In a massive blow to illegal downloaders around the globe, streaming site Netflix, which recently arrived in the UK, has been found to be “quite good”. The site provides easy access to high-quality streaming for a flat fee of £5.99 per month, in a neat contrast to the recent shenanigans of the Great Eagle-Men. It has always seemed likely that if the wild frontier of illegal downloading were to be tamed it would be through a commercial service giving the same level of convenience, rather than bombastic but futile legal actions which amount to trying to capture a rogue bar of soap in the bath.
Netflix’s greatest flaw appears to be its cumbersome category system which, rather than simple alphabetical list of films and TV shows, favours a slowly side-scrolling slideshow which crams seven posters at time into various bizarre pigeonholes, such as “Feel-good Romantic Foreign Films”, “British Workplace TV Programmes” and “Critically-acclaimed Visually-striking Violent Films”. It’s still leagues ahead of clumsy competitors, which mix gestures to the modern in with the same old rental system. I have seen the future, and it requires little or no buffering.