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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2006.01.30

Get a Real Server.

15.33.20 - Mark

Am I the only person who gets annoyed when I'm directed to YouTube.com and Google Video? Its not that they're well poorly constructed services, they've useable, but I have a strong dislike of streaming of all varieties. While it doesn't help I'm on the lowend of what the FCC allows ISPs to hoc as broadband, I like to flip between half a dozen tabs and a couple applications. When I'm ready to sit down and watch video, that's all I want to do so I usually watch in full screen mode. I want it to be there on my hard drive for local access when I have complete and total control over the video playback. No lag, no dropped frames, no weird browser quirks that crash my system or worse - "forbid" me from watching a video with my browser/OS combination in the first place. Hell I want to be able to watch it without needing to hook up to the interwebs (face it, Wifi might be popular but it still doesn't exactly have the strongest showing in NWNC).

Sure I could screen cap it a couple times and edit over the dropped parts, but that takes time I shouldn't have to waste.

Of course there's also Google's New video store deal, which looks like one huge rip off. 1 Day, windows only streaming video that. While I might (emphasis on might) be convinced to pay a couple dollars for a favorite star trek episode for that $2 I want to download it and play it offline when ever I want. Demanding that I pay $2 for a 24 hour viewing window for a single TV show is proof enough for me that someone at Google/CBS is drinking the Kool-aid.

Anyways, if you're doing video online, get a real server and let me download the stuff.

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