AltaVista MP3/Audio Search

AltaVista was one of the first successful search engines working from 1995 to 2013. AltaVista started under the domain and paid $3.3 million to acquire in 1997. The search engine was developed by Network Systems Laboratory and the Western Research Laboratory of Digital Equipment Corporation. In the following years, the search engine was sold with the owner companies first from Digital to Compaq and then from Compaq to Overture, which was sold almost directly to Yahoo. While AltaVista initially provided Yahoo's search results, Yahoo later offered AltaVista's search results. According to Danny Sullivan (see AltaVista web search), Digital didn't develop AltaVista to build a successful search engine, they created it to sell their computer technology by demonstrating the mass of data their supercomputers can manage. AltaVista offered numerous vertical search offers over the years.

Since 1999 AltaVista offered an MP3/Audio search. At first it was part of the Photo and Media Finder, which was renamed IMAGES, AUDIO & VIDEO a short time later. Since 2000 the MP3/Audio Search was offered as part of the search portal of AltaVista. First AltaVista offered its own audio search. When AltaVista was taken over by Yahoo in 2003, the Yahoo Audio search was also taken over.

Language Multilingual

Launched 1999
Closed 2009

Developer AltaVista

Country of Origin US America

1999 - 2003 Compaq Computer Corporation
2003 - 2003 Overture
2003 - 2009 Yahoo Inc

Topic Music, Sound & Video Search engine

Region No Limitation

Technical functionalities
Robot/Crawler based, algorithmic search
Search engine for special file formats
Indexing Public FTP (file transfer protocol) Archives
MP3 file search
Search Interface / Search API

Used SeEn

Older Version Internet Archive / WebCite

Danny Sullivan (2002): »AltaVista makes multimedia content — images, audio files and video files, available to searches from its multimedia indexes, as explained below. Users access the multimedia index either through the tabs on AltaVista’s results page ... or by visiting the various multimedia services directly.
AltaVista’s MP3/Audio Search service provides sound listings that come from crawling both web and FTP sites, plus those available from partner sites such as CDNow and« Source


Critical points

Features & Functionality


See also AltaVista web search: Source

References & further Publications

Wikipedia (EN):
Wikipedia (Others):

Other Sources

Danny Sullivan (2002): How AltaVista Works URL:

Created: 2019-11-06