2007.01.29

Please Stop Streaming My Video

15.40.52 - Mark

While I'm tolerating YouTube and the like more than I was a few months ago, my lingering hatred of streaming video has reemerged in the last week or so.

What's prompted it has been NetFlix's announcement that they're starting to phase in streaming video to it's customers. A couple months ago after realizing that I've been blowing some serious cash on DVDs at the same time I was getting a serious craving for some older slightly obscure movies I signed up for Netflix.

I haven't really blogged about it since I've got mixed feelings about the service. The selection has been good (certainly satisfying my cravings) and after putting in about 120 ratings I've been getting some truly great results from their recommendation engine, but at the same time the turn around isn't always great (I'm starting to run into throttling issues) and I've been seriously annoyed by skips and freezes caused by scratched disks. However the service has allowed me to rent more and varied films without regrets. I've gone from foreign films to documentaries to cheesy blockbuster comedies, and at $2 a film I can even afford to rent a few stinkers.

So when Netflix announced it was starting to add online video I was a bit excited. Among other things more movies. However I'm not using it. Aside from the fact that they don't support Macs or Linux (I don't have a windows box) its streaming video, and my "broadband" internet is far from high speed. One a very good day pages load quickly and without fuss. One normal days I'm painfully reminded of dialup. On a bad day I feel like I would get a faster connection by using an acoustic coupler with my cell phone to dial up an AOL access point in the middle of Alaska.

While my current state of bandwidth maybe a little off the norm (and maybe a bit exaggerated), I have absolutely no problem letting a download sit in the background until it's finished. I'd rather wait a while and watch a video in one go than have it spontaneously freeze of stutter in the middle of a scene. Furthermore, I'd rather be able to move the video around, from a server, to a laptop, to a DVD, or to my iPod

So please, stop streaming my videos, or at least give me an OS independent download option.

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