Netflix, iOS4, iPhone 3G… and Nerd Rage

Life, Rants

So yesterday the Netflix app came out for the iPhone and iPod touch. What a red letter day in the history of science this was. As if my life with an iPhone 3G and iOS4 isn’t a fucking pit of despair already, now I have this taunting me on my phone. You’re supposed to be able to use Netflix Watch Instantly ( the greatest thing in the history of entertainment) on the phone over 3G or WiFi.

Oh please can I Mr. Jobs, can I haz entertainments?

So I download the app, start it up. It responds in the same sluggish way that everything does not on my iCrapped 4 device. I get to the gleaming red Netflix log-in screen, enter my email address, enter my password. then watch the spinning wheel of sloth for a few seconds. Then a dialog pops up…

Sorry Login Timed out, Try Again!

What a happy cheerful message that was, I’d really like to try again… But then the screen refreshes and I have to enter my email and password again. Which is annoying when I have to type it on a regular keyboard, when it’s on a tiny touchscreen it’s more that maddening. So after 4 or 5 tries I give up.

I understand that this may be a first day problem with everyone trying to reach the servers all at once. But I tried it again later on my WiFi and it still didn’t work.  This morning too and NOTHING.  This should be the number one rule of web form design…


Actually that should be just about the only rule of web form design. I would like to use the Netflix App… I REALLY REALLY would.


So it turns out that I wasn’t entering the right password into Netflix… So my frustration was partially self inflicted. The message that came back says “Login Timeout, please check your user name and password and try again.”  Last time I checked that wasn’t called a login timeout, that was called “Password incorrect” or “Username/Password combination not recognized” I think Netflix has a serious problem with UI design. I can’t figure out why they never seem to address the problems that are on various platforms. Maybe they are designed by different teams that do not communicate with each other.

So my impressions of the actual service are pretty good.  I was able to stream a movie over WiFi without it stopping, buffered for about 30 seconds in the beginning and then smooth sailing after that. On 3G it was a little slower, but after pausing it for about 2 minutes to let it buffer I was able to stream Monsters Inc almost completely through in the car.  But for no apparent reason you can’t add movies to the physical media que… why? I have another application on the Iphone (phoneflix) that will manage my queues on the  device. It looks like they just forgot it. For a company that is trying to have its service on as many devices as possible I’d think that they’d have someone to make sure that all the features are included on all devices.

and while we’re at it can I have a search for all streaming movies? Not just show me the top 50 in each category.