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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Note to NBC: Putting Video on the Net is Not Enough ... It Actually Has to Work

NBC's spat with iTunes has been well-publicized. The result is that new NBC shows are no longer available for purchase on iTunes.

Having missed a few recent episodes of 'The Office,' I first visited iTunes ... before remembering that they weren't for sale there. (I've bought two or three episodes of the show from iTunes in the past.)

Then I went to, which offers recent episodes for free, supported by advertising.

The only problem is that they are utterly unwatchable. After four attempts on two different days, I couldn't get the videos to play at anything better than what looked like one frame per second.

I noticed today on the NBC Web site that others have the same problem. "I can't get the full episodes working either. Tried IE and Firefox to no avail. :(" wrote a user named Matt. " has been totally lame all day. nothing's working," wrote another user.

Someone who seems to be an NBC employee posted the helpful advice, "To get the full episodes to work you have to refresh the page tben you have to close the page or try getting the video back. NBC is very sorry for you difficulties and wishes you the best."

Hmmm... is it better to sell episodes for $1.99 on iTunes, or offer them with advertising in a way that no one can actually watch them?

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  • Weird. A couple of weeks ago when I had the occasion to watch some shows on all three network's doc coms and decided to write about it, it was working fine. Overall, I haven't had any trouble with it.

    By Blogger Boz, at 12:41 PM  

  • p.s. Which is not to say I agree with their crazy decision, because I don't.

    By Blogger Boz, at 1:07 PM  

  • I had similar problems trying to watch The Office last week. And, at the time I checked, they were only offering every other episode. I gave up after I figured out I couldn't see the one I missed.

    By Blogger J. Ott, at 2:18 PM  

  • I just find the whole thing dodgy. If I can go to STAGE 6 or any other site and download a whole show (instead of having it in pieces) and watch it, that means that NBC backed the wrong system.

    But of course, that's nothing new.

    By Blogger Cunningham, at 9:39 PM  

  • Hulu seems to work nicely with The Office clips, however.

    By Blogger Matt Jeppsen, FreshDV, at 9:16 PM  

  • Hrrm, link looks mangled here... try this linky instead. The ability to embed portions of a video clip is NICE.

    By Blogger Matt Jeppsen, FreshDV, at 9:27 PM  

  • totally agree with you.
    i tried so many different times on so many different computers, browsers and so many different days.
    one frame per 20 secs is the average play that happens for the office episodes on NBC. what a lame site. i wonder how can a company owned by GE, the top fortune 500 company has such poor infrastructure.
    if you try to go forward or backwards in the video, it restarts.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 2:39 AM  

  • By Blogger Admin, at 9:53 PM  

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