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Netflix abruptly yanks unavailable streaming movies from 'saved' view

Richard Lawler, @Rjcc
September 18, 2011
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Netflix's website has suddenly changed (again), removing any queued Watch Instantly titles that aren't currently available from view. Previously they entered the saved section of the queue, keeping a slot full and occasionally indicating when the movie would be licensed for viewing again. A blog post published after the fact suggests inactive titles on the list made things complicated (but not too complicated for the DVD queue, where the saved list remains), and that while they're invisible, they're not deleted and will still reappear when (if) a title is available to stream again. Users hugging the 500-item limit in their queue still have those ghost titles taking up a slot, although we're told that will be fixed in the next few days.

If you want to see the list again just to go over it or queue them on disc, Hacking Netflix indicates FeedFliks (one of our favorite alternative queue management sites along with InstantWatcher) is still able to show your expired titles -- for now. Just a bit of advice for Netflix: If you're trying to show some appreciation to the millions of customers you expect to stick around through Q3 despite higher prices and an uncertain content licensing future, making arbitrary and unannounced changes to the way we access our data is the wrong way to do it. As it is, we're forced to wonder if this move is less about streamlining and more about hiding the amount of titles that are going offline lately or in the near future.



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