Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Storming the CASTLE: And You Wonder Why There Are Pirates?

Much has been made of the recent trial in Europe and what file sharing means to intellectual property holders everywhere. I don't think there has been a definitive legal decision as yet, however let me relate a simple story that should clue most people in as to why there are pirates in the first place.

I watched the ABC Television series CASTLE the other day, but was pulled out of the final two acts of the show because of a phone call. I didn't worry though, knowing I could go to the ABC website the next day and stream the rest of the show to catch up.

I went to the ABC site and clicked several buttons, waiting for the show to load up.


Then the website said that I needed to download an "optimized player" in order to watch the show. It was a plug-in that added to Firefox.

Great. Did that.

Then it informed me I had to restart Firefox with the possibility it wouldn't be able to restore my previous session and that I would have to click around again to find the show.

O-kay. Did that. Clicked around. Found the show.

Clicked start.

Sputter. [Excuse me, "optimized sputter"]

Pause. Allow to buffer. Play. Sputter.

Repeat as insanity.

Then I clicked off the site, went to an "unauthorized stream" and two clicks later I was watching the show with no interruption, full-screen and great audio.

FYI - I liked CASTLE. Light-hearted, fun and a good cast. I could easily see half a dozen stories right away, and different directions you could take the premise. It's a helluva lot better than BONES and 11th HOUR combined.

And if I miss it on television, I won't be catching up with it on the network's website.


Roger Alford said...

I had a related issue with Life On Mars. Got interested in the show when ABC started running it after Lost (which was their plan). So I went to their website to watch the previous eps and catch up on the mythology, but for some reason ABC thought it was a good idea to ONLY show the current four episodes. Not too smart, if you ask me. So, I had to look elsewhere. Then, of course, after I finally got caught up, they cancelled the show.

Emily Blake said...

Am I the only person who hated that pilot?

Cunningham said...


Curt Purcell said...

You aren't kidding. I've consistently found that the networks, determined to do their own thing and keep everything off proven applications like youtube that they don't own or control, end up doing an incredibly poor job of delivering such content.

Jon Molly said...

You didn't even mention the inflexibility once you get it playing. I rarely spend time simply sitting and watching TV. Especially now that I watch so much "TV" on the computer where there is a keyboard and other applications whispering thier siren song to me. As a result I would rather play the show in a small window while other applications are open. But the player doesn't give you the freedom to resize the window, so all of that valuable real estate is used, and I can't work on other things.

Not always, but half the time, I just turn off the show or find something else to watch on a player I have more control over. So thier desire to lock me into their format is driving me away from thier content. Way to go!

(For the record, I now have to use three or four different players, one for each of the networks and different one for NetFlis. This complain may not be applicable to all of them.)

Cunningham said...

I, or any other audience member should be able to click "play" and as it loads be able to maneuver the screen anyway I choose.

It needs to be so simple that I don't have expend any additional energy getting it the way I want it.

One of the players I generally don't have a problem with is Veoh. It also has an excellent "library" of content that is not only their own, but linked to other offerings like Hulu and Youtube.

I also like the fact I can easily download most of their offerings if I want to watch them offline later that day. A plus for someone like me who has to respond to about 250 emails a day.