- Character/any limits – There’s lot of limits in Soapbox. A big one is no copyrighted content (which means for now, no real music videos). Then there’s the amount of text you are allowed to enter. YouTube has some, but not as strict as Soapbox. Here’s how it all bends (each # represents characters or something else): Title limit – YouTube:60, Soapbox:80; Video description – YouTube:Endless, Soapbox:400 (big disadvantage); Tags – YouTube:Endless, Soapbox:5 (another big disadvantage); Categories – YouTube:12, Soapbox 16; Comments – YouTube:500, Soapbox:1000 (big advantage). Overall, as you see, Soapbox has a pretty crummy disadvantage to YouTube here. That’s why it’s kinda awful.
- Video uploads – While it’s very easy to upload it (just enter some personal video data, and loading is quik), it’s the processing the video that just kills me. Soapbox really seems to hate music videos (the #1 thing that made YouTube popular). They enacted some not-so-nice copyright laws, and the only music videos are the ones made before the whole law came into effect. So that virtually means there’s a scarcity of music videos. And this probably won’t win any YouTube users over. If you attempt it, you just get a dark spot where the video’s suppose to be labeled "Copyright Violation". Not very nice. The least Soapbox can do, is to work with content providers like YouTube does. YouTube worked with Universal Music Group and now they’ve got tons of music videos on that site. All official. Could Soapbox concoct something like that? With Universal or some other recording company? I also tried posting ‘covers’ of music videos. Or people singing their own versions of a well-known song (and they’re quite good sometimes). I tried, and the 2 videos I put on, came up with "Failed". I tried doing them both at least 5 times, and they still failed. I don’t know why. It’s not a copyright thing, since it didn’t say "Copyright Violation", so what? Ugh. Then I tried posting an IZOD ad, and one of them worked. But the 2nd one didn’t. Is that how it’s going to be when beta’s over? Videos processing problems go nonstop? That’s the biggest issue to me. If a person can’t put up content, and Soapbox doesn’t have good content, what’s going to pull anyone over?
That’s pretty much the major things that has me going bananas with Soapbox. If they could stop with the overprotective copyrights, or allow it in a way to benefit users, I would be happy. If they don’t do something about it, practically Soapbox won’t any YouTube successor. That’s just the plain truth. I’ve also made a list of minor things that I would love to see Soapbox do:
- Make ‘tags’ stand out like tags – Tags work pretty much the way they would do on any other site. I just also wish they would make a tag bigger if it’s something sought after most often, or use tag size to show popularity. Tags are all the same size on Soapbox, so it’s not really that interesting. Like I said, it’s just a small thing that I would like to see be fixed.
- More graphical icons – Instead of just boring text, and real photos to represent something, how about a recognizable icon to make it stand out. Like on the ‘Categories’ tab, you see 16 different categories with 16 real life pictures (video frames) depicting it. Some of it makes sense, like ‘Sports’ has a soccer field video frame, ‘Autos’ has a race car video frame, and so on. But then there’s the weird ones like ‘Screencast’ showing some computer digits (101100110 – that kind) in a space, ‘Entertainment’ has some undistinguishable video frame, and ‘Games’ show something that I too can’t see real well. How about graphical icons to replace them. Like for ‘Sports’ there could be a basketball, baseball, bat, football, and a soccer ball clumped together, ‘Technology’ has a big computer monitor, generic cell phone, and a generic MP3 player, ‘Movies’ has a bucket of popcorn with a movie clapper, and other stuff like that. White lines on black background would look nice. Just make them look icon-ish, you know?
- Remove branding off video description – Under each video is 3 tabs: This Video, Comments, Tags. Under ‘This Video", the first thing right under it, is a "soapbox on MSN Video" logo. And then under that, would be the video title and description. I don’t see why they really need to put a big "MSN Soapbox logo right there. It’s all throughout the site, especially on the top left of the site. You can’t miss it. So is there a point to throwing it on the video description? I don’t really think so. We can do without it. It’s best if it was taken off.
- ‘Spotlight Feature’ on homepage view – When I get into, MSN Soapbox, the first thing I see is some already displayed videos. Most likely featured ones. Put could they put more emphasis on that? And post other unique content stuff on the homepage. Like Video spotlight, User spotlight, something along those lines.
- More categories – I never liked having to choose from a list of categories to ‘label’ my video. Tags seemed perfectly fine on their own to me. As long as I have more than 5 to express my video. Sometimes, my video doesn’t fit any specified category. Like if I take some clips around the school, there’s not an exact school category for it. The closest I could put it too, was blog. Since it was like a personal piece. There’s a reason why tags are considered Web 2.0 and categories aren’t. It’s because tags are better. They define each piece better, then clumping them into one specific thing. So maybe they could put more categories, or let people make their own. Like an Xbox video could go under an Xbox category. People can make them, and if one already exists, they’ll simply use that one. And Soapbox could make special logos for them. Something along those lines. Or just get rid of Categories altogether. Most people just search for something anyways. And that’s how tags come in handy.
- Be more responsive – For the most part, Soapbox is very responsive. It works slick and quik. Although sometimes there’s that momentary glitch, and you have to wait a long while. Not really anything specific I’m talking about. Just try to make Soapbox more responsive, and hit less snags.
- Soapbox name change? – Just a thought really. I mean, I don’t get why Soapbox is called Soapbox? When I think of soapbox, I think of political platforms, soapbox derby, and along those lines. Not a place to share videos. So I’m wondering, why Soapbox? MSN Video was already taken by MSN’s form of MSN site content videos. So couldn’t they just simply combine the two, and name it MSN Video altogether? But I guess Soapbox has more of a ring than MSN Video does. But I don’t think Soapbox was the best. There probably could have been something better.