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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Netflix on `60 Minutes'

I'm told there was a good segment about Netflix on `60 Minutes' this past Sunday.

I didn't catch it, but checked first for it on YouTube, where CBS has been distributing some of its content.

Wasn't there.

Next, I went to CBS.com, where I found it -- but not without plenty of headaches

First, I had to download a new version of RealPlayer. Then I had to switch browsers, since RealPlayer doesn't seem to work with Safari. Then, I had to try to make the file play. That took a few tries. Then "buffering." Then, the file seemed to stop before the segment ended. (Or perhaps CBS doesn't post the full segment, and just neglected to indicate that on the Web site.) I tried to watch the video a second time to see if there was, in fact more, and noticed that there was no fast-forward button on RealPlayer.

All of which makes two important points -- often neglected -- about why YouTube has attracted such a big audience: they use Macromedia Flash for video, which works well in almost all browsers, and they made it fast and easy to actually get a given video to play.