Netflix queue management ideas
You and your queue.

Note: I wrote this back when I subscribed to Netflix's dvd-by-mail service.  I've never used their streaming system.  In spite of the flack the company has gotten in recent years, I liked them.  I only quit the service for two reasons un-related to them: 1) I simply didn't have enough time to sit around and watch a full movie almost nightly and 2) I had a huge supply of dvds available outside the service.  I live two miles from a major downtown library (and less than five from another big one).  I was borrowing dvds from friends, including an ex-girlfriend who had literally hundreds of discs, all with no time limit on returning them.  I could actually see going back to Netflix in the future, just not at this point in my life.

Netflix has been pretty good.  I'm a serious movie addict, so I have a looooong list of movies and tv shows I want to see.  It isn't good if you want a particular movie RIGHT NOW, but it's nice always having something you want to watch.  I mainly joined it because, since I watch so many movies, I'm usually looking for things that are kind of hard to find without having to buy them, and I don't do that.  These guys have just about everything ever released on disc, so I have access to things I would otherwise have to buy if I wanted to see them.  Overall it's been pretty satisfying.

Organizing the list.

I have two approaches: rotating the content and randomizing it.


Rotating it means that I want different types of things.  I don't want to get nothing but tv shows for me that my partner won't be interested in.  I need variety, so here's what I do:

I have the unlimited 3 movies at a time account ($20/month), so I set up my queue so that I rotate between different categories.
1) something for me and Dani (usually a tv show we both like)
2) a tv show for me that she isn't interested in
3) a movie.

This way there's always variety in what's arriving at any given time.


In order to randomize it, I draw from a "wish list" of movies I want to see, and I'm constantly adding to that.  Either I could always add new movies I hear about to the top of the list or the bottom of the list, but either way isn't fair, and I didn't want to drop them in randomly because there's never a way to ensure you're being random.  Well, actually there is.  I just alphabetized the list (Thanks, Excel), and I always add in the new titles alphabetically, perhaps twenty or so at a time.  As mentioned above, I'm also picking up dvds from the library and friends, so sometimes I get to "skip ahead" on my list. 

Occasionally I'll bump up a few seasonal things such as The Nightmare Before Xmas or Rocky Horror around Halloween (especially if I'm doing research for costumes or making props), but the main goal in alphabetizing the list is that I never know what I'm going to get from one day to the next.  Sometimes I'll get something that's almost a new release, whereas other times I'll get something that's really old and has been on my list to see since even before I was on Netflix.  It keeps me from sort of jumping the gun and only going with things I know I want to see.  If I only went after movies I knew I was going to like (or at least what to expect), I wouldn't ever have any surprises, and the reason I watch movies is because I like surprises.

Copyright 2007 (Revised 2012) Ale[x]plorer.
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