Red Envelope Madness!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

DVDs dwindling

I know Netflix is trying to force me away from using DVDs and into streaming*, because of money. They make more money with streaming. This is how it begins. More and more of my DVD queue is creeping into the unavailable section. Of the 344 titles in my queue, 77 have a wait status. Those waits consist of 14 short waits and an unbelievable 63 VERY LONG WAITS. That's crazy. I also have 86 movies "saved" which were formerly queued, so that's 38% of my selections I'll probably never see.

77 waits
14 short waits
63 very long waits
344 queued
86 saved

430 Total
163 Wait or unavailable

I remember being so excited about Netflix when I joined in 2004.

*I can't afford faster Internet. I'm using Freedompop.com, and it's "up to 10 Mbps" is less than 1 Mbps in reality, and they throttle streaming users after the first GB. It's better than nothing or dialup, because with dialup, you have a phone bill. At least I don't have a phone bill.

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Wednesday, January 01, 2014

2013 Annual Report

I'm wearing my Netflix sweatshirt, which I got on eBay, while I blog this. Time for my annual report. In 2013, this is how I consumed movies:

 I saw 123 movies in 2013:

Netflix DVD: 70
Theater: 39
Netflix Instant: 6
Other Internet: 5
Redbox: 2



This is the lowest number since before Netflix. I must admit, I'm not including many hours of television I got through Netflix Instant. I don't count those toward my movie totals. My viewing might have increased if I tracked those hours.

I've seen 999 of the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, 2002 edition. The book has been revised many times, so the complete list from all editions now has 1,153 titles on it. The newest edition has 28 titles I haven't seen, so there's a big difference among editions. I'm wondering if I should try to complete all editions, or is that a fool's errand? I'm getting my stats from the new iPhone app for the book, 1001 Movies Before You Die. You can also see them on Icheckmovies.com, which is the only list-tracking site I use now. I still have my stuff on Listology.com, but I'm not updating it.

I'm still keeping the DVD plan and the Instant plan, until I can afford a faster Internet connection. I'm currently using Freedompop.com for my Internet, and even on their best plan, I experience only 1-2 Mbps. I need an external antenna. My house is a Faraday cage, apparently. I've heard they throttle streaming users. Oh well. It's slightly better and cheaper than DSL or cable, except when it rains.

Shout-out to Reed Hastings and the Netflix crew for a job well done. Thank you.

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

IPhone app for the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

I just downloaded and installed the iPhone app for the book, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, which you know, is my favorite movie list. This is a great app. I'm so excited to discover it. It allows you to keep track of all the movies you've seen on the list. It includes a place to rate each movie, make notes, and a link to buy each movie, or share on Facebook and Twitter.

Wish I had this app back in 2004, because it has a place to save the date seen. If I hadn't already seen a great many of them, I'd add the dates, but that's too much work.

The app allows you to choose which list is your default: the newest edition, the essential, or the complete. I've seen 999 of them, so I'll be interested to see how soon I can complete at least the essential list, once I ch.eck them off.

It's only 3.2 Mb, and it takes just a couple seconds to open.

It opens with a splash screen asking you to buy the book, of course. It goes away with a single tap, and as long as the app is open, it doesn't pop up again.

It requires two or three taps to check off each title. First tap to select the movie, then tap to mark it seen, then tap the down arrow to go to the next title or tap to return to the list For someone like me, it would be nice to tap each title once to indicate seen or not, or import seen titles from another list. But it's very smooth and fast, so it's OK.

It shows you which movies are also on the 1001 Books list, which is cool. There's an app for that book, too.

I paid $4.99 for it, which is worth it, for such an excellent app.

Download 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die from the iTunes store
 it

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Binge viewing is a thing

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article about the trend toward binge-viewing on Netflix, which is when you watch a whole TV series in a short amount of time. They say half of Netflix users studied have watched an entire series in one week. I've done that, with series like Band of Brothers, and The Pacific. I watched one or two episodes a day.

Now that I can get through a series so quickly on Netflix, I could never have the patience to watch a series spread out over an entire television season. I like waiting until a series is complete, so I know the story is written, and I won't be left hanging in suspense by a cancellation, or a writers' strike, or other such nonsense. I'm not going to start a series until I know EVERY episode is available on Netflix right away.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Uncritical Netflix

My favorite movie review writer, Leonard Maltin, used to have a page on Netflix.com at http://www.netflix.com/MaltinPicks, like Roger Ebert, TV Guide, etc., but Netflix has done away with critics recommendations, and replaced it with a "taste preference" for "critically-acclaimed" genres. Therefore, I read Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide on my iPhone to get his take on the movies.

I don't rely on Netflix.com for movie recommendations any more. I'm interested in the star ratings they predict I'll give a movie, but it's not the biggest influence on what I watch. I'd say it's about a 30% influence. The biggest influence on me is my friends/family. Next is the the Flixster app on my iPhone, which I use to check out the new releases. I go to the movies almost weekly, so I have to keep up with the buzz.

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Friday, May 31, 2013

Gatsby

I searched Netflix.com for The Great Gatsby, because I just saw the Baz Luhrmann version, and wanted to rate it, and the fifth result was Hemlock Grove, a Netflix Original Series. Coincidence?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Netflix bias

I was going to write a post about how disappointed I am that Netflix recommendations for me always include Netflix Original Series. I used to trust Netflix to recommend to me titles I would like, based on my own taste in movies. Netflix usually predicts pretty closely what I'm going to like, so much that my star rating is almost always identical to the predicted star rating.

 But, now that Arrested Development Season 4 is on Netflix, I can't look at Netflix.com without being reminded to watch it. It is a Netflix Original Series, and they predict I'll love it. This made me suspicious that maybe their recommendations are biased in favor of their own content.

Well, maybe to begin with. I used to be confronted with an ad for Hemlock Grove every time I opened Netflix.com. However, they predicted I would give Hemlock Grove only two stars, even though it's a Netflix Original Series. So is it OK to trust Netflix?