Review of Yahoo Screen

Yahoo is producing some new great content, like Other Space. If you haven't seen it, check it out. It has some fresh and talented faces, and some familiar ones for a old geek like me (Joel Hodgson and Trace Beaulieu). They've also released some apps you can use to view the content. They are mostly usuable, but need some work. Here's my attempt at a constructive review.

Roku

My only complaint with the Roku app is that it is not compatible with the older Roku (Roku 2). I'd suggest that prioritizing getting the content into the most homes should take precedence over taking advantage of whatever features are offered by the later hardware.

iPad app

  1. It has a feature that lets you swipe with a single finger to navigate between videos: Left or right to go to the previous or next episode in the series, respectively; and up or down to move between series. It's one of those features that seems nifty, but in use, turns out to be too easy to accidentally trigger. Once I've started watching an episode, it's unlikely I'm going to want to jump to the next one. I discovered the feature completely by accident. Once you've jumped, it's an annoying interruption, because you apparently lose whatever data was buffered as the app tries to buffer the next episode, so you have to go back and wait.

  2. The app seems to "forget" where it was a bit to easily. I don't think it's saving its progress. Even after a few minutes in other apps, I found that I had to manual scrub-hunt for where I left off. Hey, I just invented a word!

  3. This is probably actually google's fault, but the ability to stream to a Chromecast would be really nice.

scrubhunt - n. - The act of trying to find the desired point in a video by successive approximation as you scrub to points in the time line. This may take the form of a binary search when trying to find an interesting location of an already watched video to show a friend. When attempted to resume a video that is only partially watched, the search can be more laborious as the desired point is only approached from one direction in a series of ever-diminishing steps, as the viewer does not want to accidentally skip past the point and see spoilers.