Quickstart: Search for videos using the Bing Video Search REST API and Java

Use this quickstart to make your first call to the Bing Video Search API and view a search result from the JSON response. This simple Java application sends an HTTP video search query to the API, and displays the response. While this application is written in Java, the API is a RESTful Web service compatible with most programming languages. The source code for this sample is available on GitHub with additional error handling, features, and code annotations.


You must have a Cognitive Services API account with access to the Bing Search APIs. If you don't have an Azure subscription, you can create an account for free. Before continuing, You will need the access key provided after activating your free trial, or a paid subscription key from your Azure dashboard.

Create and initialize a project

  1. Create a new Java project in your favorite IDE or editor, and import the following libraries.

    import java.net.*;
    import java.util.*;
    import java.io.*;
    import javax.net.ssl.HttpsURLConnection;
    import com.google.gson.Gson;
    import com.google.gson.GsonBuilder;
    import com.google.gson.JsonObject;
    import com.google.gson.JsonParser;
  2. Create a new class named SearchResults to store the headers and JSON response from the API.

    // Container class for search results encapsulates relevant headers and JSON data
    class SearchResults{
        HashMap<String, String> relevantHeaders;
        String jsonResponse;
        SearchResults(HashMap<String, String> headers, String json) {
            relevantHeaders = headers;
            jsonResponse = json;
  3. Create a new method named SearchVideos() with variables for your API endpoint host and path, your subscription key, and a search term. It will return a SearchResults object.

    public static SearchResults SearchVideos (String searchQuery) throws Exception {
        static String subscriptionKey = "enter your key here";
        static String host = "https://api.cognitive.microsoft.com";
        static String path = "/bing/v7.0/videos/search";
        static String searchTerm = "kittens";

Construct and send the search request

  1. In SearchVideos(), perform the following steps:

    1. construct the URL for your request by combining your API host, path, and encoding your search query. Then use openConnection() to create a connection, and add your subscription key to the Ocp-Apim-Subscription-Key header.

      URL url = new URL(host + path + "?q=" +  URLEncoder.encode(searchQuery, "UTF-8"));
      HttpsURLConnection connection = (HttpsURLConnection)url.openConnection();
      connection.setRequestProperty("Ocp-Apim-Subscription-Key", subscriptionKey);
    2. Get the response from the API and store the JSON string.

      InputStream stream = connection.getInputStream();
      String response = new Scanner(stream).useDelimiter("\\A").next();
    3. Use getHeaderFields(); to extract the HTTP headers from the response, and store the Bing-related ones in the results object. Then close the stream and return the result.

      // extract Bing-related HTTP headers
      Map<String, List<String>> headers = connection.getHeaderFields();
      for (String header : headers.keySet()) {
          if (header == null) continue;      // may have null key
          if (header.startsWith("BingAPIs-") || header.startsWith("X-MSEdge-")) {
              results.relevantHeaders.put(header, headers.get(header).get(0));
      return results;

Format the response

  1. Create a method named prettify() to format the response returned from the Bing Video API. Use the Gson library's JsonParser to take in a JSON string and convert it into an object. Then use GsonBuilder() and toJson() to create the formatted string.

    // pretty-printer for JSON; uses GSON parser to parse and re-serialize
    public static String prettify(String json_text) {
        JsonParser parser = new JsonParser();
        JsonObject json = parser.parse(json_text).getAsJsonObject();
        Gson gson = new GsonBuilder().setPrettyPrinting().create();
        return gson.toJson(json);

Send the request and print the response

  1. In the main method of your application, call SearchVideos with your search term. you can then print the HTTP headers stored in the response, as well as the JSON string returned by the API.

    public static void main (String[] args) {
        SearchResults result = SearchVideos(searchTerm);
        //print the Relevant HTTP Headers
        for (String header : result.relevantHeaders.keySet())
            System.out.println(header + ": " + result.relevantHeaders.get(header));

JSON response

A successful response is returned in JSON, as shown in the following example:

    "_type": "Videos",
    "instrumentation": {},
    "readLink": "https://api.cognitive.microsoft.com/api/v7/videos/search?q=kittens",
    "webSearchUrl": "https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=kittens",
    "totalEstimatedMatches": 1000,
    "value": [
            "webSearchUrl": "https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=kittens&view=...",
            "name": "Top 10 cute kitten videos compilation",
            "description": "HELP HOMELESS ANIMALS AND WIN A PRIZE BY CHOOSING...",
            "thumbnailUrl": "https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OVP.n1aE_Oikl4MtzBb...",
            "datePublished": "2014-11-12T22:47:36.0000000",
            "publisher": [
                    "name": "Fabrikam"
            "creator": {
                "name": "Marcus Appel"
            "isAccessibleForFree": true,
            "contentUrl": "https://www.fabrikam.com/watch?v=8HVWitAW-Qg",
            "hostPageUrl": "https://www.fabrikam.com/watch?v=8HVWitAW-Qg",
            "encodingFormat": "h264",
            "hostPageDisplayUrl": "https://www.fabrikam.com/watch?v=8HVWitAW-Qg",
            "width": 480,
            "height": 360,
            "duration": "PT3M52S",
            "motionThumbnailUrl": "https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OM.j4QyJAENJphdZQ_1501386166&pid=Api",
            "embedHtml": "<iframe width=\"1280\" height=\"720\" src=\"https://www.fabrikam.com/embed/8HVWitAW-Qg?autoplay=1\" frameborder=\"0\" allowfullscreen></iframe>",
            "allowHttpsEmbed": true,
            "viewCount": 7513633,
            "thumbnail": {
                "width": 300,
                "height": 168
            "videoId": "655D98260D012432848F6558260D012432848F",
            "allowMobileEmbed": true,
            "isSuperfresh": false
        . . .
    "nextOffset": 36,
    "queryExpansions": [
            "text": "Kittens Meowing",
            "displayText": "Meowing",
            "webSearchUrl": "https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Kittens+Meowing...",
            "searchLink": "https://api.cognitive.microsoft.com/api/v7/videos/search...",
            "thumbnail": {
                "thumbnailUrl": "https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?q=Kittens+Meowing&pid..."
            "text": "Funny Kittens",
            "displayText": "Funny",
            "webSearchUrl": "https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Funny+Kittens...",
            "searchLink": "https://api.cognitive.microsoft.com/api/v7/videos/search...",
            "thumbnail": {
                "thumbnailUrl": "https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?q=Funny+Kittens&..."
        . . .
    "pivotSuggestions": [
            "pivot": "kittens",
            "suggestions": [
                    "text": "Cat",
                    "displayText": "Cat",
                    "webSearchUrl": "https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Cat...",
                    "searchLink": "https://api.cognitive.microsoft.com/api/v7/videos/search?...",
                    "thumbnail": {
                        "thumbnailUrl": "https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?q=Cat&pid=Api..."
                    "text": "Feral Cat",
                    "displayText": "Feral Cat",
                    "webSearchUrl": "https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Feral+Cat...",
                    "searchLink": "https://api.cognitive.microsoft.com/api/v7/videos/search...",
                    "thumbnail": {
                        "thumbnailUrl": "https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?q=Feral+Cat&pid=Api&..."
    "relatedSearches": [
            "text": "Kittens Being Born",
            "displayText": "Kittens Being Born",
            "webSearchUrl": "https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Kittens+Being+Born...",
            "searchLink": "https://api.cognitive.microsoft.com/api/v7/videos/search?...",
            "thumbnail": {
                "thumbnailUrl": "https://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?q=Kittens+Being+Born&pid=..."
        . . .

Next steps

See also

What is the Bing Video Search API?