Why can't companies get this stuff right?
Penned 11 years ago.
A couple of nights ago, I decided to give the Film and TV show site Hulu another chance, since I heard that they had added the tv show Alf to their lineup.
First, some background
The last time I tried the site was in the private beta, and lets just say I was less than impressed. Along came Joost, which is brought to you by some people I know, and poof! I didn't really care about Hulu anymore.
Hulu didn't have any compelling content, and the Joost offering was a client you ran on your computer, and worked with the apple remote. Laziness wins out every time.
The dark days for a Joost user on a mac
Joost was great in the beginning, but one update removed full screen, even on the widescreen movie content, and then another update hosed the apple remote. Things were frustrating for a good long while for me and countless thousands of mac users.
Finally they sorted things out, and the remote started working again. But there was still the annoying "non full screenness" that I had to contend with, and the quality just wasn't what I wanted.
I had a good ride with Joost, even through the annoying mac client problems, but I have a widescreen HDTV, and by Oden's beard, I want to watch my content full screen, in at least DVD quality. Eventually we stopped firing up Joost. And so died internet TV in the Davis household.
Now I know that the genuises at Joost are hard at work making things better, and are about to drop untold hotness on the waiting masses, but it isn't hear yet. I still await the Hotness people.
Like I said, the Alf got me
So fast forward to now and the revelation of Alf being all up in here. I mosey on over to Hulu and log into my long dormant account and start poking around. My but there are a lot of quality movies on there now aren't there? And ooh, look you can watch them full screen... I mean honest to goodness full screen. And what is that, 420p you say? I can haz near DVD quality?
So the wife and I watched Lost in Translation one night, and I watched Titan A.E. not too long ago, and man is this great. Only its not, because I have to use the blasted mouse and keyboard to navigate the content. Bah, laziness rearing its ugly head!
But wait, there is salvation on the internets I am told, some wonderful person with stylish hair and perfect teeth I am sure, has released a stand alone app that interfaces with Hulu. Its a new day, everyone lives and they get a pony in every pot and a chicken to ride all their very own!
Only again, not so much. Seems good ol' Hulu has decided that those dern kids shouldn't be using this content via any mechanism other than the Hulu website, even though you know, they make all their moeny off adverts that are embedded in the videos, which are still played via said application.
Someone took the time to make an app that interfaces with their content, the stuff they make money off of, that is optimized for viewing on a TV and allows you to use a remote which instantly adds eleventy-billion percent more value to said product and how does Hulu react?
By shutting it down. And not just shutting it down, but making it into a snide little dig:
You know what? If I wanted to view this video at Hulu.com, I wouldn't have downloaded this blasted app, now would have I? I was so stoked to start really using this service. There was a good chance I would have been watching Hulu content at least once a week, probably more like 2 - 3 times a week.
But now? Unless something changes I doubt I will be using it at all. Not providing an app is one thing, but intentionally breaking usefull functionality that doesn't adversely affect your revenue is unacceptable.
When did I start turning into a hippy boy? Geez.
I hope you enjoyed reading Why can't companies get this stuff right?
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