I have a few complaints regarding the new Netflix Streaming interface on Xbox Live:
1. The clicky “bip-bip” noise every time you shift to a new selection.
Whyyyyy, Netflix, WHY? Why would you do this? It’s practically the first thing everyone shuts off of any kind of interface (iPod, cell phone) and you can’t shut it off of the Xbox interface. It’s driving me INSANE. Every move you make now has a noise attached and it’s horrible. I mean, really – I’ve pressed a button and I can see the screen shift accordingly. I don’t need the extra feedback of a noise to alert me that I’ve done something.
2. Autoplay instead of preview
If I hit “enter” to see more information about a movie like the description, or actors or whatnot, I do not automatically want to watch that movie. The update made it so you can view this information without clicking, which is nice, but I want to be able to select “Play” on purpose.
3. Button for searching vs Search “category”
I may have just missed this, but “Search” used to be one of the main options like “Instant Queue” and “Recommended for you” or whatever. Now I have to press “Y” to get there. Which I guess makes sense, but it took me a frustrated minute of scrolling through all the categories and not finding Search to realize that was the case.
4. Load time
Lots of things give you the whirly loading icon where they didn’t before. Especially searching – if you are typing in letters, it used to quickly try to match a result right away, and now it seems like it waits for you to stop typing.
5. The not-transparent-enough layers behind the current category
This is petty, but I hate it. If you’re looking at a category, you can see the covers of the next category extremely clearly. I find this incredibly distracting visually, and it makes for a cluttered interface. I want to see what’s in the current category, not the two behind it. It might be less annoying if it were WAY more transparent, but I don’t think it even needs to be there to begin with.
Things aren’t all bad, I suppose, because there are two updates I do really like:
1. Ability to browse TV shows by season
It’s something I appreciated on Hulu and found irritating on Netflix – if I wanted to look at an episode in Season 7, I had to scroll down through six previous seasons! Now I can go sideways to the season I want and scroll down through a manageable number of episodes to get to the one I want.
2. Ability to view TV show descriptions
You used to only be able to see the show descriptions if the episodes took a long time to load, and there was no way to get back once they did. Now you can see what a show is about before you look at the episode description.
Somewhat unrelated, but I really wish there were more shows like The Tudors, Camelot, and Legend of the Seeker. Big, productiony shows with great characters, drama, sexytimes, and humor. (Is Game of Thrones anything like this? I saw some of the first episode a while ago but haven’t seen anything else.) I was really sad when I found out Camelot only had one season! Also, there needs to be more than only three episodes of Sherlock with Martin Freeman.