Thursday, 18 June 2009

Bing in-line video previews

The new Microsoft search engine Bing has been in the news lately.

One of the facilities it provides is a video search which in itself is old hat, however the results page features in-line video previews. A user can turn safe search off and perform a search which results in a screen of thumbnails of the located videos. Hovering the mouse over a thumbnail results in a short preview of the video being played within the thumbnail.

The thumbnail videos are cached as FLV (flash video) files however the interesting feature is that the URL host of the flv files in my early tests was The ts3 part was variable. Microsoft are processing the video using Smart Motion Preview technology producing effectively a trailer of the most relevant parts. Microsoft on or about 12th June 2009 began to serve all explicit video smart motion previews from The ts4 part is variable.

These in-line video previews allow the viewing of contraband material without leaving a significant footprint. At least for Bing the search query is saved within the browsers internet history and the smart motion preview is cached as a FLV file with the word explicit helpfully added into the cached items url.

The video search at also provides in-line video previews however these previews seem to be streamed - another kettle of fish altogether!