce today.

The move is yet another sign that the appeal of amateur videos online is skyrocketing. Startup YouTube.com has become one of the web's most popular sites, attracting 12.7 million unique visitors in the US in May, almost doubling its April traffic, according to comScore Networks. It lets users upload, categorise and share videos with others.

Big names such as Google and Yahoo have recently retooled their video sites with these sharing capabilities. Helping spur this market are the continued spread of broadband connections and improved video-streaming quality online.

"In the past few months, there has been a massive increase of video content coming from users," said Suranga Chandratillake, Blinkx's co-founder and chief technology officer.

At Blinkx, users will be able to limit results to this type of amateur video by selecting the Garage Video channel when querying the search engine. Currently, Blinkx's index contains about four million hours of video, of which about a quarter is of the user-generated, amateur type that has made sites such as YouTube immensely popular.

Blinkx, which started as a desktop search specialist, is now focused on the video search niche. The company believes it has an edge over many competitors in this space because it doesn't just index the metadata of videos it finds, but also transcribes clips' spoken content and makes it searchable as well. It handles more than 3.5 million video queries daily.

Blinkx is also adding a feature to its site today called Movie Mode, designed to let users play videos in full screen. Blinkx will alert users if a specific video lacks the necessary resolution to be played in full-screen mode.

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