It’s not just the AppleTV app. My Samsung Smart TV also plays previews, actually starting episodes while I’m browsing. It’s completely obnoxious that there’s no way to turn it off.
Yes, Adam! Yes! I managed to disable most auto-plays in the Firefox browser, including Netflix thankfully. But the Netflix app on our LG smart TV does all the crappy stuff mentioned above, including auto-play that seems to have a mind of its own. And very unintuitive; I had to search out how to remove unwanted shows from the “continue watching” list (it’s buried in the personal settings but at least it’s possible).
And thank you for calling out the other UI irritations mentioned at the beginning of your piece! I have to wonder how many are due to a specific effort to manipulate users, and how many are just plain BAD DESIGN? Programmers who are too young or clueless to understand why these behaviors suck… People who want to “fancy up” a website and end up making it hard to use… Everybody copying everybody else’s stupid ideas… And, also, website templates that many people use, designed by those same kinds of programmers.
I have a hope that perhaps website design is going through the same kind of evolution as so much of technology, and that eventually many of the bad ideas will be culled out by “natural selection.” So your campaign to fix Netflix is a Darwinian movement!
For an example of a really pretty nice UI (on a website that provides a useful service) see reelgood.com.
Whoa, Reelgood is a fabulous database of movies and TV shows aimed at helping you figure out what you might want to watch on the services you subscribe to.
And this is a good point—I’ve now heard from people using Netflix apps on a variety of platforms, and they’re all spitting mad. Samsung, Roku, you name it. The Netflix iOS apps seem to be the best at NOT harassing us.
Thanks for this discussion, auto play on Netflix is a bother!
All points made here are excellent. To expand on the annoying and distracting- add loud music in retail stores to the peeves of modern life!
I will definitely be calling Netflix support thank you, I recommend calling out the “loud music in retail stores” on social media too.
I think I resent even more their wasting my bandwidth with megabytes of crap that I do not want—That is not playing nice on our internet!
Just phoned NF, they cut me off twice in the process of asking/complaining.
(I used the story of: the rude quotes on previews disturbing my kid!)
They tried to send me to Playback Settings of course, then had to ask for second-line tech. They then say, ‘managers monitor calls for trends in complaints’ (per the article). Doesn’t leave you feeling very convinced this’ll change anytime soon, TBH.
Not bothering again, these types of ‘complain to achieve nothing immediately substantial’ calls, are too much work, especially dealing the staff who are clueless, unfortunately. As “Computer says no”.
I came upon this article while searching for news sites that don’t use autoplay and have to say that this is an excellent article. Unfortunately it seems no news websites exist that don’t use autoplay videos. I think it is rude to autoplay videos since 1) I believe users should have the right to decide for themselves what their bandwidth is being used for, 2) Many avoid autoplay videos since there is the risk of drive by download attacks and there are some reputable sites out there who have infected visitors to their websites, 3) Many people don’t have fast internet speeds or have limited data which results in slower web speeds or overage charges. I think that we should report on sites that don’t use autoplay videos so that users can choose sites that choose to respect users rights and their bandwidth. Perhaps a website dedicated to listing websites that don’t use autoplay so that other users who don’t like autoplay can choose websites that choose to respect their wishes. Many advertisers are constantly finding ways to stop their videos from being blocked by blockers and don’t seem to understand that some users dislike autoplay videos and will even avoid a site that has autoplay especially if the autoplay video somehow gets past video blocking software. I think this is just as ignorant as creating a website that automatically determines if a visitor has a printer. If they do, the site automatically prints a 15 page brochure for them to read. If someone wanted to print a brochure they would do so themselves just like if someone wanted to watch a video they would watch it themselves. In fact, I’m certain that most people have no idea what is being sold by a video when they quickly leave the website or try to stop the video from playing. They are focusing on stopping the video or leaving the website, not viewing the advertisement. Some people have gone over their data limits because they left a tab open that had autoplay (such as muted videos or they turned down the sound to not hear the audio) that kept gobbling up data.
Many avoid autoplay videos since there is the risk of drive by download attacks and there are some reputable sites out there who have infected visitors to their websites
Just a quick note that there has only been one instance of such a driveby attack on Mac users in modern times. That was a variant of the Flashback malware back in 2011 caused by a Java Plugin vulnerability. Still a low probability that a means of something similar related to a video could be found in the future.
Also, I am not aware of there ever being an instance of a site sending an unwanted brochure (or any other document) over the Internet to a Mac connected printer.
Finally, to address your suggestion here, I’m equally annoyed by auto-plays, but would appreciate some details on your proposed method of reporting. Are you suggesting we list such sites here or is there some agency or group that you would be willing to accept and do something with these?
I mainly referred to PC’s when referring to drive by download attacks. Just because there has only been one instance of such an attack on Mac systems doesn’t mean that it will never happen. I prefer to take evasive actions to prevent it even if there is only one instance where it happened. In the printer example I didn’t intend to suggest that someone has figured a way to force a printer to print without user permission. I understand that this is impossible. I was only using it as an example of advertisers automatically playing video and audio and suggesting users just mute the volume and turn off the video if they don’t wish to watch videos. If they did find a way to print to printers this would be like them printing a brochure and telling users that if they don’t with to have their printer print a brochure, to turn off the printer or disconnect it. As for the site listing of sites that don’t use autoplay my suggestion would be an organization of some kind that certifies sites that don’t use autoplay on their site. Users can visit this site to learn of sites that don’t use autoplay.