Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Infowhore's Library - Netflix on X-Box

Recently I signed up with Netflix.

The idea of renting movies through the mail has never really appealed to me, even the ability to watch select movies online wasn't enough to lure me in. However back in November, Microsoft updated the interface of the X-Box 360, adding in new features like customizable avatars and the ability to watch Netflix online movies on your X-Box, among others. This perked my interest but not enough for me to sign up right away.

Saturday after stumbling onto the part of my X-Box's interface that would hold the queue of Netflix movies and finding only a sign up page, I decided to jump on for the free trial at least. I was surprised to find I really liked Netflix even before selecting my first DVDs.

Why? Because of the website design.

When looking at a page of movies you're presented with a thumbnail of the DVD cover of each movie. Above each is the title of the movie, which is useful because it can be hard to read the title off the thumbnail picture. Below the thumbnail are five stars. If you haven't rated this movie some of the stars will be red indicating what rating Netflix thinks you would give this movie based on how you rated similar movies. Rating movies is as easy as clicking on the appropriate number of stars. Beneath the stars is the add button. Mouse over the thumbnail and an info card for the movie pops up to one side. The info card gives you a short description of the movie a few of the actors, the director, genre and rating.

All of this is pretty standard stuff, what makes it great is the way it works together. You can rate movies, read descriptions, and add movies to your queue without leaving the page you started on. This is great for quickly running through, say, all the comedy movies or action movies or all the movies.

It's not perfect. There is no easy way to organize movies in your queue. Movies are added to the end or the beginning. Also sometimes movies repeat in the same category. These are minor complaints.

The real draw, for me, has been the movies I can watch through my X-Box. I've already added over a hundred items to my instant queue.

Most are movies that I haven't seen but want to: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Meet the Robinsons, The Invisible, Underdog, It's in the Water, Grindhouse, The Rage in Placid Lake , ect.

Some are movies that I have seen like enough to keep in the queue just in case I want to see them: Primer, Gray Matters, Threesome, Tremors 1,2 and 3, and Erin Brockovich. There are few of these because while I like a lot of movies, very few are really good enough to be watchable more than twice.

Also in my queue are some tv shows I haven't seen before: Wisecrack from Logo, Rough Science from PBS, TransAmerican Love Story from Logo and The Vicar of Dibley from the BBC.

Tv shows that I have watched and enjoyed enough to want to rewatch them: Coupling, Earth2, Seaquest DSV, MacGyver and Kim Possible.

Also on the list is a health dose of anime: Last Exile, Project A-Ko, Appleseed: Ex Machina, Utawarerumono, R.O.D., Ghost in the Shell: 2nd Gig, Dominion Tank Police, Best Student Council, ect.

All this is to explain where I've been for the past few days. On Netflix rating movies(700+) and adding them to my queues(200+). I think I'm past the worst of my Netflix binge.

I hope. Pray for me.

1 comment:

  1. I wish my computer would show Netflix's instant movies. I have an older Mac. I don't have an X-Box, or any other device that will show them, either. As a result, I end up doing Netflix in binges. I'll gorge myself on movies, get burned out, and neglect the ones I have at the end of the binge. I usually put my Netflix on hold at the end of those.

    Incidentally, Netflix also has some social networking tools, so if you want to connect with other people in order to rifle through their queue for ideas, you can. So, for instance, if you wanted to connect with me, you would follow this link: