This paper surveys the work carried out within two large consortia, AMI and IM2, on improving access to records of human meetings using multimodal interfaces called meeting browsers. Their design has emerged as an important goal, with both theoretical interest and practical applications. Meeting browsers are assistance tools that help humans navigate through multimedia records (audio, video, documents, and metadata) in order to obtain a general idea about what happened in a meeting or to find specific pieces of information, for discovery or verification. To explain the importance that meeting browsers have gained in time, the paper summarizes findings of user studies, discusses features of meeting browser prototypes developed in AMI/IM2, and outlines the main evaluation protocol proposed (BET). Reference scores are provided for future benchmarking. These achievements in meeting browsing are the result of an iterative software process, from user studies to prototypes and then to products.