AOL has created a program to let external developers build applications based on its video search engines, a step AOL has taken for other online services, such as its AIM instant messaging platform.

With the launch of the program today, AOL will publish APIs (application programming interfaces) to let developers integrate the firm's video search technology into their websites, according to AOL Video vice-president Tim Tuttle.

Applications will be able to access AOL's video index, offer keyword searching, sort and filter results, support RSS and provide browsing of clips by category, channel, tag or user.

Internet companies have embraced open APIs to let external developers extend and advance their online services with add-ins, applications and devices.

Another part of the program is a system called AOL Director Account, which lets video owners and site publishers automatically feed their clips to the company's video search engines.

Access to the APIs and to the feed system is open to everyone and free of charge. More information can be obtained here.

AOL has a variety of video sites and video search sites, including AOL Video, UnCut, Truveo and Singingfish.

It is creating an integrated platform for all of them. The first program to take advantage of it is this new developer initiative, Tuttle said.

Today AOL is also announcing that its online videos will be available on PCs running Microsoft's Media Center operating system and Intel's Viiv technology. Intel announced in January the plan to have AOL videos optimised for Viiv and thus viewable from TV sets.