5 Cool Features in Microsoft Stream

I recently did a presentation at a local user group where I gave an overview of Microsoft Stream.  I think it’s a really good way to manage an organizations video content and the extra, AI based features that it offers makes it a huge time saver when searching for content within videos.  With that said, here are some features that make Microsoft Stream cool and interesting.

Facial Detection

When you upload a video to Stream, part of the processing that you’ll see happening after the upload is the service scanning the video for faces.  Any faces.  If the video has a image or presentation in the background with a picture of a person, that face will be detected too.  Those faces are then displayed in a timeline that you can click on to navigate directly to that point in the video.  So if you have a 2 hour video of a staff meeting and you want to watch the part where your boss was speaking, you don’t have to click repeatedly through the video to find when he or she was speaking.  You can just look for his or her face on the timeline and go directly to that point.

enable-faces
Image from the Stream product site

Text Analysis

In addition to facial detection, the audio is transcribed and displayed for you on the site.  You can perform a text search on the transcript.  So if you know that someone mentioned “cyber security” in the video, type it in and the transcript will show you all instances of that phrase.  You can then click on that text and go directly to that video.  You know how annoying it is to go through a long video looking for that one small topic.  This is a huge time saver.

Image from the Stream product site

Sometimes, the text analysis gets a word wrong.  Stream allows you to edit the transcript to correct any incorrect translations.

Links and Hashtags

When you upload a video, you can also provide a description.  In that description, you can provide hashtags to help people filter videos by topic.  If you want to tag all the videos for marketing events, or product demonstrations, you can simply add a meaningful hashtag that can be clicked on to show other videos with that hashtag.

Another cool feature is the ability to add a time code to the description.  You can provide a table of contents of sorts for your video by simply entering when it occurs in the video.  That time becomes a link that will take the user to that spot in the video.

time and hashtags

Integration

In the past, you’d likely have videos all over the place.  You might have a marketing site, or a product site, or a corporate events site and each would have their own videos.  With Stream, you can centralize all of your videos and the other Office 365 products have ways to show that video content.  For example, Teams has a Stream tab that lets you display a series of videos for an Office 365 Group or individual videos and SharePoint has the Stream web part which lets you do the same.

SP Stream

Live Events (preview)

This part is currently in preview but it’s worth mentioning.  Stream provides the ability to broadcast live videos.  If you have an all staff meeting, with the help of a streaming application, Stream can broadcast that recording to the rest of your organization.  Additionally, that live broadcast will get processed and it will also allow you to use the facial detection, closed captioning, and text search capabilities.

Monitor
Image from docs.microsoft.com/stream