In case you didn’t notice, my previous post (Killers concert) was my first use of the Microsoft Soapbox beta, which is the new platform for MSN Video. For those of you unfamiliar with Microsoft’s entry into the realm of YouTube and competitors, here’s an internal announcement inviting people to join the recently expanded beta efforts:
“Believe it or not, Microsoft just became a bit more, well, cool.” – Business Week, Sept. 25
Our march toward releasing outstanding online services continues, and we’re now ready to unveil the beta for our new video sharing service, Soapbox (beta) on MSN Video. Soapbox (beta) is a new service from MSN that lets you easily publish, watch, and share your videos with your friends, family and the world.
When using MSN, we want everyone to be able to fully participate in the content experience, and Soapbox (beta) allows people to do just that. Soapbox will be available on MSN Video and will also be deeply integrated throughout Microsoft’s portfolio of online services.
Using the Soapbox beta you’ll be able to:
- Easily upload videos from any major digital video format (AVI, ASF, WMV, MOV, MPEG 1/2/4, 3GPP, DV, H.263, H.264)
- Do everything – search, browse, share, even upload your video – all without interrupting the video you’re watching
- Tag any video on the site to categorize it as you see fit
- Embed videos in your blog and email links to your favorite videos
- Set up customized RSS feeds by user, category, or tag to automatically get notified about new videos you’re interested in
Ok, my initial thoughts: it’s a beta, but as with the Live Writer tool, I like what I see. Little things make a big difference, such as browsing and uploading while watching another video. Nice. Also love the tagging features, which are also prevalent throughout Vista and Office 2007. Very nice.