When the new version of Google desktop came out a couple of weeks ago I thought it would be interesting to see whether there was some way a bibliographic file could be integrated with it for quick searching, somewhat akin to how Art Rhyno is trying to make his library's catalog part of the PC environment.
I took the 3,000,000 records we exposed to Yahoo (each of which is the most commonly held record for the top three million works in WorldCat) and indexed all of the common phrases (up to five words) in the author, title, and subject headings. This results in an index that can fit into main memory, along with a short citation from each record. This is up under a Web server, and as you type the results are displayed. The citations link into Open WorldCat, so you can locate the item, see subject headings, and other editions.
I didn't really get to any integration with Google Desktop, as I started exploring the possibilities of quick response from a web server, but the index is quite compact so there's still the possibility of doing that with the indexes, although a fast web service would probably be easier to integrate.
We don't have a public version of this yet, so I made a movie. Using Windows Media Encoder 9 (free from Microsoft and I only had to reboot my machine 6 times before I got it all installed and working). It probably should be done slower and really needs a voice-over explaining what is happening, but I thought I'd put it up here and get some reactions. The format is Windows Media Video (WMV). Hope that doesn't stop too many people from viewing it. Suggestions for more appropriate formats are welcome.
We're not sure where this approach to bibliographic search is going, but I find the almost instantaneous feedback to be so compelling that I can't stop working on it.