behind the streams: bing and the talking pictures
  • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 03, 2010

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We'll get to the portrait. First some context:

Bing has now successfully ingested and indexed our video library into Bing Video and created Smart Media Thumbnails ("SMTs") for the entire collection. SMTs are thumbnails in the search results that, when moused over, play a small portion of the video without having to leave the search page. These thumbnails come to life in a whole new way.

Creating this feature took some doing by the good folks at Bing, who had to create custom programming to sneak inside our Fort Knox of a CDN (Content Distribution Network) to get at the raw video files to generate the SMTs. We store our videos in a secure CDN now, because we busted a site in Germany a couple of years ago that had hacked our old CDN and was running their version of Baeble in their market.

But back to the SMTs — we love them. Go ahead, play with our library in Bing. Why we love them is simple: you can sample the video search results in Bing without having to "commit" to the video and clicking through to the site where the video actually lives. You get a quick feeling for the quality of the piece and whether you really want to make that next click or mouse over to the next search result and see what's next. As a member of this nation of shoppers, my guess is that this function is very appealing to the folks that use Bing Video Search.

The whole experience is reminiscent of the enhanced reality of the world of Harry Potter where all the newspapers and paintings on the wall move and talk only here my search results sing to me. I sometimes find myself wishing for this at home, with the exception of the portrait of my Great Grandmother who looks like she may have some sharp words for me (pictured above). You be the judge.

So go ahead and break your Google habit and give Bing Video a try — let your search results speak for themselves.-david moffly
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