Archive for the ‘Amazon’ Category

When more is actually less

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Lovefilm is a great service. I get plenty of value from it, and I easily watch hours of movies and TV shows on it each week both on my laptop and Playstation 3 (and possibly on mobile — if only they had a mobile streaming service)

Going back to TV specifically, I’ve been slowly making my way through countless hours of Lost on Lovefilm.

I’m in the final stretch now: only a few episodes left of the last season. But at the end of each episode, something happens that just drives me crazy. I see this come up on my screen:

The helpful ‘More like this’ screen suggests Justice with Nicholas Cage and a show called Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. Now I could easily question how relevant these suggestions are to Lost, but what really irks me is…

Why the hell isn’t there a link to the next episode of Lost?

In fact, there is no link anywhere on the entire page to the next episode. There are similar recommendation links on the page that link to random episodes I’ve already seen, but nowhere with a direct link to the next episode. Which would be the most relevant piece of content that could be suggested to me.

You can’t even hack the URL:
(…unless you know the name of the next episode and some mystical six digital ID)

Basically, I’ve got to hit the back button and remember what episode I just watched and click on the next episode under it.

Ultimately, watching TV series like this is infuriating. ‘More like this’ is actually ‘Less like this’.

Please Lovefilm, for Hurley’s sake — just add a link to the next episode in!

What Taylor Swift and Kanye West can tell us about mobile user experience

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

How often have you opened a link on your mobile and been prompted to download a mobile app?

ABC News

It first happened to me on the IMDb. I remember my reaction — “yeah, IMDb app, great idea — I’ll use that all the time!”. I downloaded it and then I never used it again.

But this post isn’t about how pointless website apps can be if you have a perfectly good mobile website (Responsive design, anyone?)

Actually, it’s about a Kanye West-style attitude towards user experience on mobile websites.


Downgrading Spotify

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Yesterday Spotify announced it was restricting how long free users could access the service — from unlimited to ten hours a day.

I recently subscribed to Spotify Premium after creating some playlists for my trip to the US for SXSWi 2011. All worked fine except when I tried to play tracks on my phone while in Texas: no dice. You have to be online to play tracks, even if they’ve been downloaded for offline play.

I can’t even understand why this is. I can play offline songs on my laptop without an Internet connection, but why not my phone? Logic aside, the inconvenience annoys me more than anything else.

Between astromical data roaming costs, flying, being underground or simply being out of reception, I’m a tad pessemistic about the ‘future’ of cloud-based media. And that includes Amazon’s new Cloud Player. It’s fine if you have a broadband connection, but even on a great 3G or 4G connection, there are times when you simply won’t have a signal.

For mobiles I think local storage is still the way to go, however it’s achieved: just as long as you don’t have to be online to access it.

And that’s why I downgraded to Spotify Unlimited: half the cost, and pretty much the same service: bar the mobile experience which is woeful anyway (not to mention how bad the Android app is — but that’s for another post).