It's really no secret that search giant, Google.com, wants to own the gateway to all media online.
They operate the Web's most popular search engine, largest free blogging service, and one of the largest news services online.
Recently, Google started offering video from their website. Google's video offerings so far, comprised mostly of documentaries, news, and daytime talk TV programs, represented a testing device to get the kinks out of their video delivery and search system.
Now, thanks to widespread availability of high-speed Internet access, inexpensive desktop video editing, and the emergence of portable video players, Google is steadily ramping up what will surely become the Web's first video "vending" machine.
Log on to Video.Google.com and search a limited number of available TV shows.
Curiously, most do not allow you to play video, only to see still screen shots of the show and read a transcript taken from closed captioning for the hearing impaired.
However, based on the fact that Google recently started accepting video submissions through their website, this format is about to change drastically.
Originally, speculation about Google's new video service centered squarely on video "blogging, " where online pundits would share their thoughts in video rather than written form.
However, after releasing more details, it appears that Google maintains much grander plans for online video than just allowing people with a camcorder to rant and rave.
Currently Google is in the "gathering" stage. This means they are accepting video submissions from content providers with very few restrictions.
Basically, Google says they want original content, no porn or offensive content, and they want it in a very specific video format (mpeg2 or mpeg4 with MP3 codec).
Other than that, the sky is literally the limit. For specifics, log on to https://upload.video.google.com/ and click the "Find out more" link.
Right now it appears that Google decided to gather as much content as possible before offering any of it to the public, so you currently can't view any videos.
Google also states that they will allow content providers to either charge for their videos or allow viewers to watch them for free.
Google states they will collect the money, take a small fee, and pay the content provider. This alone should excite anyone who sells content online because the barrier to entry (high-speed servers, video delivery, credit card processing, and customer service) just got a lot lower.
Plus, it's a safe bet that Google will find a way to integrate revenue producing videos into their pay-per-click program.
Combine all this with the recent emergence of truly portable digital video players (Sony PSP, Creative Lab's Zen Media Center), and beginning of video-on-demand through the Internet just arrived. Now this doesn't mean growing pains won't occur.
The biggest drawback to searching for and finding online video is that each video file must have a text transcript associated with it in order to get properly indexed by a search engine.
In the beginning, this will slow the production of new material.
Despite these and other growing pains, plan on Google opening up the first and largest video "vending" machine online within 12 months.