Saturday, 23 July 2016

Stream versus Last Year's Views on Office 365 Video

On a blog I used to run about Chromebooks (that ended up being almost nothing to do with Chromebooks) I wrote a little bit, a year ago, about what I felt needed to happen to Microsoft Office 365 Video to make it better - very much in the spirit of 'wow, this is good but please...'

With the release of Stream I thought it would be good to revisit those points.

The name. Really. Azure Video. Microsoft Video. Video 365. 
Well - 365 Video never got a better name but Microsoft Stream certainly ticks the boxes.

Video thumbnails all take the first frame of the film. This is plain daft as most videos have either a plain colour or logo start. Either starting a fixed distance in to choose the thumbnail or (better) letting the owner decide which frame would be epic.
This was fixed in a later version of 365 Video and Stream has the feature to set the thumbnail right from the start.

Sharing... I can send someone a link but I have no embed code or code fragment to copy and paste. Means I have to grab a screenshot, embed that in a web page and link that to the video. Hmmm. If the focus is on finding video in Delve (I think it might be) or visiting the portal rather than picking up content elsewhere this is OK. I can live with it, but I'd rather live with it done right!
365 Video is gradually getting better and better at sharing and embedding (although I still haven't been able to use it to put out a video publicly which I thought was intended - that would mean we could have one video store, and for each video set permissions). Most of our use of 365 Video centres on people linking to a channel and just going to that as a web page. We haven't used the Yammer links much but we certainly will this year.

Stream seems to me to be much more designed for sharing publicly right from the off, so promising.

Sway. I love Sway. I truly wish it wasn't tied in with consumer Windows ID rather than 365 logins, and I would kind of like to be able to embed 365 videos in there in the same way I can embed YouTube ones.
Sway has all the marks of being made by a sub-team at Microsoft who don't seem to be that enthused with integrating with their own products - OK with me as I'm pretty agnostic, but I'd like to see an incentive for people who use Microsoft's web publishing product to store their video in Microsoft's video sharing product.

Having the default to not giving every single user the ability to make a new channel might be sensible. Maybe I'm a control freak.
Stream actually makes this worse, but it is only a beta. 365 Video we have now set to be more locked down.

Please let us do a little branding of some kind on the home screen. Not anything massive, just a few light touches.
365 Video still looks pretty terrible and doesn't allow me to brand it. I hope this gets addressed one day.

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