Microsoft Live Book Search
December 14, 2006 5:44 PM   Subscribe

Microsoft releases Microsoft Live Search Books (beta), a third major project to scan public domain books behind Google books and the pioneering Content is pre-1927 editions of public domain works. Live Search blog has (slightly) more info and lots of general reactions pro and con.
posted by stbalbach (9 comments total)
I'm sure there are good reasons to object (other than knee jerk MS bashing), but I can't think of any off hand. Mostly the easy access of the otherwise hard to access I find a good thing, for me, at times, an invaluable thing.

Thank you for the heads up.
posted by IndigoJones at 6:46 PM on December 14, 2006

Actually, I think Project Gutenberg is probably the "pioneering" effort in this area, beating by a couple decades.
posted by hattifattener at 7:14 PM on December 14, 2006

Have you found the yellow sign?
posted by Artw at 7:46 PM on December 14, 2006

hattifattener - we are talking "mass robotic scanning of entire libraries into facsimile digital books" - really did pioneer it, if not exactly the first, at least in popularizing the idea and showing it could be done. Not to understate P.Gutenberg's importance, but the idea of manually transcribing book content from one physical format to another is not original to P.Gutenberg (ironically). One of the problems with P.Gutenberg is lack of information about which book edition it came from - it's useful for casual reading (maybe) but often useless for research purposes.
posted by stbalbach at 8:26 PM on December 14, 2006

You know, I've just about had it with the perverse (and deliberately unciteable) snippet mode in Google Books. Often tells you little more than "this search term appears", but you can never manipulate it to find out what it says even about this one tiny thing.

As for M$, at least this search supports Firefox. The way that maps degrade all the way to a pointless text search when you don't have ActiveX is bizarre. At least MSNBC yells at you to use the correct browser.
posted by dhartung at 10:57 PM on December 14, 2006

Why do it three times? It seems so unnecessary
posted by tombola at 3:51 AM on December 15, 2006

This site is nothing but a banner and a copyright notice, without Javascript. Brilliant.
posted by AmberV at 5:25 AM on December 15, 2006

Second the irritation with snippet mode. Even more annoying the please sign in to see the whole page function which refuses to work for me.

Also googles occasionally lazy photocopying, with whole pages skipped in otherwise full books, or edges cut off from the screen.

And their backing off when a reprint house has put out a given out-of-copyright title. Most infuriating when said reprint house has done, say, volume 1 but not volumes 2 or 3.

On the other hand, they currently have more of the peculiar books that I currently find interesting than does MS.

End of gripe fest. Bottom line, the more the merrier and as a good deal of the titles in question are even now turning to dust, the timing of all these efforts is felicitous
posted by IndigoJones at 5:58 AM on December 15, 2006

ArtW - good grief, that's the very first thing I sought out. But I shall leave the sign alone, I think, lest Pallid Mask and the herald find me.
posted by Obscure Injoke at 6:50 AM on December 15, 2006

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