Amazon: Search Inside the Book

Amazon launched a new feature called Search Inside the Book. This lets anyone search the entire text of some (not all) books. More at Business Wire. More at Amazon.com.

You can try it by searching the full text of the book We Blog (try "microcontent"). When you click on an individual result, you see the full page (sign-in required) with your search term highlighted. You can also click the arrows to read surrounding pages. Another way to find results is by typing "microcontent" into the standard search form—you'll see an exact location of the word in the books that are returned. Since there are only eight results for "microcontent" I don't think this search is finding every book that contains the word. (But maybe "microcontent" is only mentioned in eight books, I need a better test.)

So...
  • I bet this feature will be added to the API very soon.
  • I wonder how this feature will affect the search results/sales for books that don't have their full text on Amazon.
  • How long will it be before you can pay your money and read the whole book through Amazon?
  • I'd like to see an image search.
  • Libraries should do this.
This opens the door to some potential new Amazon Hacks (this book is not full-text searchable at Amazon, btw). But I must...focus...on...work.

Comments

Ive been wondering a lot about this too. How long before they integrate this into google, where you can search text from books, in addition to web results. and maybe stuff like television, movie and radio transcripts too? i will be so happy when that day occurs. man. i cant wait. have you read about how the BBC is making their archives available online to the public for free? i hope more media giants start following suit.


A service called TVEyes does something similar for television (by searching closed-captions):

http://www.tveyes.com/

And NPR has put seven years of their audio archives online:

http://www.npr.org/archives/

Maybe something like the Internet Archive ( http://www.archive.org/ ) will tie these disconnected services together someday and we can search all of the history of human creativity at once.
...that creativity that can be digitized and served over the internet, anyway. ;)
I was looking for a spot to comment about the Weblog Bookwatch and buzzed in here. Blogging is finally starting to get it's fair share of attention and I am looking for blogs about our jobless emergency in engineering.

Thanks for providing this resource.