The MSN Soapbox team has a blog post entitled Soapbox Is Now Open For Full Video Viewing which states

We have just opened Soapbox on MSN Video for full video viewing. You no longer need to be signed into the service to view Soapbox videos!
However just as before, you still need to sign in to upload, comment, tag or rate videos. e Embedded Player is also available for full viewing and embedding.
While it might not be visible, we have spent the last month working hard on improving our backend, to make encoding and performance as scalable as possible.
We are also now conducting proactive filtering of all uploaded content, using technology from Audible Magic.Audible Magic bases their filtering on the video's audio track and their database is being updated constantly. By using this technology, we see this as an important step to ensure the viability and success of Soapbox over the long run.

You can dive right in and explore the site's new interface by checking out my friend Ikechukwu's music video. I like the redesign of the site although there seem to be a few minor usability quibbles. The content filtering is also an interesting addition to the site and was recently mentioned in the Ars Technica article Soapbox re-opens, beating YouTube to the punch with content filtering. Come to think of it, I wonder what's been taking Google so long to implement content filtering for copyrighted materials given how long they've been talking about it. It's almost as if they are dawdling to add the feature. I wonder why?

Speaking of usability issues, the main problem I have with the redesign is  that once you start browsing videos the site's use of AJAX/Flash techniques works against it. Once you click on any of the videos shown beside the one you are watching, the video changes inline instead of navigating to a new page which means the browser's URL doesn't change. To get a permalink to a video I had the hunt around in the interface until I saw a "video link"  which gave me the permalink to the video I was currently watching. Both Google Video and YouTube actually reload the page and thus change the URL when you click on a video. Even then YouTube makes the URL prominent on the page as well. Although I like the smoothness of inline transitions, making the permalink and other sharing options more prominent would make the site a lot more user friendly in my opinion.


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