http://play.blogger.com/ is really addictive. It’s a slideshow of pictures that are currently uploading to blogger. I remember the first time I realized that the nightly TV news would never play re-runs; if you missed the show that night, you wouldn’t see it again. This new feature has the similar feel: there’s a river of pictures flowing up to Blogger, and if you aren’t watching, you might miss gems.
Googlified points out that if you use blogspot.com and don’t want to participate, it’s easy to opt out, and also that Flickr has something similar. The Flickr slideshow has a lot to recommend it, including a row of thumbnail previews at the bottom and the ability to choose tags to view. On the fastest setting of each, Play shows photos 3-4x faster than Flickr’s slideshow, but they’re both cool.
The only downside I’ve noticed is that (at least on my XP machine using Firefox) Play seems to eat up memory and never free it, so don’t be surprised if Firefox crashes (it could be one of my browser extensions, of course). Internet Explorer seems fine.
Fun stuff. When lots of people are uploading pictures or willing to label items in a photo, you can do some pretty amazing things. Check out two SIGGRAPH papers from 2007: one uses Flickr to remove or change parts of a picture (see below), while the other lets you insert new photo objects into an image.
If you’re not familiar with SIGGRAPH, check out some of the video highlights from the 2007 program. I especially enjoyed the image resizing demo at around 1 minute, 43 seconds into the video. I wish YouTube let you create bookmarks at a specific point in a video like you can with Google Video, but the whole video is fun to watch.