February 20, 2020

Navigating Netflix

Especially during the high-demand time slots, HIDIVE struggles the most of my "big three," even failing to launch the app. Though if the app does load successfully, there usually aren't any problems playing a video.

Netflix always launches in a jiffy. Except quite randomly (more often on weekends), navigating the app or playing a video slows to a herky-jerky crawl. Then a reboot later, it runs fine. Hard to say what's going on, though Netflix could stand to pare back on the bells and whistles, like the auto-play previews (which can now be turned off).

Speaking of HIDIVE, there are many similarities between the "pop-down" windows for the Netflix and HIDIVE online catalogs, though the Netflix interface is slicker and more feature packed. The Netflix play screen stays clean when paused, something I wish HIDIVE would copy. Netflix and HIDIVE even append localization credits similarly.

I prefer to watch the credits, so on the Netflix website, go to Account > Playback Settings and uncheck the Autoplay box. Unfortunately, this setting doesn't discriminate between the original show credits and the localization credits (that can go on and on). So it's nice to still be able to skip past them.

With such a massive amount of content, discovery on Netflix is a mixed bag. Compared to the terrifically useful genre list on the DVD site, the streaming genre list is a skeleton outline. There is an "anime" category and a "Kdrama" category but not a "Jdrama" category. Spanish is the only language category.

Netflix indexes the whole site so keyword searches are powerful, though often to the point of being useless without more selectivity. Searching "Japanese" returns everything containing that keyword. More importantly, searching "Japanese" displays links to the relevant Japanese-language categories at the top of the results page.

I just wish these subcategories could be accessed from the pull-down genre list in each global category. But a quite neat feature of the Netflix search engine is that it stores the metadata for titles not in its catalog and often returns hits that are pretty close matches to the genre and subject matter of the title not found.

If you want to search the Netflix catalog without signing onto Netflix, third-party sites such as Flixable and Reelgood are worth a look.

Like Crunchyroll, Netflix renders its own subtitles, which are more readable and customizable (Japanese is an option) than the default hardware-based closed captions. And the good old DVD-style (or Crunchyroll-style) queue is still there on the website. Go to Account > My Profile > Order in My List and select Manual Ordering.

Related posts

Netflix switch
The Netflix fox
Netflix in Japanese
Death of the doctrine
The streaming chronicles

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# posted by Blogger Vick
2/22/2020 9:17 PM   
I came here to thank you immensely for the translation of the Twelve Kingdoms books. I always wanted to read the books and, when I found your collection, I couldn't believe it! You made my dream come true. Thank you so much for this. It was a beautiful translation job that you did.