We make it easy to share on your Soapbox

As I blogged about yesterday, we’ve built some pretty quick & simple sharing features into Windows Live Photo Gallery.  In this post I’d like to go through the steps to publish your video memories online at the recently updated MSN Soapbox service:  

Step 1: Select a video from your library inside Windows Live Photo Gallery.
Step 2: Click on the Publish button and then select Publish on MSN Soapbox…

In order to enable users to publish on Soapbox, we needed a way to allow users to sign in with their Windows Live ID (a.k.a. Passport).  So, if you’re not already signed in with your Live ID in the Photo Gallery you’ll be asked to sign in when you try to publish.  Since Photo Gallery is integrated with Live ID, as soon as you sign in with your Live ID we’ll automatically know your Soapbox information so you won’t be asked to provide any information or configure anything.  If you’ve never used Soapbox before, the first time you publish a video we’ll take care of setting up your Soapbox account.

Step 3: Fill in all of the fields on the Publish dialog:

We’ll automatically fill in the Title using the video file name (minus the file extension, of course) and the Description using the caption (if you’ve previously set one).  Of course, you can edit these if you want to.  In addition to those fields, just like the Soapbox web upload tool, we allow you to add up to five Tags and set the Category from a list.  Finally, you can choose to make your video public or keep it private for just you and whomever you send a link to by setting it to private.  After you click the Publish button, we’ll take care of the rest…

Since Soapbox currently has a 100MB file size upload limit, if you video is over 100MB we’ll re-encode it to the bit rate that Soapbox supports, compressing the overall file size.  Technically, there is a limit to the amount of compression we can do in order to make sure the end result is still under 100MB in file size.  To make it easy just remember as long as your video is 20 minutes or less, we’ll be able to upload it on Soapbox.  It’s that simple! Note: There are some video formats that we are unable to re-encode and if that’s the case we’ll tell you when you try to publish them.

Again, just like the Publish on Windows Live Spaces feature, we also provide a summary dialog with a View video button here too. 

There will be a brief period (time varies depending on length of video) when your video is being processed by Soapbox.  During this time you’ll see your video placeholder on your Soapbox account, but you won’t be able to play it back until the processing is complete. 

Do you dig it?  What do you like/dislike about this?  What can we do to make your video sharing experience better? 

– Michael Palermiti (Program Manager)

Comments (4)

  1. mfp2 says:

    I forgot to add one thing in my article a few days ago which we’ve been emailed about…

    If you want to upload more than one video at a time to Soapbox, you can.  As one video is being uploaded, you can select another video and repeat the steps.  As each video is being uploaded, the follow-up publishes will be queued behind each other and will start automatically as the previous one completes.  


    Michael Palermiti

  2. triplegreen says:

    This is really a wonderful thing.  I am so glad that you guys finally filled this huge feature gap and enabled easy publishing.  Of course, it is only really useful for those of us who are fully on the Microsoft bandwagon with Spaces and SoapBox, like I am, but it is a great start.

    One question that I have, is do you know if there is an ideal file format/resolution/bitrate that Soapbox likes and thus would minimize the post-upload processing time?

  3. mfp2 says:

    Hi triplegreen, thanks for comment!  Based on the Soapbox service requirements and Windows Live Photo Gallery processing logic, an ideal file to save the total publish time would be 432×320, 596kbps, and <100MB in file size because WLPG wouldn’t do any client side re-encoding before the upload starts.  However, today Soapbox re-encodes everything that is uploaded to the service for a few reasons related to web presentation and copyright.  But, selecting a file with the parameters I mentioned does reduce the total publish time because the client would simply upload the file and Soapbox would technically have less data to process.  Hope this helps.


    Michael Palermiti

  4. RickCraine says:

    I love the new gallery program. It is a nice program that has been missing for some time and I think it does most of what we want. I love the publish feature, however, I cannot publish any videos to Soapbox. I am logged into an account which I’ve used for Soapbox before and I want to upload some through Gallery and I get the error "Access to MSN Soapbox Denied".

    Could you provide some direction for this?