On Friday night, I finally got off my lazy butt and trimmed my beard and hair. Yes, I'm technically still a bald guy, I just don't Bic it all off on a regular basis. In fact, I decided months ago to just use hair clippers to trim down to next to nothing all the way around on my face (including my goatee) so I have a regular five o'clock shadow. Katie likes it, I like it. What more could I want, right?
Anyway, all this finagling makes me get complacent about the regularity of trimming my head and face and I'll get slightly bushmanish from time to time. The only fun with being a temporary bushman is the ability to create new looks for myself. This is one I stumbled upon on Friday...
I call it Colonial American Chic. What do you think? Keeper?
Pretty much anybody who is a Netflix user likely received the e-mail from their CEO apologizing about the rate-hike fiasco and how it was announced and whatnot.
In the e-mail, which was duplicated on the Netflix blog with a bit more detail, he also detailed how Netflix was splitting up... Netflix would now be just streaming video while Qwikster would be the company in charge of DVD rentals.
Immediately, I was upset about this announcement. I mean, seriously, what's the point of splitting it up? There are a few reasons I felt this way:
- It dilutes the brand "Netflix" even if they are planning on adding video game rentals to the Qwikster shutter. Wouldn't it be better to keep it all as "Netflix" and claim that they are dedicated to an awesome user experience?
- It results in two payments listed on our credit cards (no, this isn't really a big deal especially since there will be no additional charge on top of what we're already paying now, post rate-hike)
- It necessitates having two user profiles and video queues on two different websites.
The last one is the biggest deal for me. I enjoy being able to login to Netflix and searching for a movie and having it tell me that it is not only available on DVD, but also on streaming, and then adding it to one or the other, or both, queues. Now, I'll have to go to Netflix.com and search for a video and, if they don't have it, I'll have to go over Qwikster.com and add it there. Or, as happens quite regularly, I'll have to check my Netflix streaming queue to see what movies that were once offered no longer are and transfer those requests over to Qwikster. Pain in the ass, if you ask me.
One tech blogger offered up a possible explanation as to why it was happening saying that it had to do with studios charging Netflix for users' rights to access streaming content. This guy argues that, currently, studios are charging Netflix for "potential" to access movies. This means that anybody who has a Netflix subscription has the ability to use the streaming feature and studios are charging for this even if the users are not making use of the option. By splitting into two different companies, Netflix will now know who, exactly, is using streaming and prove it to the studios and, thus, be charged more appropriately. Makes sense for them, but still a hassle for the end user. If this is, in fact, the case, just ask users if they plan to use the streaming service and, if they say no, shut off the option. Duh. They can change their minds and add it later. Actually, by having Netflix charge for them as separate services, they kinda took care of this already. I don't think anybody who isn't paying for it can even access streaming options anymore until they pay the separate charge. Yeah, now that I think about it, this tech blogger's argument is completely shot full of holes.
There is only one user benefit to this that I can conceive of for this change and that is that maybe Qwikster developers, since they'll no longer have to deal with streaming video, will FINALLY have the time to develop a smartphone app that grants you greater control over your DVD queue. Sure, Netflix currently has a mobile site, but you cannot delete movies from it and the search functionality has a bad habit of crashing on occasion. And, Lord knows, the full site doesn't work worth a damn in my mobile browser. Mobile Safari completely locks up on the full Netflix site.
Whatever the case may be, I really hope Netflix reconsiders. They're making the user experience much more difficult than it needs to be.