Search company Blinkx launched a free service on Tuesday that scans radio and television programs available on the Internet and automatically delivers the shows to a user's computer.
The SmartFeed service allows a user to search program content from more than 30 video and audio content providers including BBC News, CNN, NBC, and ESPN.
Users specify the information they want to find by visiting the Blinkx.tv Web site and registering it.
San Francisco-based Blinkx then scours the online video or audio sources by using voice-recognition and transcription software. When the information sought is found, a link to the desired material is created and shipped to a user's PC.
The process relies on the Internet delivery technology known as Really Simple Syndication. RSS feeds let users automatically receive regular updates from various sources on the Internet, providing Web links that lead them to news, blog entries and other content. A growing number of media companies are using RSS to update audiences on their favorite subjects.
Blinkx hunts for spoken information in an audio or video recording with a speech-recognition technology licensed partly from Autonomy, a company based in the United Kingdom.
Autonomy's technology indexes the section where a search term is spoken within an audio or video recording. That enables Blinkx to send customers to a video stream of the exact clip where the term is used — saving the, from having to scan an entire recording.
As for how Blinkx plans to make a profit from the free service, founder Suranga Chandratillake says the money will come from multiple revenue streams, including selling ads.
"Today we don't make money and are running on (investor) funding," Chandratillake said. "We're biting the bullet right now just so we can get the product right."