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That Nagging Netflix Queue

timothy posted more than 7 years ago | from the failure-to-waunch dept.

161

Instead of being used and returned at the pace of cloth diapers, it seems DVDs rented from Netflix are often gathering dust, unwatched, in customers' homes, in what a posting yesterday dubs a "paradox of abundance." Readers suggested some reasons why this was so, and why this might not be a bad thing, in the comments attached to the story; read on for the Backslash summary of the discussion.Reader aiken_d suggests that "unwatched, then returned" isn't anything new for video rentals, writing

"Busy people hate traditional rental stores because you rent some movies, pay for them, get busy and can't watch them, and then return them 3 days later unwatched. Or, equally likely, you return them 6 days later and pay late fees for the movie you didn't watch."

As reader nullix puts it,

"I could never return a rental ontime. It was more like a week or 2 after it was do. With the extra late fees added to the rental, it was cheaper to buy the movie. I just bought the movies instead. Of course, this was when I was single and had money to burn."

"Now with a wife and kids, there is no time to goto the movies. Netflix is great to catch up on the movies I missed. Plus, I can easily rent questionable movies like King Kong and Napoleon Dynamite without having to pay $50 to see it in the theater ($10 for 2 people, $20 for food, $20 for a babysitter)."

If there really is a "paradox of abundance," paying customers aren't the only ones who experience it; Brix Braxton writes that the same ennui affects the casual software copier, too:

"This reminds me of when I was a kid and had my first 8-bit computer -- for the first few months I bought all of my software one tape at a time. I would play the games, good or bad all the way through -- picking through every nugget I could find, playing some games for weeks on end."

"Some time later, I met a friend at school who had the same computer and offered to bring his disks over. Holy cow -- he must have had two hundred disks of software that I spent a weekend or two copying. That pretty much killed it for me since I didn't really have any pressure to play anything and since I didn't invest anything into the software -- I would just load a game, decide it didn't look all that great and move on to the next."

And reader bman08 says that "owning movies is even worse," writing

"There are something like 345 DVDs on my shelves at home and it would not, in a million years, occur to me to actually watch one... Those movies are for even later, after the Netflix movies. I've often found myself watching Pan'n'scan versions on cable of movies I own for this reason... the TV schedule provides a compelling reason to watch."

SloppyElvis renames the phenomenon of oversupply matched with underuse "Paradox of Consumption." He writes

"The converse of this paradox is also one. Accumulating as much of a product as possible to maximize the value of the monetary expense, even if doing so adversely affects your enjoyment of that product, illustrates a strange consequence of consumerism."

"The obvious example is that of the person who consumes far beyond a comfortable and enjoyable amount of food at an all-you-can-eat buffet. The value for the price is determined to be "volume of food" rather than enjoyment of the meal. Would someone consciously pay for a sick stomach?"

"For some, Netflix is approaching this valuation on "volume of movies" rather than convenience or even personal enjoyment/satisfaction of the service."

Writing "You don't want what you think you want," reader voidstin has some suggestions about the psychological dilemma posed by all-one-can-eat rentals:

"Of course we want to see Hotel Rwanda, or the new Almodovar film, because we are advanced, modern intellectuals. In reality, after a 12-hour day of re-factoring someone else's messy code, would you rather open a beer and collapse in front of Hotel Rwanda or Super Troopers?"

"The problem is Netflix (and TiVo) makes you confront this issue -- You have to send it back and quit on it. You have to admit that you don't want to watch Hotel Rwanda. You'd rather fast forward to the 'good parts' of The Girl Next Door rather than think about genocide. You are not the advanced, modern intellectual you thought you were. Who wants an existential crisis when they thought they were just renting movies? Is this horrible? Probably. So is alcoholism, but I bet you didn't cringe when I opened a beer in the above paragraph."

Reader Gadgetfreak supplies another psychological explanation for the unwatched-movie pile in many households:

"[T]he bigger and more complicated a decision, the easier it is for me to decide. Choosing a college: Simple. I went, I looked, and by the time I needed to apply, I'd already decided. Only applied to 1 school. (Graduated 3 + years ago, picked up a dual Engr. degree, and had a blast). Buying a car? Simple. I knew what I wanted. Buying a house? Simple. (Going on 2 years now, still satisfied)."

"But man... you put me in front of a vending machine and I cannot make up my friggin mind. I'm not kidding. I can't decide. I'll stand there staring at it."

Ackthpt suggests yet another reason: that a movie sometimes needs the viewer to be in a mood suited to it, and that it's hard to predict emotional states:

"[S]tuff coming in like clockwork isn't the way my tastes for music or film are sated. On impulse I'll suddenly whip out and buy an Etta James collection, because I like some tune she sang back in the days of yor or I'll buzz down to the Bijou and check out Superman Returns From Wherever He Buggered Off To, but I don't do these with any chartable frequency. I tend to buy music, DVDs or old radio plays to listen to on trips or when I feel like it. Having stuff come in on a robotic schedule just isn't going to work, no matter how good the deal."

Reader MagikSlinger lays some blame (if blame is the right word) on the queuing system used by Netflix, which he compares to that of Zip.ca, which allows a user to set some movies on hold ("Park"), and suggests

"Arbitrarily ranking the queue (which I understand Netflix allows) is handy if you know you're going to watch things, but maybe they need to ask the user: I really want to watch this, I wouldn't mind watching this, and 'Eh, a friend told me i should watch it.'"

Reader Quiet_Desperation wants to know why anyone should be so worked up about a choice that's all about luxuries in the first place. He writes

"My job has been very busy lately, and Elder Scrolls IV wandered into my life, so I simply cut back my Netflix account to two out at a time down from four. I can just about slip in two movies a week. If I can't do that, I'll cut back to one. There's also the 'rip to hard drive' option to backlog films."

"Feeling "pressure" to watch a movie? What would these "paradox of abundance" sufferers do if they had to go out and hunt a woolly mammoth for dinner? Cripes, take a Paxil or something."

(One reader's response: "I'm pretty much sure they'd starve to death -- the woolly mammoths have been real scarce this year.")

Dephex Twin, too, wants to know What's the problem?, and writes:

"I don't really see what's so bad about this. It's there, and maybe you get around to watching it and maybe you don't."

"One positive thing that I have noticed since I started Netflix is that I watch a lot less movies that I *don't* care about much. Back when I used to go to the video store, I might have a few movies in mind, and maybe these movies would be in, or not, or maybe I remember my mental list, or maybe not. But at that point, I've driven to the video store, so I'm leaving with at least one movie. So, I spend 45 minutes to finally decide on something that I don't even care about, just so my trip wasn't a total loss."

SydShamino takes a different tack, and writes that he's "been watching more movies that I really don't care about. With rentals, it's hard to pay good money for crap movies like 'The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen' (currently at the top of my queue). With Netflix, though, assuming I watch and turn it relatively quickly, I'm only paying $0.80 or so for the rental -- and that money is hidden away in a monthly fee that I pay anyway. Given that my tastes wander enough to appreciate B, C, and D-grade science fiction, this is a good deal."

cancel ×

161 comments

The customers are just afraid.... (5, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745348)

... of returning the things un-rewound. RELAX YOUR REWINDING POLICY! Easy.

Re:The customers are just afraid.... (3, Funny)

SB_SamuraiSam (962776) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745398)

I used to work in a video store and un-rewound DVD's were a never ending problem.

Re:The customers are just afraid.... (2, Funny)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745443)

Hu? How do you rewind a DVD? I'm confused.

But seriously with the volume of buisness for NetFlix do you really think they have to time to rewind each tape sent back.

Re:The customers are just afraid.... (5, Funny)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745472)

Hu? How do you rewind a DVD? I'm confused.

Pft. Look at this guy, doesn't even know how to rewind a DVD. Point and laugh!

Re:The customers are just afraid.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15746163)

Bet he doesn't know how to use the three seashells either.

Re:The customers are just afraid.... (2, Funny)

cloak42 (620230) | more than 7 years ago | (#15746199)

He needs to get one of these [dvdrewinder.com] .

Re:The customers are just afraid.... (1)

ObiWanKenblowme (718510) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745520)

Put it in the player upside-down and play for the length of the movie. Or, you could put the disk on the end of your finger and spin, but that might take long enough for you to realize it was just a joke :)

Re:The customers are just afraid.... (4, Funny)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745656)

With a DVD Rewinder [dvdrewinder.com] of course. :)

Re:The customers are just afraid.... (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745726)

How do you rewind a DVD? I'm confused.

Not as confused as the DVD player manufacturers that still label the button "Rewind" just in case you don't know what the symbol means. Some do better by labeling it "Reverse" or "Back".

"Do not try to rewind the TiVo. That's impossible. Instead only try to realize the truth."
"What truth?"
"There is no spool."

Hardly anyone "dials" a phone number anymore either.

Re:The customers are just afraid.... (1)

computational super (740265) | more than 7 years ago | (#15746026)

I'd recommend that customers afraid of returning unrewound DVD's upgrade their DVD player like I did. With my old DVD player, rewinding DVD's was a real hassle, since it didn't have a "skip back" button on it, so I had to watch the whole movie in reverse to get back to the beginning. Now, with my newer DVD player, if a movie has 12 chapters, I only have to hit the "skip back" button 12 times and I'm back at the beginning... although I have to hit the stop button really fast when I get back to the beginning so it doesn't start playing the credits again and leave it partly unrewound.

slashback (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15745359)

Slashback: Where a dupe is not a dupe.

Re:slashback (1)

trybywrench (584843) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745379)

Slashback: Where a dupe is not a dupe.
and people throw ducks at balloons and nothing is the way it seems

Re:slashback (2, Interesting)

mrtrumbe (412155) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745657)

Being a lazy, lazy man, I actually like slashback. In a normal thread, I generally browse at a pretty low threshold. Looking through a slashdot thread like this is a relatively time/brain intensive activity. For something I'm really interested in, the investment is worth it.

However, for subjects I have only a passing interest in (for instance netflix usage), it's nice to have an editor pick through the crap and give a nice summary of the thread. It's much easier to read and takes far less time. It's like slashdot crib notes.

Taft

Re:slashback (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15745680)

So what you're really trying to say is that you're too lazy to read slashdot?

Re:slashback (1)

Vorondil28 (864578) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745803)

*coughBackslashcough*

At least troll intelligently. ^_~

The Nagging Dupe Queue (0, Troll)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745367)

How about an article about the Nagging Slashdot Dupe Queue. [slashdot.org] .

Re:The Nagging Dupe Queue (2, Informative)

wampus (1932) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745420)

You do understand that Backslash highlites user comments from a recent story, right?

Re:The Nagging Dupe Queue (3, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745641)

> > How about an article about the Nagging Slashdot Dupe Queue. [slashdot.org].
>
>You do understand that Backslash highlites user comments from a recent story, right?

Backslash: That Nagging Slashdot Dupe Queue
Posted by timothy on 12:03 PM -- Wednesday July 19 2006
from the failure-to-grok-backslash dept.

Dupe: Backslash: That Nagging Slashdot Dupe Queue
Posted by CmdrTaco on 12:03 PM -- Thursday July 20 2006
from the failure-to-check-for-backslash-dupes dept.

Backslash: Dupe: Backslash: That Nagging Slashdot Dupe Queue
Posted by CmdrTaco on 12:03 PM -- Friday July 21 2006
from the failure-to-grok-recursion dept.

Stacksmash: Backlash of Stack-Smashing Slashdotters Backslash Slashdot: Backslash: Dupe: Backslash: That Nagging Slashdot Dupe Que~``~1[][}
Posted by Fandango On Core on 3:15 AM -- Tuesday January 19 2038
from the failure-to-check-for-boun segmentation fault -- core dumped

Re:The Nagging Dupe Queue (2, Funny)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745717)

Thanks. Now everyone in my office thinks I am crazy because I can't stop laughing. I really liked this job too.

Re:The Nagging Dupe Queue (4, Informative)

Oswald (235719) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745480)

I know the urge to bitch and act smarter than somebody else is almost overwhelming, but if you would slow down enough to read a couple of paragraphs you would see that this is not a dupe. It's a summary of the discussion you were so kind as to point out. In fact, the exact same link is in the summary itself.

Maybe next time...

Re:The Nagging Dupe Queue (4, Informative)

metasecure (946666) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745507)

slashbacks are great for people without enough time to read through all the irrelevant comments on an irrelevant story - it gathers together the most irrelevant comments and puts them in one irrelevant place for you to read.

Re:The Nagging Dupe Queue (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745549)

you must be new here...

We don't have time to read the summaries just the title then we're off to the next article to mine for more karma.

Netflix too slow (0, Offtopic)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745372)

Netflix will send a movie out quickly, but it is still too slow for most.

Sometimes a movie comes that you don't really want to watch right away, you wait until you have the time or are in the mood for it, but by then a couple days may pass.

What would be better is if they put everything in an instant on-demand service, rather than deal with US Mail, hectic time schedules and mood swings ;)

Re:Netflix too slow (1)

Throtex (708974) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745419)

That would be significantly more expensive and would lack the variety. Many cable companies already provide on-demand service, as I'm sure you're aware, but they need to obtain permission to air the programming, whereas renting out a DVD is exempted under 17 U.S.C. 109.

Re:Netflix too slow (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745534)

whereas renting out a DVD is exempted under 17 U.S.C. 109.

No its not, I just read it and it forbids renting of sound or computer programs without permission..

Re:Netflix too slow (1)

h4ck7h3p14n37 (926070) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745426)

Agreed, VOD rocks, but how would Netflix deliver the content? Cable companies (Comcast in my area) that are doing VOD own the infrastructure. I just don't see how Netflix could compete with them.

Copyright concerns aside, have you considered an Easynews [easynews.com] membership?

Re:Netflix too slow (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745836)

> Agreed, VOD rocks, but how would Netflix deliver the content?
is VOD codeword for greater than average number of pay-per view selections?
because I have been to hotels that have a decent VOD selection, but they got a relatively small audience dedicating 2 dozen channels to VOD works for them.

I have been with directtv for several years, their PPV selection is not bad, but it is nothing compared to the selection at the video store. and the selection at the video store, is nothing compared to the selection from netflix.
Granted with the TIVO, I can delay my PPV selection to later, but if I have to wait a hour for the next PPV of a limited selection, that is not VOD.

Re:Netflix too slow (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745432)

Yeah, Sometimes I think it would be better to just send the movie back right away if I didn't want to watch it now. Then within 2 days you'd get another one, whereas usually it would just be sitting on the shelf. The other thing that is a problem (i'm canadian, so i'm talking zip.ca here) is that you can only put 2 movies on ASAP at a time, and if neither of those are available, or you forget to mark stuff as ASAP, then it just sends random movies. I think there's some sort of algorithm, based on how long it been on your list, but nothing relating to how much you actually want to see it. You should be able to rate every movie on your list in terms of importance, and they send you the highest ranked one that they have in stock. That way you could rank everything as you put it on the list, and not have to worry about having nothing ranked, and them just sending a random movie from you list.

Re:Netflix too slow (3, Interesting)

varmittang (849469) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745522)

For me, Netflix is slow because they do that throttling with my movies. When I send one back, it only has to travel about 80 miles max to the closes Netflix distrobution place. But it still take about 4 days for my movies sent from my house to reach them. Its like they don't check my stuff in so they can just deny sending me my next one on my list. That is something I'm sick of, but I don't care enough to go to a Blockbuster rental store or incure late fees when I don't return stuff.

Re:Netflix too slow (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745595)

I haven't noticed that problem with Zip.ca. And instead of throttling, they placed actually limits on how many movies you're allowed to get in a month. You can't realistically expect them to run a business spending $30 in postage a month for you $25 membership. So they've cut down the number of movies you can get in a month. After that, you can still get move movies, but you're paying for them, still at a much cheaper price than it costs to rent them. They also have this "Get it Now" feature which means they send it out right away, but costs you money. This is alos less than a rental.

Re:Netflix too slow (1)

Falcula (20022) | more than 7 years ago | (#15746259)

That's funny, I usually go through 2-5 movies a week depending on how I veg on sundays, and I have always had the movie I want, even the new releases within two days of putting them in the mailbox on my house. In fact, I can pick out a couple movies just recently that showed up at my house the tuesday they were released on dvd.

I've met people that get the 8 moves at a time and rip the dvd's as soon as the get them, then return the 8 movies the next day. That seems to be the thing the throttling was designed for, and personally havn't experienced anything negative with the whole netflix experience, other than a couple damaged or mislabled disks in several years and literally hundreds of movies.

How to speed up returns (5, Informative)

demonic-halo (652519) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745557)

I notice some times the return address will go to a different state. This can add 2-5 days to the time it takes to return a DVD.

My solution is to print out a bunch of labels with the address of the closest Netflix return address and use the labels every time you're given a return envelope with an out of state address.

Re:How to speed up returns (1)

Drachemorder (549870) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745786)

Excellent idea. I recently noticed I had a couple Netflix envelopes from out-of-state distribution centers, and was wondering if it would work to redirect them to the one that's actually near me.

How is this off topic? (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745638)

Do I need to elaborate on the intricacies of how dust will settle on a Netflix envelope?

Re:Netflix too slow (1)

shokk (187512) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745676)

Sorry, but quicker turnaround does not change this. I have a Blockbuster a few blocks from my house where I do their 2-movie at a time Pass, essentially the same thing as a 2-movie Netflix account. There have been times where a movie has sat on the shelf for 2 weeks. This is very rare for me, as we usually watch it within a day or two and run down the block to turn it around. Blockbuster is definitely losing money on us.

Re:Netflix too slow (1)

(A)*(B)!0_- (888552) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745989)

"Blockbuster is definitely losing money on us."
How's that? You're going to a brick and mortar store and renting. The employees are going to get paid the same amount whether you take out 1 or 100 movies in a week. The electricity is going to cost the same amount as well. And at any one time you've only got 2 movies out. So the fact that you have those 2 movies is preventing them from renting them to another customer but that fact remains constant regardless of how many times you swap those movies. Where is the loss to Blockbuster because of quick turnaround?

Obviously with Netflix, turnaround involves postage so there's a hit for them there.

Re:Netflix too slow (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 7 years ago | (#15746334)

Problem with Blockbuster is their selection. If it isn't new, buzzworthy (in the masses sense) or or some sort of crap, they refuse to carry it. They really don't like classics or foreign films, if the movie didn't gross 100 million, or win some odd award, they will get rid of it.

Netflix lets me get my Kurosawa fix, while Blockbuster refuses to even stock most of them.

backslash (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15745388)

Those backslash stories belong to another site, something like "metaslashdot.org". It doesn't make sense to rehash the same thing is the same slashdot format.

slashdot.org/users.pl?op=edithome (2, Informative)

shrubya (570356) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745454)

Push that Backslash radio button all the way to the left. Off my homepage now!

http://slashdot.org/users.pl?op=edithome [slashdot.org]

What about... (1)

KylePflug (898555) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745773)

RSS?

Re:backslash (0, Troll)

boingo82 (932244) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745554)

Sure it does! Seeing as it's been a whopping 25 hours since the original post, I'm sure we've already forgotten everything that was said!

Seriously though, this is dumb. That whole summary could've been gleaned by browing yesterday's thread at +5.

Re:backslash (1)

mattwarden (699984) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745575)

It doesn't make sense to rehash the same thing is the same slashdot format

You must be new here.

Re:backslash (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15745709)

Try alterslash.org

Re:backslash (1)

kwerle (39371) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745825)

Wow. I just went to edit which stories I see, and I see I can no longer do that.

Hurry up with the tagging beta, and let me ignore backslash tags, already.

Re:backslash (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 7 years ago | (#15746048)

Yes you can. Go to your profile, click Preferences, Homepage, then scroll down to the 'Customize Stories on the Homepage'. Backslash is there along with all the other sections. Click the far left option to disable it completely.

Re:backslash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15746124)

Well, hopefully they'll do a backslash about THIS article, and your comment will be the top rated post. Meta enough for ya?

Re:backslash (1)

Sketch (2817) | more than 7 years ago | (#15746156)

> Those backslash stories belong to another site, something like "metaslashdot.org". It doesn't make sense to rehash the same thing is the same slashdot format.

It's perfect for those who can't decide whether they should browse at +4 or +5.

My only problem... (0, Redundant)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745391)

...is that I forget to rewind the DVDs before I return them.

Re:My only problem... (1)

Nonillion (266505) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745685)

When I got a DVD player for the first time, it took me some time to NOT rewind the movie I watched. I went through the same adjustment when I got a CD player back in the early 80's.

Who has the time to watch crappy movies? (0, Redundant)

gasmonso (929871) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745392)

Seriously, with all the crappy movies out there and so little time, why bother. People feel obligated to rent movie from Netflix because they are paying regardless every month. That to me is just stupid unless you're an avid movie watcher. Most people find themselves out of time between reading, surfing the net, etc.

http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]

Re:Who has the time to watch crappy movies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15745429)

Let me edit that for you.


Seriously, with all the crappy movies out there and so little time, why bother. People feel obligated to rent movie from Netflix because they are paying regardless every month. That to me is just stupid unless you're an avid movie watcher. Most people find themselves out of time between reading, surfing the net, etc.

-------
http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]

Better. Now you try.

Re:Who has the time to watch crappy movies? (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745566)

You didn't edit a single thing? I'm confused..??

Re:Who has the time to watch crappy movies? (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745681)

Not every movie I watch has to be Casablanca. I appreciate watching bad movies as an indulgence. I own (via gift) the Horrible Horrors [amazon.com] Collection, volumes 1 and 2. Lately I've been watching The Greatest American Hero [wikipedia.org] on DVD, of which no one would claim that the production values are top-notch.

I don't sit down with a bag of popcorn, dim the lights, and take these in with the full "movie experience". As you state - they aren't good enough to be worth the effort. However, they have a "quality" to them that can be appreciated while I also read slashdot, or add ID3 tags to my ripped music, or read the local paper. I can't define this "quality"; I certainly don't watch them just for laughs, even though many are (unintentionally) humorous. Maybe I'm more willing to use my imagination to improve and escape into worlds that are poorly presented on screen, compared to the average viewer today that demands a level of "realism" even in special effects.

Re:Who has the time to watch crappy movies? (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745944)

Seriously, with all the crappy movies out there and so little time, why bother.

For me NetFlix serves two purposes. First, I know I'm going to want the TV on occasionally while I'm working on something else, or cooking dinner, or just feel like doing nothing else. Since that is the case, I might as well watch a good show, in the right order, rather than a random episode of whatever happens to be on cable.

Second, Sometimes after a hard night at the bar or just when a few dozen rowdy bikers show up it is great to throw in an old classic most people have never seen, or a terrible old sci-fi flick. Nothing in the world is more entertaining than a few computer geeks and a few bikers and a few punks drunkenly, yet wittily lambasting (MST3K style) the movies. It is worth it to hold onto "Night of the Lepus" for a few weeks.

Netflix good: Different people, different reasons (3, Insightful)

suggsjc (726146) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745421)

If there was anything that I got out of that it is that services like Netflix are good for different people for different reasons. Meaning that for some it allows them the freedom to watch them at a lesiurly pace. For others it is the frantic rate at which you can watch and return vast volumes of movies. For others it is just the great selection. Netflix will often carry movies that Blockbuster (and other brick and mortar companies) won't because of the low volume of rentals.

Anyway, the real story is that choices for consumers is a good thing. Some people would never use Netflix because they enjoy the trips to Blockbuster...browsing, touching, feeling. Others like the community feedback that an on-line store provides. People will decide what works best for them...and that is a good thing.

Oh dear (4, Funny)

also-rr (980579) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745424)

I had so many Slashdot Netflix storeis to potentially read I ended up leaving them all on the shelf to gather dust.

Re:Oh dear (1)

in2mind (988476) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745948)

I had so many Slashdot Netflix storeis to potentially read I ended up leaving them all on the shelf to gather dust.

Thats real. I postpone to read them later ,and then I forget all about it.

I rented 'Groundhog Day' ... (5, Funny)

Brett Johnson (649584) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745493)

I rented 'Groundhog Day' last February, but I still haven't watched it. Every morning I wake up thinking I will watch it, but I get sidetracked reading about <a href="http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/07/18/ 1654258">Netflix Users Experience Paradox of Abundance</a>.

Re:I rented 'Groundhog Day' ... (1)

morie (227571) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745763)

but is it still Februari where you are?

Re:I rented 'Groundhog Day' ... (1)

KylePflug (898555) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745788)

Is it still 4th grade where you are?

February

Re:I rented 'Groundhog Day' ... (1)

RebelWebmaster (628941) | more than 7 years ago | (#15746240)

Silly Dutch people and their different spelling of things ;-)

Didn't see this reason covered (1)

Duck of Death (189129) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745525)

I saw myself in the Hotel Rwanda example. That very movie sat on a shelf for a week and a half before we watched it. We knew it was going to be a tough one and wanted to wait until we were "ready" to watch it. Very good movie, by the way.

I didn't see my biggest problem discussed. My wife stays home with the kids and will, on occasion, watch a movie by herself. I then have to figure out how to watch the movie when my kids and my wife are either asleep or out of the house. That generally means watching it in multiple installments at 5:30 in the morning.

The longest we ever kept something was over a month and we sent it back without watching it.

DD

Re:Didn't see this reason covered (1)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745631)

Just read the script online. That way, you know what happened. The eye candy is pretty much fluff anyways.....

Irony... (1)

Colz Grigor (126123) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745541)

I guess the irony here, kids, is that the front-running related article, right beneath the text of this article is yesterday's "Netflix Users Experience Paradox of Abundance".

So clearly the tools exist to check for similar content, which leaves me wondering which of the following is true:

A) The tools are not made available for editors to research if an article is going to be a duplicate, or
B) The editors (okay, not all of them) don't bother researching...

Hrmmmm... ::Colz Grigor

That's the point (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745672)

The whole point of the Slashback things is that they collect interesting comments from previous stories - in this case the very story you mentioned. This content is not similar so much as it is condensed.

I like the idea of SLashback but would like to see more editorial commentary from the grouper.

Just in case you didn't think of something... (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745542)

...trivial to say on this uninteresting subject, here's the story again, and this time we'll help you by providing a selection of trivial and uninteresting comments that you can copy and paste into your own trivial and uninteresting replies.

Re:Just in case you didn't think of something... (1)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745658)

"Feeling "pressure" to watch a movie? What would these "paradox of abundance" sufferers do if they had to go out and hunt a woolly mammoth for dinner? Cripes, take a Paxil or something."

Re:Just in case you didn't think of something... (1)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 7 years ago | (#15746114)

How meta is it to comment on a metacomment about the metastory?

Reminds me of piracy (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15745546)

I'm going to post this one anonymously since you never know where the agents of copyright are hiding, especially with 200,000 Chinese kids on the hunt [slashdot.org] .

I'm not much into movies, frankly, but I am heavily into music and software. When broadband, CD burners, and a news host with a good alt.binaries.* feed came into my life, I downloaded music and software like a fiend. It was all free, and there was an ass-ton of it. It ended up consuming a lot of time, downloading, repacking, renaming, and organizing everything. My mp3 collection topped 60,000 tracks. That's bloody ridiculous, of course, since I could spend most of the rest of my life listening to that without repeating.

You know what? I got sick of it. It was too much stuff, and just organizing it so I could access it effectively was a tremendous time suck. I still have it, of course, and I still use some of it, but weirdly, I have ended up buying more music CDs and software titles from retail stores since then than I ever did before. It's more... manageable. I seldom ever bother with downloading pirated mp3s anymore.

The underlying psychology, I think, is that we are accustomed to scarcity, both in terms of our evolutionary heritage and our personal histories as consumers. Suddenly confronted by ridiculous abundance, it's very hard to develop a balanced approach. And this isn't just piracy or movie rentals. It's everything. How much time do people spend in malls or Wal-Mart or other stores looking for something to spend money on -- as opposed to going to a store with a specific purchase in mind? Human hoarding behavior is pretty much what you'd expect if you took a bunch of primates out of the marginal semi-arid plains of Africa and, in the blink of an evolutionary eye, dumped them in the middle of post-Christmas sales in a gigantic mall. We're hard-wired to expect that anything we don't snatch right away will be picked up by a competitor, and that wiring continues to be active even after the conditions that produced it no longer exist.

Piracy? Arrrr (1)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745972)

I think your post is great. I dont entirely agree with some of your points but I can see where you are coming from.

But I don't get your subject? what on earth does it have to do with one legged men with swords and beards and walking the plank?

Great for TV Series Watching (4, Insightful)

codeonezero (540302) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745553)

(Despite this being a Dupe, it gives me the chance to post some thoughts and possibility of people moderating them ;-) )

I've been using Netflix for the last 2 years. And it's been awesome for me. There have been a lot of good shows that for one reason or another I was never able to watch completely (Farscape, Firefly, Stargate SG-1, a couple of anime series). Sure I could have gone out and bought the series box sets, but in some cases I hadn't watched the whole series to make it worthwhile to buy.

Also since I rarely watch TV, Netflix is a nice alternative for me when I want to watch something. Not only that but I can watch something I'm interested in instead of the boring TV series that seem to be up now. Currently, I've been devouring season after season of Stargate SG-1, with 3-4 DVDs a week.

If instead I wanted to watch several theatre releases, I could see things being left on the shelf and eventually making their way back. I've had a few movies that I rented and didn't really watch.

Re:Great for TV Series Watching (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745888)

> Despite this being a Dupe, it gives me the chance to post some thoughts and possibility of people
> moderating them

Well, it's a "backslash" which appears to be a sort of intentional dupe. I'm about to go and see if I can disable them from my account, but perhaps the fact that "backslashes" are considered necessary points to the fact that you just can't have as many people contributing (for want of a better word) to a slashdot conversation as currently do. It seems that if you post to a story after it's been on the site for more than a few hours you're not likely to get very much in the way of thoughtful responses.

Re:Great for TV Series Watching (1)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745991)

This is a good point, especially where the Star Trek dvd sets are concerned. I've been making my way through each season of TNG, now up to season 3. In the store, each season set is upwards of $110. Netflix makes it economical to catch up on the series.

Wow, finally, some confirmation that I'm not crazy (5, Insightful)

mashuren (886791) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745592)

Ever since I got into this whole pirating routine, I've found myself paradoxically enjoying my entertainment far less than I have before. It seems like having a neverending supply of game ROMS, movies and TV shows available to me should be a great thing, but I mostly find myself hoarding a bunch of stuff that I never watch. I try to find excuses to buy stuff instead of downloading it. My friends call me crazy, but in all honesty, the satisfaction of going out and spending my hard-earned money on something just makes me appreciate it more. I've found myself buying a lot more books lately, since the book is one experience that just can't be emulated. Every time I buy a book, I read it from beginning to end, and usually enjoy the experience. None of my books ever go half-finished, I don't get bored of them in favor of picking up another book, or cycling through a ton of books. Having an incredible amount of options avaiable to me is, ultimately, unfulfilling.

Re:Wow, finally, some confirmation that I'm not cr (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 7 years ago | (#15746206)

I'd say that it is not the abundance that is your problem, it is the price.

It is human nature to assign greater value to things that cost the acquirer more. In your case, pirated entertainment is essentially free, so you feel that it is of little worth. While paying your "hard earned money" for something gives it a boost in perceived value.

This phenomenon manifests throughout the human experience, from the mundane to the weird. For example, it has been widely reported that the people who pay full sticker price for their cars tend to be the happiest and have the least number of complaints regardless of make or model.

Another case is fraternity hazing - which on the surface makes absolutely no sense, what kind of idiot wants to be a part of a group that tortured them? Well, it works out that all the hazing is the "price of entrance" to the group and has the long-term effect of making the fraternity members assign an irrationally high value to their membership in the group.

little dvd envelopes under those dust bunnies?? (1)

krinsh (94283) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745613)

I have had a couple of movies out since May. MAY. I have watched a few DVDs of television episodes and sent them back, and now have two movies waiting for my attention. Why? Because I have a wife, kids, a gym membership, and volunteer at my church - not to mention the insane demands my job puts on me. I bet all of you have one or more of these to contend with as well. Do I love Netflix; despite the fact that my 30 day trial got me new movies much much faster than they do now that I'm paying for them, even if I "sit" on a movie for a couple of weeks? You bet! I don't have a deficit at any local rental store (ahem you owe 25 dollars in late fees before you can rent that 2.99) and I don't even have to go to that part of town anymore; saving me outrageous amounts of time and I don't have to take any of those kids with me in the process.

Re:little dvd envelopes under those dust bunnies?? (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745945)

Truly, the answer to this problem is an obvious plan:

1. Immediately cancel your gym membership. You need to spend more time "sitting" and "staring".
2. Immediately quit volunteering at church. In fact, quit church. (You are going to need to start sleeping in on the weekends.)
3. Begin consuming large quantities of "junk food" and spend your time reloading the Slashdot main page.
4. Once you gain some weight, stop bathing for a while, and get really slothful your other problem of being married will take care of itself.
5. Now you have time to watch your movies!!

::sigh:: (1)

fernandoh26 (963204) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745625)

Is it just me or is Slashdot turning more and more like Digg+1hr or Digg+1day? Don't get me wrong, I prefer Slashdot over Digg any day of the week, but lately its been very noticeable.

Re:::sigh:: (1)

pico303 (187769) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745724)

Slashdot has the nice feature though of carrying stories about things other than Slashdot. Ever notice the abundance of stories on digg.com about how great Digg is or how this or that site is copying Digg? Of course, we all know who Digg copied...

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15745652)

I wasted 15 minutes of my life reading the original article - now we have an article *about* the article?

Fut The Whuck?

Not sure the beef here... (1)

spx (855431) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745659)

Someone mentioned "hat to me is just stupid unless you're an avid movie watcher", but what if we are? This household, has no issues using Netflix, the one time we actually had to wait for a movie (week of 06/06/06 after we watched the newer version of The Omen, I found out DH had never seen the original one, so we waited like a week for it). Was not that much of a problem really. We watch tons of movie, and this service well deff. come in handy since we are expecting first child and will have less time to go out to the Digital Theater here in town to see in THX. If your movies sit around for a really long ass time collecting dust, thats only your own fault. Sometimes we get busy and dont watch it the first day we receive it (maybe 2 days at the most), running a Hosting company and having another FT job, besides normal household duties - but still, IMHO if we can find time, Im sure the most of you can (pause from reading slashdot even for an hour or so, and theres your time, or downloading p0rn, whatever your choice is). krinsh I can agree with you....like I said above, DH with FT job, Hosting company, 5 pets, 7 months pregnant now, even with your life being hectic, you can manage at your own time to watch what you want - if not, then its just sheer laziness. :)

Re:Not sure the beef here... (1)

spx (855431) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745702)

hat - That* well - will* movie - movies* Damn preview button hates me :( O wait, I cant read Dee Dee Dee - nevermind.

slashbackback (2, Funny)

saboola (655522) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745674)

Hey can we get a post about the comments in this post about comments?

Two Words (1)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 7 years ago | (#15746118)

No comment.

One Word (1)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 7 years ago | (#15746298)

"No".

By the way, you got your .sig wrong. It goes like this:

When immigration is criminalized, only criminals will immigrate.

which of course also explains why you don't see many white-collar workers illegally immigrating.

That's not it.. (1)

Coolnat2004 (830862) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745684)

People aren't watching movies because they're too busy finding stories to dupe on Slashdot!

Replay Link (1)

voisine (153062) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745688)

I posted this in the original thread, but http://replaylink.com/ [replaylink.com] is a service where you can buy and sell used DVDs (as well as CDs and video games). They send you a postage paid mailer just like Netflix, so the convenience is about the same. You can buy something, keep as long as you want, and then turn around and sell it. The shipping fee and seller fee together are about the same as a rental. If you only watch a few movies a month or go on vaccation or something, it's cheaper than the netflix subscription fee.

What does it matter (1)

bigtimepie (947401) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745703)

What does it matter to Netflix? They still get their payment. And to the subscribers? Stop paying for nothing if you ain't gonna watch 'em!

Guess it's a slow news day (1)

bark76 (410275) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745737)

Why else would there be a slashdot article summarizing comments from a slashdot article?

Backslash used to be worth a damn (1)

dangermouse (2242) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745914)

That's what backslash is now. It used to be a post of follow-ups to earlier stories, with new information or with resolutions to open questions from the original discussion.

Now it's just a summary of the original discussion, which is a complete waste of everyone's time. Those of us who cared enough to read the comments probably already did, and if not, those comments are all still there.

(For the inevitable jackass: I have removed Backslash in my prefs, but since I don't subscribe it still shows up in my feed.)

Re:Backslash used to be worth a damn (1)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 7 years ago | (#15746028)

Actually, that's slashback. Backslash is the opposite.

I think. Could be wrong, though.

How long (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15745738)

Until they backslash the backslash?

Gradual movie watching (1)

rolofft (256054) | more than 7 years ago | (#15745915)

I get around the stuck queue problem by watching movies a bit at a time. This avoids devoting a given evening to watch an entire film. I usually watch a third of a movie per day over the course of three days.

It takes a little getting used to, but is second nature to me now. It gives time to gradually digest the movie's content, like reading and reflecting on a novel over the course of a week, rather than in one sitting.

Taking Dupes to a Whole New Level? (3, Insightful)

ml10422 (448562) | more than 7 years ago | (#15746016)

I'm sorry, but aren't you just posting a Slashdot article summarizing another Slashdot article and its comments?

Drown, Hollywood, Drown (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#15746063)

The real damage being done here is that the apparent capacity of the audience for consuming many titles is increasing. The bottleneck of watching the movie is removed. So now Hollywood can stuff even more worthless crap through the pipeline.

It will get harder to distinguish the worthwhile titles from the crap, and the good movies will fill with product placements, because they're more likely to actually get watched.

Those nagging slashdot duplicates (1)

darcling (987237) | more than 7 years ago | (#15746065)

Wasn't this story posted just yesterday?

I can understand a few days separation (I have the memory of a goldfish, so you can slip them by me), but within 24hrs?
It makes me a sad panda... and you wouldn't like me when I'm sad.

What I'd like to know... (1)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 7 years ago | (#15746074)

pay $50 to see it in the theater ($10 for 2 people,

Where do you find Movie tickets for $5 a head these days? Here in Orange County, CA movie tickets start at about $10/head except for Matinees maybe (certainly can't do a movie "night" anyways). Now granted Orange County is one of the most expensive places in the United States to live, but is it that much better elsewhere? Then the movie people probably wonder why I don't go to the movies very much...

I'm moving to that town (1)

PMuse (320639) | more than 7 years ago | (#15746115)

nullix wrote: "...I can easily rent ... without having to pay $50 to see it in the theater ($10 for 2 people, $20 for food, $20 for a babysitter)."

$10 for 2 tickets? Around here, the dollar theatre costs more than that.

Over availability killing the cool factor (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 7 years ago | (#15746211)

Eight or nine years ago having several hundred Mp3s made a guy the cool kid in town. Now not having several thousand Mp3s makes a guy obsolete.

I got my name, LoudMusic, those eight or nine years ago by having A) A cable modem, and B) 12GB of Mp3s. I guess about three years ago the mission to fill with Mp3s every last byte of disk space I could purchase just became profound insanity. I had plans to build multi-terabyte disk arrays and gather all my friends collections together. Then I realized that 99% of what I already possessed I'd never listened to.

Gluttony.

So now I litterally have no music on my computer. Any of my computers. I use iTunes at work and listen to my coworkers shared libraries. At home I just play video games (old ones at that ...)

The extreme abundance of content is simply overwhelming. Furthermore it's mostly crap and almost impossible to sort through it to find a gem.

I don't have stacks of unwatched DVDs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15746302)

I have stacks of unwatched *COPIES* of DVDs laying around.
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