This past week, Google updated their Desktop Search software to much acclaim. The most notable update that was given (in the eyes of developers) was the addition of a programmable API to plug into this search utility. In a nutshell, it is now possible to index any file type that you desire and then search this content along with the rest of your personal information.
Giving developers this much access to a user’s personal files will certainly create some interesting results. The first possible add-on, that I thought of, would be some form of a local network file search engine. Think of it this way: User A adds users B and C (other users on the LAN) to his personal network. A new main search page is constructed (by the add-on) which provides a streamlined search interface for not only user A’s mulitmedia files but B’s and C’s too. In the search results, links are provided to the share location of B’s and C’s files, making them easy to access. If this were built, it would be huge. One of the major problems with doing file sharing on local network (with many users) is the ability to quickly locate and find files of interest, with Google already developing the tech to do the hard work, the rest should be easy.
Note: I haven’t tested this new version of the software yet. In the old version you could only search your primary hard drive, and no others. If this has been changed so that you can search all of your hard drives then the above idea becomes super easy, without even the need for an add-on. All you would have to do is mount all of your favorite fileshares as a letter drive (X:, Y:, Z:, etc.) and then add that drive to be indexed. There you go! Your friend’s files will now be indexed along with yours and it’ll be dead simple to copy/use them.