Blogger Play 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 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.

Original picture Doctored picture

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.

36 Responses to Blogger Play (Leave a comment)

  1. SIGGRAPH is really fun, I think Child like to play with it. it likes a game!

  2. Both Blogger, Flickr are addictive. We were watching a few hours ago. πŸ™‚

    We hope YouTube will do something similar with latest Video uploads, although they do have ‘most recent’

  3. O.K. that is crazy. It is actually a little mystical, especially on the night of a lunar eclipse with an Armageddon spy satellite hurtling toward earth.

    It is so incredibly beautiful to peak little glimpses into a fairly random set of earths inhabitants. I am afraid I may end up spending hours just transfixed to that.

    It is still shocking to me to be involved with the folks who have such a massive effect on what is seen and not seen on the Internet.

    It is also reassuring to touch the pulse of the simply massive flow of info breathing onto the net at any given point. True freedom will come to the world from this flow of data.

    Much Love,
    and good night!

  4. Hi Matt… it is simply addictive!

    i had to force myself to push the “close button”

    Very cool feature πŸ™‚

  5. Hmm,

    Just spent a few minutes watching play.blogger. Doesn’t do anything for me…

    I don’t see what the excitement is all about.

    One thing I noticed, the average image is a better picture than I’m capable of taking and the average drawing, well, lets just say I never got past stick figures πŸ™‚

  6. So here’s a question. Why isn’t this post marked as SPONSORED? Who pays your salary? I could have sworn that company paying your bills (ie. the costs for running this blog) is the same one that owns blogger? Maybe I’m mistaking…

    On that note, the SIGGRAPH paragraph addition at the end looks a lot like what a well written paid links collection from a guy like this would end up looking like:

    Yes, this is overboard but it’s logic none the same. Sure there’s ‘intent’, but there’s also the intent of the person judging that intent. And now that link sellers don’t disclose paid content anymore for fear of Google, it’s gotten a lot harder to make that call.

  7. Yes Blogger Play could be fun. But I think there should be some filter mechanism for kind of explicit content.
    I just had to look at a sample of pictures with cut off heads and other parts of bodies. That’s not fun anymore if kids are around you.

  8. Thanks man, I was looking for another addictive Internet time sink. Seriously, that’s crazy – like random snapshots of humanity – we could beam this stuff to the aliens! It’d be better than thrash metal?

  9. What happens with the *ahem* quite inappropriate pictures that often get uploaded to Blogger?

    There’s quite a few blogger blogs out there that could be classified as pr0n. And no, I won’t name them, but thanks to being a scambaiter and often sending the scammers photos of naked men (because there is a big phobia about homosexuality in their society so if a photo of a naked man loads on their computer they tend to get kicked out of the internet cafe and sometimes even their scammer gang) I do know where those blogs are.. πŸ˜‰


  10. Did anyone notice that in the options for the Flickr feed that you can “Embiggen” the photos to fit the screen? While that is a perfectly cromulent word, I’m not sure it is really what they were looking for.

  11. Blogger Play looks very cool and so fast. Yeah, kind of addictive. Also, the photos are of high quality.

    I didn’t get the memory problem that you had though Matt, even though I run FireFox on an XP machine. I pressed CTRL+ALT+DEL and didn’t notice anything bad going on in the processes that were running.


  12. First impressive feature I have seen blogger come up with.

  13. “Why isn’t this post marked as SPONSORED? Who pays your salary?”

    Sam I Am, this is my personal blog where I talk about whatever I want. Google pays my salary to fight webspam regardless of whether I blog or not. Also, you might not know this about me, but I studied computer graphics and related fields for about five years in grad school before I joined Google. In fact, I was an author on a SIGGRAPH paper myself. If you don’t enjoy my blog, feel free not to read it.

    Emmanuel, luckily the Firefox memory leak eventually forces me to click the close button. πŸ™‚

  14. I quite like the feature – some good – some bad, it is worryingly addictive tho, which is not the best thing when your trying to design web sites for a living. there is always something better to do with the internet a click away.


  15. I should note that around 2% of pictures seem to be pornography, which is fine if (a) you’re an adult and (b) you’re not drinking a diet coke on a conference call with mute off.

    I’m just saying.


  16. Very neat, thanks for sharing. It’s addictive as you noted. The utter randomness of it all forces my mind to find patterns and watch for connections. It invokes a roller coaster of emotions seeing peoples happy wedding pictures followed by a small child with a cleft lip. After a while I felt like I was involved in some sort of psychological study where someone was recording my reactions to different images flashing by on the screen.

  17. Nick-search, are you saying that I should try to get all SEOs hooked on it? πŸ™‚

  18. A bit off topic but just a note on the two photos in the post. The roof thats been removed is actually the roof of the Chateau de Chillon in Montreux Switzerland, a beautiful medieval castle with dungeons to boot, seems a shame to edit it out of the picture… my 2 cents!

  19. Matt,

    “Nick-search, are you saying that I should try to get all SEOs hooked on it?”

    Are you dreaming or something. SEOs have better things to do than playing with graphics πŸ™‚

  20. Matt, SEO have already spend more unproductive time than anyone else in any industry, so being addicted/hooked on something else would only HELP their clients πŸ™‚

  21. I’m clicking on this link at work and…

    First picture (FULL SCREEN) was a lady, shall we say…pleasuring herself.

    I obviously had bad timing (or good depending on your perspective), but a warning to all – NSFW!

  22. There is an interesting project in Microsoft’s labs that might not be completely related with this topic, but I’ll like to mention, it’s name is Photosynth. It takes a collection of pictures of one place and place them in a 3D model that you can flip and see different angles of it.

    It would be great an integration between something like this and Google Earth (with pictures from Picassa web)… hehehe

    Here is a link to the project:

  23. Lots of interesting pics. Good work Blogger!

  24. >Nick-search, are you saying that I should try to get all SEOs hooked on it? πŸ™‚

    Haha – now a cynic might just read something from such a statement

    Surely you meant blackhat spammers right? πŸ˜‰

  25. Firefox/ & work fine for me on XP. I’m also running Window Media Center with only 2GB of RAM. This worked in tandem with multiple SEO toolbars. FYI However, I’m now using Groowe toolbar instead of the Google toolbar for increased functionality.

    And thank you for the non-commercial perspective. Keep providing the great posts, and ignore the cynics!

  26. I’ve been using the slideshow blogger and its fantastic!

  27. First picture (FULL SCREEN) was a lady, shall we say…pleasuring herself

    It needs some warning text at minimum.

  28. Warning: Image is super violent.

    I almost puked when it scrolled to some harsh reality from iraq?


    BUT that is just a part of life, blogger play imitates life, interesting.

  29. Stupid question but how do I get to the sites that are displaying the images to learn more about them?

  30. “Sam I Am, this is my personal blog where I talk about whatever I want. Google pays my salary to fight webspam regardless of whether I blog or not.”

    Ah, sorry. I wasn’t aware that Google’s fight against sponsored blogs was only intended for corporate blogs. That’s really good to know!

    “Also, you might not know this about me, but I studied computer graphics and related fields for about five years in grad school before I joined Google. In fact, I was an author on a SIGGRAPH paper myself.”

    Hmm, I’m not really sure how that’s relevant. That’s like someone saying, yeah, but I used to be overweight and I tried all these diet pills back in the day. It might be true, but I doubt their added paragraph about weight loss pills at the end of their blog post is going to get them any kudos. Anyway, the point I was making was that intent is now harder to recognize (for both humans and Google) because bloggers just won’t say whether a post is sponsored or not for fear of google.

    I guess everyone wins though in the ‘new world’: the advertisers link is more likely to be crawled AND clicked on, the blogger gets paid more for taking that little bit of extra risk and google doesn’t lose face for it appearing as if their system is being gamed.

    “If you don’t enjoy my blog, feel free not to read it.”

    When did I say that? Just because I make a point out of illustrating how hard intent is to judge I don’t like your blog? With the thousands of people working at G I’m sure the scenario I describe was well thought out in advance anyway!

  31. Neat πŸ™‚

    This would make a nice screen saver!

  32. Wow – that new Flikr algo is incredible!

    Thanks for the link!

  33. @Sam I Am – Having a dig at somebody on their blog is going to get you flicked in the nose, it’s just how it goes. Try not to express surprise when it happens. Just sit there, rub your nose, let your eyes water a bit, and move on.

    Mattie, you’ve got one SEO now hooked, but really only because the squirming baby on my lap is now quiet for the first time in her sniffly, snuffly, cold-ridden day. She’s ENTRANCED and it’s awesome! We’re at 14 minutes and counting and I can even use both hands to type.

    You’ve made my morning. Thanks for that.

  34. Judd, be careful as there are NO warning before porn or graphic photos show. It’s not for kids and it SHOULD be marked as such.

  35. This game is crazy, I promise myself that I will spend my time on the internet wisely and then… I find this addictive… thing on which I spend “few” hours before my machine suddenly turn off. πŸ™‚