Last week I was briefed about a new product just released by Gotuit, called SceneMaker. It enables people to cut up and tag videos from platforms like YouTube or Metacafe. SceneMaker essentially allows users to embed e.g. a YouTube video in a Gotuit page, then add metadata around it.

I was impressed with the usablity of SceneMaker, but one question I had was how the likes of YouTube and Metacafe will react to having their user-generated content manipulated on another site - which they may view as a competitor? The Gotuit folks didn't seem concerned about this, saying that the hosting of the videos always remains with the likes of YouTube - Gotuit simply provides a platform to add metadata to those videos. Techcrunch has more details about SceneMaker's features.

Essentially this is another bit of progress in what I recently described as the holy grail of online video, searching within videos. In that post I described another web app, called Coull.tv - which allows users to search for specific moments within videos, as well as click on and interact with "moving objects". It was noted in the comments to that post, by regular R/WW commenter "old school developer", that Coull.tv is currently Microsoft Windows technology only and the ability to manipulate or interact with objects inside video is an MPEG-4 feature.

osd was also kind enough to point me to other instances of searching within video. VentureBeat recently ran a story about Pluggd, which raised $1.65M on the back of claims that it “perfects” audio and video search. Other video search companies mentioned in that article were Pixsy, Podzinger and CastTV.

Gotuit SceneMaker is not a Windows-only technology and it seems very slick, so this looks like a promising product. However it remains to be seen how many users from YouTube and Metacafe they can attract, because it seems to me they'd need to (ahem) cut into those existing audiences to gain traction. Also getting a core community of active users to do the majority of the video cutting and editing will be - as always - the key challenge.