February 11, 2006

I got sick of reading about what a good time Karen has with Netflix so I decided to try it myself. I don’t have cable or satellite or broadcast TV, and I’m the kind of person who regularly forgets to return things I rent, so getting my viewing content delivered in the mail seemed like a good idea. I signed up for the cheap-o plan: $10 a month, one DVD out at a time.

So far I’m very pleased. My first realization: browsing for movies is far more efficient and satisfying when done via computer. Imagine going to the library and having to choose your books by walking through the aisles! That’s what traditional video stores are like, after all. Not only that, but Netflix has a far bigger selection than any brick-and-mortar store. And you get to watch the previews right then and there.

Huge selection. Previews. Professional reviews. Viewer ratings. Computer-generated recommendations. Computer-assisted searching.

These are the kind of things which brick-and-mortar video stores do not offer. And the kind of things which brick-and-mortar music stores do not offer. And the kind of things which brick-and-mortar book stores do not offer.

Some things are just better in the internet age.

Note: there is some controversy right now regarding Netflix’s policy of “throttling” the delivery speed of high volume renters.

Note: Blockbuster now has a similar service with similar pricing.

Note: If you scroll down a bit you’ll see that this page now has links that show you my Netflix queue, my recent rentals and what movie I have at home right now.

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  1. I used to use Netflix constantly in high school, though I cancelled it when I moved up to college so I wouldn’t distract myself too much…But I can say that I loved it when I did use it. I really dig the recommendations and the fact that they have obscure DVD’s like “Randy Newman live” and stuff.

    btw, my new site is almost done and should be back online soon…

  2. Looking forward to that new site, Jay-B!

    And I just realized that my Netflix links are to RSS feeds… links like that are pretty useful in Safari (which I use the majority of the time), but I wonder how useful they are in other browsers? I better figure out something different. How is Karen doing that on her site?

  3. Check out the blurb for the Japanese film Nobody Knows. Seems like something you would like.

  4. I know a bit about that one. It seems like it would be very good – but very heavy and depressing. That’s why I’ve shied away from it so far.

  5. Okay, the links are better now. Through the use of RSS Fetch and some experimentation of my own, my netflix links are auto-updating and link directly to the movies on netflix.

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