An anonymous reader writes:
We keep seeing stories about how providers are slowing down their streaming speed to reduce bandwidth usage during this period when many are being asked to stay at home… But it seems that many are totally ignoring a very obvious way to reduce usage significantly, and that is by disabling autoplay on their web sites and in their apps.
To give an example, a couple of days ago I was watching a show on Hulu, and either I was more sleepy than I thought or the show was more boring than I had expected (probably some combination of both), but I drifted off to sleep. Two hours later I awoke and realize that Hulu had streamed two additional episodes that no one was watching. I searched in vain for a way to disable autoplay of the next episode, but if there is some way to do it I could not find it.
What I wonder is how many people even want autoplay? I believe Netflix finally gave their users a way to disable it, but they need to affirmatively do so via a setting somewhere. But many other platforms give their users no option to disable autoplay. That is also true of many individual apps that can be used on a Roku or similar device. If conserving bandwidth is really that important, then my contention is that autoplaying of the next episode should be something you need to opt in for, not something enabled by default that either cannot be disabled or that forces the user to search for a setting to disable.
“Firefox will disable autoplay,” writes long-time Slashdot user bobs666 (adding “That’s it use Firefox.”) And there are ways to disable autoplay in the user settings on Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
But wouldn’t it make more sense to disable autoplay by default — at least for the duration of this unusual instance of peak worldwide demand?
I’d be interested in hearing from Slashdot’s readers. Do you use autoplay — or have you disabled it? And do you think streaming companies should turn it off by default?
Read more of this story at Slashdot.