One of the downsides about online video, such as it is, is that of discovery. There's so much raw video hitting the Web every day that finding something that matches what someone's looking for at the time is a bit of a challenge. Bing, however, wants to make this process simpler by bringing out a newly redesigned video search system that should make finding the right video online an easier task than it was.
The biggest changes in Bing are in the display of videos potentially available for viewing. The preview windows are now both larger and feature improved resolution so the content can be more quickly ascertained and determined whether or not it's relevant to needs at the time. There's also a complete pop-out hover preview that allows users to catch a short preview of the video in question to help improve identification still further. Bing has also stepped up the amount of information offered about the video, including view counts, descriptions, and bolded search terms, along with including a volume control for the playback.
Additionally, Bing is offering a new set of filters to handle different video resolutions, the ability to sort videos by date to get the most relevant content, a set of navigation tools to make switching from one video to another easier, and a video overlay system to allow a video preview to be watched while seeing the rest of the options Bing can bring up.
While this is all valuable, the controls only go so far without the content. That's why there are plenty of video sources contributing to the listings, including offerings from CBS, Dailymotion, MTV, MSN, and of course, video titans like Hulu and YouTube among a wide array of others.
The updates are pretty sound, and for those not already using Bing, it may be well worth a second look. A search for “short horror film” on Bing turned up a panoply of options—just over 1.1 million, in fact—and was largely devoted to YouTube video. Entrants from Vimeo and Desitara, however, made appearances, so there were certainly options to spare. While not all of the entries were exactly relevant—there was some “short film” tossed in with the “short horror film” part—there was plenty of material that I hadn't even heard of, so it was a welcome experience.
Bing is doing a nice job of addressing one of the great issues of online video, and making discovery a simpler overall process for those concerned. While any search can really only be so effective, Bing is making some great strides here that will likely help out online video watchers, and potentially even bolster the cable-cutting crowd who'd rather throw over cable for online video. Whether Bing can gain ground as a result of its new search remains to be seen, but it's certainly got a worthwhile product to consider.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson