Microsoft's launched “Stream”, a cloud service perhaps best understood as a private YouTube, with extras.
Stream was announced last year and has taken over a year to debut formally.
In its final form the service lets you upload videos, whereupon Microsoft will automatically transcribe them and figure out who is speaking when. The playback interface includes a timeline that lets you navigate selecting a speaker, or by selecting the words they speak … if you sign up for certain levels of the service.
The service is part of Office 365 Educational and Enterprise licences* or can be bought outside that bundle.
Microsoft reckons Stream is needed because video has proven hard to organise and share inside an organisation. An easy-to-navigate video portal, complete with customisable channels, is its answer.
And also, let's face it, the answer to the fact that service's predecessor, Office 365 Video, plus SharePoint, haven't wowed customers seeking video-sharing services.
Stream borrows plenty from Office 365 Video, especially integration with Yammer and the rest of Office so that you can share videos around the office like kids share videos on Snap-o-gram or whatever is this week's cool social network.
Perhaps co-incidentally, Redmond's released another speech-to-text tool today. “Dictate” lets you speak to Outlook, Word and PowerPoint and have them turn your utterances into typed text. The free tool works with 32-bit or 64-bit Office, can detect over 20 languages and do real-time translation of 60. The software's free to download and use, from here. ®
*Education, Education Plus, Enterprise K, Enterprise E1, Enterprise E3 and Enterprise E5 to be precise.