Streaming video is amazing technology that didn't exist a decade ago. I can watch episodes of a brand new show online with only five commercials breaking it up. And I'm not just talking web-quality clips. I'm not even talking about DVD quality clips. I can pull, across the internet, a full HD image in real time.
...most of the time.
Here's the deal, video content delivery people:
I don't mind waiting if, and only if, I can buffer/download the entire thing. If you only give me a few "buffer bars" and no more, you're ruining my viewing experience. If, for whatever reason, my internet is slow or your server is being slashdotted and I can't get my 1080p image to play in real time... you need to let me cache the video, not just buffer.
It does me little good to watch 15 seconds of a show, only to have to wait four minutes for the next 15.
So, please, take a cue from QuickTime and YouTube: Let me get the entire show preloaded if I want.
I know, I know: Doing so will increase the amount of data you have to serve out because people won't get as fed up with your site and abandon you. I realize this. But consider the alternative: You don't have to resubmit the data if they want to rewind and watch a part again.
That's got to be worth something.
Thank you for considering my plea.
Your Media Production Mentor