Google seems to be dishin’ out new products and services, left and right. Some of them make the cut, other’s don’t! There’s quite the list of services that haven’t been as fortunate as others, like the original Google Video. What happened to it anyways? I’m talking about the one released into beta back in January of 2005 which was to enable users to “search the content of television programs from leading TV content providers including PBS, the NBA, Fox News, and C-Span.” It’s been replaced by the Google Video as you know it today, where you are able to watch actual videos, instead of searching the transcripts and content as the initial version offered.




Back in January 2005, the product manager for Google Video wrote up a short snippet on the Google Blog giving his compelling reason as to why Google Video was needed. He talked about being stuck in a hotel room for a few days in Wisconsin for a wedding, trying to find something to do, and flipping through channels, “idly watching some travel show when a thought hit me: surely someone, somewhere must have produced a travel show episode about Wisconsin, maybe even about that cheese factory. But of course there was no way to find it.” Thus Google Video came along. Above is a screenshot that shows a listing of television shows that matched what you were searching for.

In their press release, Google talked about all of the cool features it was going to have, like:

  • Preview page: Displays up to five still video images and five short text segments from the closed captioning of each program.
  • Upcoming episodes: Shows when the program will be aired next.
  • Search within the show: Enables searching for specific words within a given program.
  • Program details: Offers program and episode information including channel, date and time.
  • Change location: Finds the next time and channel where a program will air locally according to zip code.

After searching for a program, you could click on the results and get more detailed information.  The screenshot above is an example of a result for Nightline with short snippets available at different time increments.  From there, it let you know when the show would be coming on next, and the time it would air based upon your zip code. These screenshots came from an archive from what used to be the “Help” page for the original Google Video. Unfortunately or fortunately, this service didn’t last too long.

The Google Operating System blog has put together a more detailed list that includes other Google services that just couldn’t make it… like:

  • Google Answers- Recently closed in November, they just couldn’t compete with the well established Yahoo! Answers.
  • Google X – It was designed to look similar to OS X, kinda cool.. .but Google didn’t want to risk a law suit from Apple. The link is a mirror of what Google X actually looked like.
  • Google Compute – Yes, this one put your computer to work for other people when you weren’t using it! Using the Google Toolbar, Google Compute used your computer to help with calculations and research projects. Google was going to carefully select “worthwhile endeavors” to help, but Google Compute didn’t last long enough to do this.
  • Google Viewer – This one displayed your Google search results as a Slide Show.

So long, farewell Google services….