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Bing adds audio to its homepage background
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Bing adds audio to its homepage background

by AshwinJune 25, 2015

Microsoft is rolling out a rather unique feature to its search website.

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Bing adds audio to its homepage background, which allows users to listen to sounds related to the backdrop.

This is a rather nice addition to the website which displays beautiful images, and wallpapers. The audio will not play in the background automatically, and that is a good thing.

Also, there is a camera icon on the extreme right, clicking on which displays some information about the background image.

The background on Bing.com today, is of a flock of geese taking flight over the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. It is not a photo, but a video, to be precise, a HTML5 video. This isn’t a new feature though, as Bing has had HTML5 video backgrounds since 2011. The bad news is you cannot download the HTML5 backgrounds as wallpapers.

Now, in the bottom right corner you should see a round volume bar icon. Click on it to hear the audio playing. Today’s audio is a mix of geese sounds, to match the background video of the birds.

I don’t see the video or hear the audio on Bing. How do I fix this?

It could be related to the browser. I visited Bing.com on Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome. It did not work in Firefox, but Edge and Chrome played the audio and the video flawlessly. In fact, Firefox just displayed the background as an image, and not as a video. Obviously, there was no sound button either.

It is definitely not a U.S only feature, because I was able to get it working here in India. So that rules out a geo-restriction.

Bing is on a roll lately. Earlier this week, Microsoft announced that Bing Video Search will display larger thumbnails. It now displays the title of the video, a thumbnail preview, the uploader’s name, the video channel’s name, the uploaded date, the length (running time), the resolution of the video, and the view count of the video. Additionally it also displays a Hero image of the artist, whose song you searched for. Even Google does not support such rich search results.

Two weeks ago, Bing announced that it will enable encryption for all search results. This will great enhance the user’s security and provide some privacy from attackers.

Microsoft saysng it enabled audio in Bing’s homepage, after getting user feedback, which requested sounds like rushing waterfalls, distinct animal calls, or waves lapping the shores of a beach. So we can expect more wonderful backgrounds with audio in the future.

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