Discussions & Ideas: October/November (2015) Archive

This is now the archive for October and November Discussions and Ideas.  The new, December Discussions & Ideas page is at:
Current Discussions & Ideas Page

There is also a dedicated page for the ongoing discussion about the new My List format on Netflix. That page is at:
Discussion: New My List Format

November 19:  Only the names have been changed
A new post went up today, and with it, a new plan to make the main page more flexible. Instead of the one-page-for-each-month titling scheme (which created a problem as soon as we started getting titles for the following month - detailed in various comments, below), the most current post on the Home page will always be titled "Current Expiring Titles." A subtitle will specify the month or months covered. Sometime in the middle of each month, depending on when and how many comments come in for the upcoming month, a new post will be started. The previous post will then become the archive for the expired titles for that month, and its name will be changed from "Current Expiring Titles" to "Expired Titles - [Month]." This might cause some confusion at first, but once we get used to that pattern, I think it will all seem perfectly normal. I have high hopes for this plan, but if you find it isn't working for you, please let me know.

Other News:
One of our trusty followers pointed out - rightly so - that the Discussions page is becoming a bit unwieldy, comment-wise. Just for the rest of November, I'm going to ask for your indulgence, so I can archive at the end of the month. From then on, I'll archive at the end of each month, so we shouldn't get too buried in comments. If there are open discussions at the end of a month, I'll copy-paste the relevant comments to the new Discussions page.

What I'm working on around the blog:
There is still quite a bit to tend to from the change in template/design. Still working on getting rid of the white space behind text, the tiny size of comments, and font concerns, among other details. Also, I have started to add content to the FAQ/Resource page. It will take a while before it's anywhere close to complete, but I'll chip away at it. If anyone is so inclined, I would appreciate having the info on that page double-checked to make sure I got it right. Additions and/or corrections most welcome.

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107 comments:

  1. Carol, I hope you'll get a recommendations page going. In the meantime, here's one from me:
    "As It Is in Heaven" (last day 10/14) is one of the most transcendent movies I have ever seen. It vividly brings to life the power of music to touch lives, and calls into question any division of sacred and profane. 7 stars for me, when 5 is usually enough. If you love music, or want to understand why anyone else does, I hope you can find time to watch it.

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    1. Linklisa, I'm sure you've noticed, but just want to make sure you know I've put your review on the new We Recommend ;page.

      Also, please let me know if the adapted version of your Guidelines meets with your approval. Thanks.

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  2. Carol, for your Resource page, I recommend http://exstreamist.com/service/netflix/, which collects blogs and comments about Netflix streaming.

    I've seen a different group of people over there. While we're complaining about Netflix making it difficult for us to sort our lists, search for films or find expiration dates, reviews, ratings and other information, there are people on that site complaining that they're spending to much time finding something to watch because Netflix gives too much choice, and they want Netflix to pick a film for them. The Netflix programmers seem to be aiming to satisfy that market niche, rather than its longtime users, like us.

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    1. Exstreamist is definitely worth reading, but I wouldn't characterize it as a place that "collects blogs" or puts a special emphasis on the ability to choose movies. It's mainly a straight news source whose focus is the various streaming services, with all original material (as far as I've seen). And while it seems to receive very few comments, it's a great place to check out on a regular basis.

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    2. Thanks for the info, CanandaiguaNY, I will definitely take a gander over there.

      Netflix has no idea what I will like. They focus too much on genre, or some other aspect, e.g., country of origin or actor, rather than overall quality of the filmmaking. Choosing the right movie for somebody else is like matchmaking. I wonder how many frogs those people will have to kiss before they get a prince/ss. Good luck to them. Maybe they're not that picky. If I were choosing a matchmaker, I'd want one that really gave a darn about me. I don't think NF does.

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    3. I agree with David on Exstreamist. I originally wrote that it "collects news articles" but, on checking, I saw that it was not collecting articles from news sources. It's all or mostly "original material" which I, inartfully, phrased as "blogs and comments."

      In my second paragraph I did not mean to suggest that the site puts a special emphasis on Netflix choosing movies. There is a lot there Netflix's business, new projects, etc. but I did see some persons there making the complaint that they have to spend too much time finding something to watch, and they wanted Netflix to make this easier for them. I thought this worthy of note because it seems to me that this is the interest that Netflix is aiming to satisfy with their recent changes to streaming.

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  3. Netflix has raised its price for two viewers at a time/HD from $8.99 to $9.99 per their site and various news accounts. No changes to the $7.99 and $11.99 plans. Existing subscribers kept at $8.99 for either 6 or 12 months. I have a "legacy" $7.99 plan which is the two viewer/HD plan. My account says my rate is guaranteed until May, 2016. Don't know if it goes to $8.99 or $9.99 then. Nice of them to drop 1500 titles and then raise rates.

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  4. You're doing a fantastic job Carol.

    I don't know anything about SEO but this blog isn't showing up yet when I Google "what's expiring on Netflix." That's how I found David's blog, as I'm sure is true for many of us.. I only checked the first 5 pages of results, maybe it's somewhere after that but that's pretty useless even if it is. Maybe I'm being too impatient.

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    1. Yeah, it's definitely too soon. It does take a while for search engines to lock in on a site. It took at least a couple of months for either of mine to start getting any substantial Google hits, while the Prime blog--which I started in April--only recently began to get more hits from Google than it does from WoNN.

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    2. I guess Google doesn't show any favoritism to its own blogging platform.

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  5. This blog should show up for more web crawlers if it's linked to other blogs. That could happen both by having Carol set up a blog roll on the side linking to related blogs, and by more blogs than David's linking to this one. And it wouldn't hurt to have more of us mention it on social media, to help drive some traffic here.

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  6. Thanks, will g. I find myself dancing as fast as I can - AND l-o-v-v-i-n-g it ;-)

    We're getting about 200 pageviews a day, yesterday 400. Most (by far) are coming from David's site.

    Linklisa, you're right, right, right. I do intend to work on getting more connections out there. I like your social media idea.

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    1. Carol, another thing I recommend is getting someone to notice you on the Netflix SubReddit. My first big jump in page views came when someone I don't know posted about WoNN. I then periodically made announcements there to drum up interest--but since then people there have gotten much pickier about such self-promotion (I got seriously flamed the last time I tried it). So maybe someone else here can post a shout-out--someone with decent Reddit cred?

      One other thing you can do: leave comments on some of the big Netflix articles that show up on sites like Mashable, CNN, and others, especially articles about the month's expiring titles. I've done that on a number of occasions, usually clarifying or correcting some info there and then leaving my link as a resource. Journalists are notoriously shoddy about this type of stuff, so there's almost always something you can note. It can bring a lot of new readers, while also drawing the attention of the site itself, which may cite you in the future. And then your page views will explode, of course.

      And then there's Twitter. I only have 300+ followers, but I'd be happy to post something now that things here are up and running. ;-)

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    2. Thanks David. I have copy-pasted this into a document where I'm keeping all of these kinds of resources. I will definitely take your advice, as soon as I work up a little courage.

      Twitter would be great.

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    3. Tweeted something earlier today. You should see some Twitter referrals in your Blogger stats (I've counted 10 clicks on my end).

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    4. Thanks David, I'll be looking for them.

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  7. Has anyone noticed problems with the NetFlix app on their devices lately. Starting about last weekend, on my Sony TV when I try to play something, more often than not Netflix tries to start the movie and then exits. I don't seem to be having this problem with my sony Blu-ray player. There have been no firmware updates to the TV for over a month and I don't have this issue with any other services.

    Is Netflix trying to get my to drop my subscription? :)

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  8. Hi Achernar - happy to see you here. Not happy you're having troubles with the NetFlix app. I'm afraid I don't have either a Netflix app or any devices, so sympathy is all I have to offer you. Hopefully, someone will be able to shed some light on what's happening, or at least let you know what their experience with it is.

    Is Netflix trying to get you to drop them? Well, as pointed out above by Wellesley72, they're cleaning out titles, and planning to raise rates, so it kinda makes you wonder just exactly what they are thinking. I still haven't warmed up to the new design. It seems to bounce around at will, regardless of where I want to go. Could that have anything to do with what you're experiencing?

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  9. I just had an issue today where I was watching a film, got to the end of it, and even with my FlixPlus add-on going, the credits disappeared and were replaced by an ad for Beasts of No Nation. I had to go back to My List, hit the play button again, and manually forward to the end of the movie in order to see the credits! I'm still hoping that it was just a one-off fluke.

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    1. This was on my laptop, with the Chrome browser, btw.

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    2. Nope. Definitely not a fluke. And extremely disrespectful to the people who made the film, especially the below-the-line crew & cast whose names only appear in the end credits.

      I gave NF a piece of my mind through their customer service chat. Likely it will fall on deaf ears. At this point, I wouldn't put it past them to start putting ads for NF originals in the middle of other films, or even forcibly re-direct us from something we're in the middle of watching.

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    3. I was watching Gotham on Fox last night, and there were pop-ups advertising another Fox show, Empire, appearing over the show, in the lower corner. This is not uncommon on the networks. So, PV, you're right; we should not be surprised to see Netflix copy the networks and put pop-up ads into their stream.

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  10. I've experienced no problems streaming with the apps on my Vizio TV and on my iPad. Both stream through to the end of the credits. On the iPad, when the credits begin, the stream scrunched up and an ad for other films to watch appears on the bottom. With one swipe I can restore the full screen.

    As I understand these things, the device manufacturers control their apps. Apple, for example, will not allow any apps on its iPads which do not meet its standards. Netflix wants to push ads for the next film to watch. Some manufactures are not allowing this on their apps, others are limiting Netflix, and some are letting Netflix do as it wants.

    Another issue is that the app has to be compatible with the stream. When the streaming changes format, the app may have to be changed to adapt to the change. Achenar reports that "There have been no firmware updates to the [Sony] TV." That may be the problem. Sony may need to adjust its app to the new format of Netflix streaming.

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    1. Achernar, sorry for the misspelling.

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    2. No iPad, TV, devices or apps at my place, just the laptop computer running Windows 7 & Google Chrome with the Flix Plus add-on.

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    3. Hi Pox Voldius: It is clear that Netflix is trying to push its viewers into watching what it wants us to watch. It is Netflix which is putting in the ads over the credits, although some device manufacturers are limiting Netflix's ability to do so.

      To clarify: what I said about apps is also true of operating systems, browsers, add-ons, ISPs, wi-fi networks, etc. The stream, starting at Netflix and going to our eyeballs, passes through a variety of apps, programs, providers and so on. Since the intermediaries the stream goes through differs for all of us, the set of problems that can arise will differ for each user. An incompatibility can be introduced at any point and, until corrected, will disrupt the stream in some way.

      But the problem you had seems to be at the Netflix end. You see the same thing on broadcast TV; at least it used to be fashionable to schrunch up the credits at the end of a show into a side box and run at ad for the next show.

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  11. New on Netflix today is the Italian thriller, Suburra, on which the forthcoming series from Netflix is based. There is a "teaser trailer" at allflicks.net that shows violence, nudity...and a priest (who is neither nude nor violent). No talking in the trailer and whatever wording there is in the trailer is not subtitled, but I guess the violence and nudity speak for themselves. Have no idea why the priest is in the trailer other than the fact that the film is Italian.

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  12. Rant of the day--I find it amusing that Reed Hastings attributes the reduced increase of US viewers in Netflix's third quarter to what was estimated to the switch to embedded chips by credit card issuers. One of the more inventive excuses that he has come up with. The last time Netflix didn't hit their target for new viewers, he blamed it on Netflix's last price increase, then had to walk the comment back a few weeks later. Will be interesting to see how the numbers for Q4 subscribers shake out since Netflix didn't drop Epix until the beginning of Q4.

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    1. Agreed. I thought his reasoning sounded extremely lame and couldn't help thinking, "Hm, see what happens when you mess with your long-time customers?" But I also know it's just one quarter and, like you, will be curious to see if the trend continues. Of course, by then I'll already be long gone. :-(

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  13. Carol, it's great to see different pages rolling out to give the blog more content. I did notice one thing that's a little bit awkward, and I don't know how much time you want to put into it... The first recommendations page is for "Titles Scheduled to Expire". By now, about half of the titles there have already expired.

    Some ideas for making that page easier to navigate--only to be taken up if you care to maintain them:
    - If the list were arranged by expiration date, it would be easier to see which ones to skip over. [Of course, that could be a lot more work for you.]
    - The list could be mainly alphabetical, but split into half months (through the 15th, and then the rest). [I don't know if that would be less work for you, unless pages were set up for entries, and we all commented accordingly. Maybe that's wishful thinking.]
    - You could go through once a week (or however often seems reasonable to keep up with) to delete reviews of movies that have already expired, or archive them to an additional review page.

    I don't know how much difference this would make to anyone, or if others have ideas of how or whether to do anything about it. Maybe a month or so of reviews at a time isn't too much to scroll through, if the number of titles is relatively small. But it might be nice to have a system in place if and when the lists of expirations and/or reviews get longer.

    Much gratitude for all your work, Carol! I'm delighted that so many of us have hopped over from David's blog and carried on with our contributions. And your own personal touch, attention, good ideas, and invitations to participate are definitely keeping this community welcoming and useful. Please let us know if you need any support with keeping it going.

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    1. Hi Linklisa, thanks so much for taking the time to talk about this issue, and offer solutions, even! I thought about it the other day, couldn't come up with a best solution in the moment, and decided to mull a bit. Then I got busy with other stuff. So, I'm grateful for the tickler.

      I think I like the "archive" solution best. If people go to the trouble of a review, even a short one, I'm not going to feel okay about just deleting it once the movie expires. Heck, it might come back, then I could put it on the "New and Existing" review page.

      I go back and forth about alpha or date order. I guess it depends on how the reader uses the page. My preference is for alpha, but maybe I could put something at the top of the page that would help those looking specifically for the earliest expiration dates.

      I'm going to work on this today,and hopefully have it looking better, more logical, and more functional for users by tomorrow - because you are absolutely right: the way it is currently isn't something we want to continue.

      Thanks again. For you and everybody - Keep those suggestions coming!

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  14. Carol, you are doing a fabulous job with all of this. I like seeing you think out loud, you're coming up with great solutions, and it sounds like you're having fun with it. Thanks for everything.

    Perhaps it's time to start a November page? Most of the new dates being posted now are for November, and in a couple of days November will start showing up in everybody's "My List".

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    1. You mean we're going to do this for November, too??? Ha Ha, just jokin'.

      I love it that you're on top of this stuff - thank you so much! There are more balls to keep in the air than I anticipated, so I really appreciate when anyone reminds me of something that needs tending.

      I had asked David about some of the "housekeeping" issues, and his advice on this one was to start the new month the last week of the old one. So my plan is to put up the Nov post the morning of Oct. 25. I'm going to put 10-25 thru 10-31 on the Nov page, but also keep the Oct page complete (this will just require some copy-paste, so no big deal). That way people won't have to look at 2 pages. Comments can go on either page, whatever is easiest for the user, although I guess I would prefer people use the Nov. page.

      Since the Oct page will have all Oct. expired titles, I will simply delete them from the Nov. page as they expire, and then we'll have a "clean" November to work on. Sound okay?

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    2. I like your idea of carrying over, and later deleting, the remaining October titles.

      The main thing would be to set up the November page before most of us start seeing November expiration dates (would that start at midnight East coast time on 10/24?). But some people in the group have access to more (non-TV show) November dates already.

      To my mind, the most convenient thing would be for November expiring titles to go in the comments on the November page. We're already seeing a lot of November-only posts on the October page, perhaps because there's nowhere else for them to go.

      Whenever you do choose to set up the November page, perhaps you can put a request in the comments for the October page, to ask people to start posting expiration dates there.

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    3. I believe the titles "available until" Nov. 1 (last day to watch: Oct. 31) will show up in people's My List beginning on Oct. 25. What time exactly? My best guess is 12:01 a.m. Pacific time on that date (3:01 a.m. on the East Coast). This is based on a post I read on Reddit about what time new titles are added to Netflix. I'm almost always up at midnight, so tests will be run.

      The whole when-should-we-switch-to-November question is another one of those sticky wickets that doesn't have a perfect answer that works best for everyone. We started getting Nov titles on Oct. 15, but that seems too early. Waiting until Nov 1 makes sense logically, but doesn't seem optimally practical. I think using the day most people will see November expiration dates popping up on their My List page makes as much sense as anything.

      I will take your suggestion about putting something on the October page to steer comments to the November page. Thank you for taking the time to think about all of this. I value having your excellent brain working for the best interest of everyone who uses this site.

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    4. Carol I also thought the 7-day notifications were posted by Netflix at midnight, but have since discovered that they're posted at 10:00 AM, for some unknown reason.

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    5. Hi will g, I'm assuming you are in the EDT zone. That would jibe with the 7:00 a.m.PDT that I experienced. But that time only applies to the My LIst (text version) notices. The notices on the actual movie pages apparently do go on at midnight PDT. Except when they don't, e.g., Meet the Browns.

      Thanks for confirming my test results. At least there's some consistency. BTW, did you discover the 10:00 a.m. update before or after the Netflix site re-design? I'm wondering if the delayed notice is because the text My List is a remnant of the old (way better) design, or if notice was always delayed on the text My List?

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    6. You're right Carol, I'm in NYC. I was first informed about the 10 AM time by someone on David's blog, so I monitored it one day and confirmed that it was true. I can't remember if it was before or after the redesign. And I am referring to the dates posted under "Notes" in list, or as you call it text, format of My List. You may very well be right that they appear at midnight on the individual titles' pages, though why there should be a difference is beyond me.

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    7. Thanks, will g. Yeah, it's beyond me, too. It might just come under the general heading, "We like to mess with our customers." ("Mess" isn't really the word I'm thinking of.) ; -)

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    8. I notice the changes are at 8:00am Pacific time now.

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  15. There's been a slight improvement in Netflix's operating system. Recently, when searching for a title on my streaming MyList page on the Netflix site, and I found and clicked on the title, I would be directed to the iPad Netflix app, and the film would then immediately start to stream. I had to stop play, go back, and then there was a button to add the title to MyList. Or I could go and search for the title on the MyList DVD page where, after moving through several pages, I would get the option of adding the title to either the DVD or the streaming MyList.

    Now, when I click on the title when searching on the streaming MyList page, I still get sent to the Netflix app, but to the page where I have the choice to play or add the title. As I said, a slight improvement.

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    1. I like your look-for-the-rainbow perspective, CanandaiguaNY. Thanks for letting us know about this. Hopefully, Netflix will be making more actual improvements like this one, and less of that other stuff they've been doing so much of lately.

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  16. Since we are now getting December expiration dates for programming, would it be appropriate to start an "Expiring in December" list?

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    1. This is one of those issues I struggle with. It seems we start getting expiring titles for the following month around the middle of the current month. I really want to avoid having two separate posts (months) to keep current any longer than necessary. Frankly, it's more work for me, but more than that, it means followers will have to check both current and previous posts every day (or as often as they visit).

      In order to have only one post where readers can find ALL expiring titles, we can either have the current month with next month's titles at the bottom, or start a new month with the current month's titles at the top. What I did for October-November was a combination of all three solutions:

      1) I added titles expiring in November to the bottom of the October page up until the final week of October.
      2) On the first day of the last week of Oct., I began the November Expirations post, which included the last week of October. I removed all November titles from the Oct. post, so it would be strictly October for the archive.
      3) During that last week, I updated both posts, so Oct. would continue to be current, but because it was duplicated on the November post, followers only had to look at Nov.
      4) Finally, as October titles expired, I deleted them from the November post, so it would reflect only November titles.

      I thought that worked fairly well, but I wouldn't be willing to do it for more than a week.

      How does everyone feel about having to check two posts for expiring titles - everything for December on a new post, and all of November on what would become the previous post? If there's a majority who would prefer this method, I'd be willing to try it for a month or two to see how it goes. I still think it seems a lot easier to have only one place to look, but perhaps I'm in the minority. It's important to me that the site works optimally for the most people. Please weigh in if you have an opinion about this.

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    2. One more thing - having 2 posts to work off of would also mean that people would need to remember to leave comments with additional expiring titles on the matching month's post. If one person had titles for both months, they would need to leave a comment on each post, instead of just one comment for all. I don't know guys - I like the orderliness of one post for each month, too, but I'm concerned that it's not in the best interest of practicality.

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    3. In general, I don't mind seeing a few of next month's titles in this month's list. I think it makes sense to have the next month's post in place when the majority of contributors would be seeing a lot of expiration dates in our queues.

      I don't know how many of us have sources beyond our own "My List". For a non-DVD subscriber, Netflix gives one week advance notice in "My List" for films, and one month for multi-episode TV shows.

      There are longer lead times on advance notice for DVD subscribers and Roku users. I'm not aware at this point of other sources beyond http://unogs.com/ (mirrored on New on Netflix), end-of-month press releases that show up in many TV/movie blogs, and sometimes a few titles from other blogs that track expirations. (If you know of any other sources, please comment on the FAQ/Resources pages.)

      If most of the contributors are non-DVD subscribers, I think what Carol did last month with a one-week lead time is a good solution--at least steps 1, 2, and 4, though perhaps 3 isn't necessary for more than archival purposes. If most contributors have longer advance notice (and perhaps you could speak up if you do), it might make sense to have a two-week lead time, but I can see lots of reasons that could get confusing.

      Another option would be to have overlapping pages (all of one month, mid-month through mid-next month, next month, and so on) and not to worry much about cleaning them up after the fact. That's certainly less orderly, I don't know if it's more or less practical, but it might be more usable in terms of not scrolling through so many past dates. I figure it makes sense to mention, since it may spark more thinking about what makes sense. I'd love to hear what others think, and trust Carol's judgment about what's manageable.

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    4. I think one post is fine, although I agree with Lisa that step 3 is probably not necessary unless you are a real glutton for punishment. I was looking at Brian Clarkson's blog, which has separate pages for titles expiring in November and December, although I didn't see any comments by anyone else on either of his pages so the problem of leaving separate comments on differen't pages hasn't arisen.

      I have to confess that since you do a great job of updating the list of expiring titles daily, I have mostly stopped looking at the comments.

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  17. And why can't I get the "notify me" button to work when I post a comment? I recall getting notice of any posts on David's blog. Is there a way to do that here?

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    1. This is an area where my knowledge is extremely limited. I was thinking about including a "Subscribe" option, but when I asked David about it, he explained that subscribers would only get notified when there was a new post (each month's Expirations post), but not for all the comments, so it doesn't make a lot of sense. There's also a "Feed," which I really don't understand at all (sorry!). I do want to add an RSS feed link, but was waiting until I had a chance to read up on it, so I would know what I was doing, and could respond to anyone who asked about it. Give me a day or two, and I'll get back to you about this. In the meantime, if anyone understands all of this, and would care to respond to Wellesley72 and/or me, please, by all means, do!

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    2. Hi Wellesley72 - I couldn't get the Notify me option to work either. I tried with several different sign-ons, but always got the message, "An error occured while contacting the server." Is that what is happening for you, as well? I've never used the Notify me option, so I don't know how it is supposed to work. Still researching this. Stay tuned.

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    3. Carol, that had not been my problem, although I am now getting the error message that you received when I try to click on the button.Oh, well, just another technological challenge.

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  18. Carol: Love what you have done, it is all very clear and easy to find the latest titles that are expiring, very grateful to all the work you have done here!

    One suggestion: A "Coming to Netflix" page, about titles that will be streaming soon.

    Thanks again,

    - Kirby

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Kirby. Right now, I don't feel like I can take on listing new titles, but what I plan to do is include resources to find upcoming titles for those, like you, who want to track what's coming as well as what's going. Resources will be on the FAQ / Resources page (as soon as I get it going). I'll make your suggestion one of the first items I put on the page.

      If you haven't already, you might want to take a look at Brian Clarkson's site, Netflix Queue Busters. The url for titles coming in December is:
      http://netflixqueuebusters.blogspot.com/2015/11/coming-to-netflix-december-2015.html

      There's also a post for November, which includes titles coming in the second half of the month.

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  19. Somewhere along the way, you asked for feedback on the new look of the blog. So here goes:

    * The overall look is great.
    * The title at the top has a bit of a movie marquee flavor, which is a good fit for the content.
    * I get a bit distracted by the number of different fonts along the top and right sidebar, which I think encourages me to follow the comments more than the posts. (If you have any desire to delve further into fonts and layout, I recommend the short and delightful Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams--not the actor.)
    * The template has good contrast (black on pale yellow), and I like its built-in font, though the font size in the comments is a bit small.
    * As for the white background on some of the text, I'm guessing it comes from composing and pasting from a word processor. This blog post has good suggestions for how to fix that: http://www.stramaxon.com/2012/06/text-background-appearing-white-when.html
    * Your division of content into separate pages is very logical and clear.

    As always, I value your attention to continuous improvement, and your welcoming invitations for input from contributors. Keep up the good work, and THANK YOU!!

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  20. Thank you for this excellent feedback, Linklisa. This is exactly the kind of info I'm looking for. I like knowing what works for you - so I'll know not to monkey around with that, and also what doesn't work so well, so I can focus on trying to make that better. I've requested the book you suggested from my local library - all the copies are at other branches, but I should have my hands on it some time this coming week. I'm sure I'll wish I had read it BEFORE I started down the re-design road, but better late than never.

    I'm perplexed by the tiny size of the comments font. I'll figure out how to get it back to something more easily readable. And thanks for the website info. The white background problem will definitely get fixed, although it is taking longer to get to all of these things than I anticipated.

    Thanks again for your input, which is always helpful. I appreciate you taking the time to think about these things, and express your thoughts so coherently and considerately.

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  21. Copied from Comments on the Home page:
    seth mishne November 16, 2015 at 3:56 AM
    Netflix got crappy movies in November. I have never seen a month where Netflix got bad movies.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Seth, I just went through the November additions on instantwatcher, and I have to agree with you - there's quite a bit of 2nd and 3rd string stuff there. Most of what IS good, is older fare that movie-lovers have likely seen, for example, Rain Man. Looks like Netflix blew all their money on the October additions, many of which were awesome. Hopefully, there will be more good movies/series coming soon.

    In the meantime, check out our We Recommend pages, which you can access from the Pages Bar. From page 1, you can also click on pages 2 and 3. There has to be something good to watch that you haven't seen yet. Good luck!

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    Replies
    1. the good thing that was not added back to Netflix again was the spongebob movie. I am struggleing to find anything good to watch this month. does this happen a lot.

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    2. do you think their movie selection is not as good this month because of the epix deal expiring.

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    3. I'm afraid I don't have an answer to either of your questions. As far as the Epix deal, there is certainly some logic to what you suggest, but, not being an insider, I have no idea to what extent, if any, the Epix loss is responsible for the dearth of good titles this month.

      I don't keep track of what comes in during which month, so can't speak to your question regarding how often this happens. Also, everybody has their own ideas about what is good.

      I'm sorry you're having a tough time finding a movie you want to watch. There are 18 movies on the expiring list that got high ratings on Rotten Tomatoes - these movies are the ones with bold titles. And there are more than 50 films on Netflix that either won or were nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, and that's not even including foreign movies, documentaries, or animated films - click on the top link in the sidebar to see all of these.

      My other suggestion for you is to check out Crackle - www.crackle.com. They currently have 150 movies, all free, sign-in not required. There's a good mix of genres, and everything from classics to lesser-known Godzilla flicks. You can see everything available by clicking Movies, and, for TV shows, TV. The only downside is that you have to put up with a few commercials. Hulu also has a lot of movies for free, including some in the prestigious Criterion Collection, but it's a little more work to find them. It's nice when the good stuff falls in our laps, but if that isn't happening, sometimes we have to go searching for it.

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    4. Seth, maybe you just don't know what movies are new. I check http://www.allflicks.net daily since they add new streaming movies/shows to Netflix almost every day.

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    5. Seth, do you rate the movies you watch? Once Netflix has enough input from you, both on the 4-5 star end for what you like and on the 1-star and "no interest" end for what you don't like, their estimated ratings for what else you might like are usually good recommendations of what to try watching. I've been surprised to find that I like certain genres more than I would have guessed, something I only found out from rating a lot of other movies.

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  22. Carol,
    first let me say that you are doing a great job of staying on top of this stuff. Like Wellesley72 I have gotten out of the habit of reading through the comments, although I do a quick scan of them every week or two to see what might have been said.
    Separate lists for November & December would make it more tedious, per the reasons you have noted.
    I would like to see the deleted stuff disappear so that there is less to scroll through. If you are keeping deletions for archival purposes, a separate area for that might be more appropriate. You could perhaps move expired away a week at a time in a simple(?) cut & paste.
    Thank you for your efforts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Eric. I agree about scrolling through the dead weight of expired titles, but I do want to keep them for archival purposes. I've been thinking about the best way to do this, and I will make a decision this week. Right now, the front runner idea is to go to a November/December, December/January, etc., format. It lacks the elegance of a one-month-per-page format, but I think it would allow for more flexibility. Thanks again for weighing in. I really appreciate knowing how your experience with the site is going.

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    2. Carol: I'm reluctant to intervene, as you're doing so much, so well. But, since you asked, have you considered just one "Expirations" page, organized as you are doing, with comments? Then, every two weeks or so, depending on volume, cut off the crossed out titles on top and the related comments and move them to that month's archive file. This would keep the main file rolling, short enough to be scrollable, with old stuff leaving the top and new stuff added at the bottom. And it will keep all the old material in an archive for those who want to check what they've already missed.

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    3. By the way, this "Discussion" page is also getting long. I suppose at 100 comments it will go to a second page, as happened on David's site. Even at 60 comments, it's a long scroll to the bottom. You'll have to exercise your power here soon. Either chop out all comments no longer relevant (most of mine can go) or create an "Archived Discussion" file. Or both.

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    4. I hope you will never hesitate to "intervene," CanandaiguaNY. I don't think of it that way at all. I'm always grateful for feedback, input, ideas, even criticisms. I consider this blog to belong to all of us, so it's great when others jump in and take part in shaping it. Everyone is super considerate and polite, which is much appreciated, but I hope no one would hold back an opinion for fear of hurting my feelings. I'm pretty thick-skinned, and I love the truth even when it stings a bit. My goal for this site is for it to be as useful as possible, not for it to be all about MY ideas, which, btw, even I don't always like that much. ; -)

      One ongoing page is an interesting idea, but the archiving, and copying of comments present some problems. It would require separate, created pages for archiving, which wouldn't be part of the archive automatically created with each post. I know it seems kind of dumb to archive that which is no longer relevant, but it forms a history of the blog that I think is important. Nevertheless, I will put your idea into the mix churning around in my brain.

      Thanks for the reminder about Comments getting out of control. I really hate the scrolling, too. I think we actually get 200 comments before it goes to a new page, but life is short, and we need a scroll that is, as well.
      An individually created archive would work better here than for the main page, I think. I'll come up with something soon.

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  23. Wellesley72, Linklisa, Eric, and CanandaiguaNY - thank you so much for your ideas about how to make the main page better. I used parts of all of them, mixed in a little out-of-the-box thinking, even added a dash of the art of illusion, thanks to a little Blogger trick, and it all added up to a solution that I think will give us everything we want. A new post will go up tomorrow (Thursday), and I'll put a little explanation of what will happen going forward in the main body of this - the Discussions - page.

    Thanks again - I would never have come up with this all on my own. You guys rock!

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    Replies
    1. Carol, I love what you came up with. Your second sentence above is a great description of how you're handling the blog in general. Great job!

      Delete
  24. I just ran a Google Search for "What's Expiring on Netflix" and this website appeared at the top of page 3 results. Congratulations, you are making progress. [David's website of course still appears on page 1.]

    I then ran a more general Google Search for "Netflix expiring November" and this website appeared at the bottom of page 5 results. Pretty good.

    May I make a suggestion to improve Search Results hits for the website? Change the wording of the first sentence on the Current Expiring Titles post to include the word "Netflix" and add the year 2015. Like so:

    This is a new post to accommodate Netflix expiring titles for the rest of November and December 2015.

    That should work for whichever way people may search for "Netflix expiring November 2015" and "Netflix expiring December 2015".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, LarryG. Getting the word out is my greatest weakness related to the blog, running side-by-side with knowing about Netflix deals, contracts, and relevant news. Not enough hours in the day to stay on top of everything. Your suggestion is an excellent idea, and I have made the change to the top sentence on the home page.

      Top of page 3 on Google isn't bad, not sure how many people keep looking all the way to bottom of page 5. We are starting to get more page view entries from Google, whereas before they were all from David's site. Still a lot from WoNN, so his being on page 1 is helping us, I imagine. I did notice that someone mentioned both our site and Brian's site on Reddit, pointing out that our sites were picking up where David's closed site left off.

      Page views are climbing steadily- not dramatically, but steadily - currently approaching almost 400 per day, up from an average of 250 about a month ago.

      Thanks for checking on our Google status, LarryG, and for thinking of a way to get us higher on the list.

      Delete
    2. Carol, we should also come up higher in the Netflix results if this blog links to others (or vice versa). I don't remember how it works in Blogger, but there should be a widget to add to the right column for a blogroll. Once you have that set up, you can add links to the blogs that people have mentioned for the resource list, and if you can reach out to those bloggers to let them know you've done so, some may reciprocate. Also, if you reference another website, pasting in a URL in the comments (or using "href" in html) will make a link to that site.

      Delete
    3. This is on my list of projects I will get to eventually. If anyone knows of relevant blogs or websites that would welcome us linking to them, and would be likely to reciprocate, please let me know.

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  25. They've tweaked the layout & programming on the manual mode of My List again. It's a mixed bag this time.

    Good things:
    - the search works better
    - the movie poster images are back
    - we now have the year & the running time on the same page

    Bad things:
    - they took away the count of the total # of items on My List
    - they took away the confirmation bar that tells you what you've just deleted from your queue in case you deleted it by mistake
    - they took away the genre column
    - the changes broke the FlixPlus Chrome add-on again (worse than last time)

    Good or Bad, depending on your preferences:
    - white text on black background like the rest of the site
    - the manual sorting for anything other than "^ Move to top" is now click & drag, no item #s

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also Bad:
      - you can no longer click on the title to go to the description page, you can only click on the poster image to play the movie

      Best we all start sending NF a mountain of feedback about these latest changes!

      Delete
    2. Just saw this, I am extremely pissed as whenever the movies going away come up I always type in the number to move it up my list. Now I have to drag forever to get it to where I want it. Since the inception of streaming videos on Netflix every single thing they do seems to make the sight worse. Do they have a business analyst team at all determining if things on the site are good or bad. Who is the moron that keeps making these choices, does he even use netflix at all for personal use. On the dvd list you can no longer tell if a movie in your list is also a streaming movie. Highly annoying as well.

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  26. Looks like Netflix has gone and messed with 'My List' again. It is more difficult to move items around in the new list format. And there is no longer a count of the total number of videos in your queue. Not very happy. :-(

    ReplyDelete
  27. Oh, and you can't open to view any detail information about the movie either. All you can do is drag it (which is rather cumbersome if moving it significantly within your queue), move it to the top, or start playing the movie. :-(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry Pox Voldius - Didn't mean to repeat what you were saying...agree with you 100%

      Delete
  28. Thanks for the rundown on this new development, P.V. and Anonymous. Maybe Netflix thinks we don't need descriptions because we chose it for My List, so we should already know what it's about. Theoretically logical, but sometimes I wonder if any of those making these kinds of decisions actually USES their product. To the "Good" list, I'd like to add: Expiration dates are still there. Whew!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Netflix also got rid of the 'Recently Viewed' above 'My List' (this will make it much tougher to record what I watched each day). Just moving around in 'My List' seems to be 3 or 4 times slower. What other company keeps taking functionality away from it's customers, making the user experience worse as time goes on, and survives? They are really annoying!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They haven't entirely taken the viewing history away... yet. There's still My Account --> My Profile --> Viewing activity on a separate page, which has dates and is listed chronologically, and which is also where they've hidden the links to report viewing problems. Just more of a hassle to have to go the long way around to see it. Might be able to put a separate bookmark on it in your web browser, though.

      Delete
    2. Not only is it really slow on both computers I've so far tried it on, but I can't seem to "hold" a movie I want to move and also scroll down the page- I have to move a movie to the bottom of my screen, set it down, scroll down again, pick it up, repeat until I finally get it where I want D: I've already given up on sorting anything but the about-to-expire titles I keep at the very top.

      Not to mention that the movie at the top of the list keeps popping back up there, no matter how many times I try to move it down.

      I called Netflix to complain and the person I talked to claimed this new design started rolling out months ago. If so, extra weird that they haven't ironed these basic-seeming bugs.

      But we are absolutely a tiny minority of Netflix users- everyone I know turns the app on and clicks around at random until they see something they want to watch. No one else seems interested in actually keeping a list or making a plan of what they will watch soon. Sad that Netflix can't maintain a few options for us power users, though.

      Delete
    3. That sounds frustrating, Kari. When I "grab" a movie with the mouse, and pull it down, the list does scroll automatically when I get to the bottom of the screen, and I found with a little practice, I can get pretty good control over how fast it goes, so I can insert it where I want. I found moving up the screen to be more difficult, and had to do that in several steps, as you experienced.

      I agree with you about the audience that Netflix is targeting - and designing for. There are millions of them, so those of us who care about things like how many movies are on our list, or keeping them ordered are probably not going to get listened to.

      Delete
    4. Pox Voldius - thanks so much for pointing out where the Viewing Activity went to, I may never have found it there, since I would not have thought to look. The Netflix customer service rep I talked to last night certainly did not know it was there. I thought I was going to have to keep a manual list every day. One note, at least for me, the path is: Your Account ==> My Profile ==> Viewing Activity.

      Kari - the customer rep claimed that the slowness had to do totally with internet speed and it must be time of use, I pointed out that it was more likely to do with the picture link slowing it down, he dismissed it, but obviously it is the case if you are also experiencing it. HBO GO also seems to be modeled on the search for something randomly that you describe. What seems strangest to me is that the functionality has been there and gets taken away, rather than Netflix having to justify creating something just to please the minority power user such as ourselves.

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    5. I also think it's the movie posters with the "play" links that's slowing the page down. They're the last thing to load for me.

      [Also, before the latest redesign broke the FlixPlus add-on for Chrome, FlixPlus had an option on it to bring back the movie poster images, and I ended up having to turn that feature off -- though, FlixPlus just in general tended to slow down the loading of the page for me...]

      Delete
  30. So it looks like Netflix released a redesign of the "My List" page today. I don't really seem to have much of a problem with it, except for the fact that we can't see how many total titles we have in our list anymore. Aside from that I don't see much of a downside yet. It still lists expiration dates, and gives year, runtime and rating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And it seems many others already commented on this. Oops.

      Delete
    2. I'm glad you weighed in, Tim. I think it's good to get a variety of reactions when Netflix does this sudden change thing to our streaming world. I'm wondering whatever happened to surveying customers to see what THEY want.

      Delete
    3. When I chatted with NF customer service yesterday, they claimed the latest redesign on My List happened *because* of customer feedback.

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    4. If that was true which i doubt, then I have a lot of customers to go beat up.

      Delete
  31. There's been no change to the MyList as it appears on my iPad in manual mode using Safari. I still get the number count of titles, the "recently viewed" button, etc. I've mentioned before that the MyList format differs on different devices and on different apps, as they are under some control by the device manufacturers, as well as by Netflix. Also, Netflix has been known to run out a change to its system in just one region, as a test, and cancel or change it again, before putting it into effect through its whole system--without ever telling us what it's doing.

    I mention this only as a reminder that what you see on your MyList is not, necessarily, what others are seeing on theirs. But it's good to hear your reports that these changes are out there. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK. MyList on the iPad has now been changed to the same mess the rest of you got earlier. I can't move a title up or down on the list; before I could easily move a title to the top. There's still been no change to the MyList on my Vizio TV, but I never could move a title on that app. The format for MyList has also changed on my desktop Mac. There I can grab a title and move it up or down the list.

      Although the titles on the MyLists are the same on all three devices (iPad, Vizio TV and Mac), the formats are all different. I get two weeks notice of expiration on Vizio, one week on Mac, and none on iPad; I can move titles on Mac, but not on the other two; and I get some info on Mac (date, rating, running time) and Vizio (same as Mac plus a short description of the film), but nothing on iPad.

      Delete
  32. This blog is now credited as a source for expiring titles on Netflix Queuebusters, netflixqueuebusters.blogspot.com.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Wellesley72; it was good of Brian to do that. I'm currently working on a list of resources for finding new and upcoming titles to Netflix. Our "official" link to Brian's site will be there.

      Delete
    2. Anyone else getting the problem where it seems like practically anytime you go to either remove something from your queue or rearrange your list after adding a title, you find yourself having to go clear the cookies to make it stop giving you error messages?

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    3. Dang, I meant to put that as a new post rather than as a reply to another post!

      Delete
  33. Pox Voldius - I'm having all kinds of problems trying to rearrange things in 'My List'. Sometimes I move something and it pops back up to the top. Other times I try and move something and the scrolling to drag it down my list is very spotty. I search for a movie and it doesn't initially appear in 'My List' even though it shows the check mark in the little circle on the movies description...then later it appears in my list. The more I use it, the more frustrated I get. Not a happy camper at this point.

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    Replies
    1. I, too, am not amused with the now-it-works, now-it-doesn't new My List ordering process. In addition to what you and Pox Voldius describe, sometimes when I relocate a title, another of the same title pops in, so that I have two of them. And, sometimes when I remove one of the duplicates, they both go away. Arrgghh! The error message is sporadic for me. There have been whole days when I couldn't move anything and have it stay, other times when it worked as it should, and still others when I could move a few titles, but then the next one wouldn't work. All without any cookie removal. I hadn't thought of doing that, but honestly, I don't want to have to. I have a separate My List that matches the blog list of expiring titles, so I update that My List every day (unless it won't let me). I really need it to work consistently. I'm hoping maybe they're still working out the bugs.

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    2. I am getting errors where I never got them before. I had not thought of removing cookies, and like Carol would rather not bother. When search won't work (fairly frequent) I usually try moving around elsewhere in the site and then try again. Similarly when My List won't load, I try using something else and try again, but sometimes My List just hangs and I give up.
      I have given up trying to rearrange my list to move things to the top, other than by 'Remove From My List' then 'Add To My List' - this will either put it at the top of the list, or at the very bottom. I don't know how it decides which end of the list to add to, but at least I know where to look for them, and my Smart TV list wraps around, so they are in the same area for choosing them. If I was just using the online app for Netflix, this situation would be totally intolerable.

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    3. Today it no longer shows the picture of the movie and will only load the top 20 of My List, that is when I can get it to load at all. So maybe Netflix realizes that the picture link is slowing everything down too much?

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    4. That sounds awful, Eric. Netflix is taking a lot of the fun out of what is supposed to be a recreational activity. Not sure what is going on with the posters, but mine are all there this a.m., as are all 150+ of the titles, and I was able to drag and drop the latest addition. Not that I'm one bit lulled by this moment of normal functionality.

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    5. Today, I had to refresh the page once or twice to get the movie poster "play" buttons to show up in order to actually play the movie I wanted to watch. And again to remove it from My List afterward.

      I got hold of NF customer service on chat, and they say that they've had their engineers & tech people in the office since Thursday (yes, Thanksgiving Day, ouch!) trying to fix this, and that they think they're nearly done. (We'll see...)

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    6. Though, I don't suppose any of this will actually teach them to make certain that all new changes actually work the way they're supposed to on all major platforms where customers will encounter them *before* rolling them out. :P

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  34. Updated thoughts on the new "My List" format. I hate it because they got rid of the genre. That was largely how I organized my movies.

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  35. Adding my two cents on the My List redesign, I'm usually not one to get too bothered by changes like these, I get used to them pretty quickly after the initial shock. But I AM extremely annoyed that clicking on a title no longer sends you to its page on the site. Now the only way to get any information on a title in the list is to manually type it into the search box. For someone like me who has two nearly full lists and can't remember what the hell most of them are, it's awful. It was bad enough when the info box stopped appearing when you held your cursor over the title, but they had to go and add insult to injury.

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  36. Well, isn't that nice?! Now the links to the NF Help Center no longer work!

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  37. GREETINGS EVERYONE - This page is now in archive status, so please use the NEW Discussions & Ideas page. There is a link at the top of this page.

    If you have a comment about the new "My List" on Netflix, I made a special page for that discussion - there's a link up top for that one, too.
    THANKS!!

    ReplyDelete