Monday, January 24, 2011

Google officially ruins YouTube

One of my secret weapons for finding interesting music videos for you guys to watch was using YouTube's "Recommendations" function, which found new videos based on my past video viewing. Except Youtube no longer has that function. Instead, they just deployed a new home page that is entirely different. So anyhow, I tried using it tonight and... errm. It won't show more than eight recommended videos when I hit the 'More' link, and it always shows the *same* eight videos, hitting the "load more videos" button doesn't show any other videos, it just shows that same eight in a different order.

Siiiigh! "Progress". For some definition that reads, "breaking shit that worked in order to justify being employed by Google". Crap like this is one reason I'm glad that I decided to hang up whenever Google recruiters call me. I'm not stupid enough to design a user interface that lousy, which utterly disqualifies me from being a Google employee.

-- Badtux the Grouchy Penguin


  1. In the interest of service to the Penguin, I tried my own search w/recommendations. Maybe I'm doing something different from you. In fact I'm pretty sure I am, because I searched for & found a video of Billy Bragg doing New England live, then clicked Load More Suggestions, which gave me over 50 other videos.

    However, they are almost all Billy Bragg videos. I'm guessing you're looking for videos from different artists? I never the use the feature, so this is my first time. Maybe it has something to do with the HTML5 trial? I'm signed up for that, if that makes a difference.

    I have no dog in this hunt. You just piqued my curiosity.

  2. That's the function that makes recommendations based on the *current* video. But on the front page, there used to be a box showing recommendations based on *all* videos that you've viewed over the past few months. When you clicked "more", it then linked you through to a whole *page* of recommendations for you. That turned up some of the obscure folks who've graced *my* front page from time to time. Not *all* of them, of course -- I have other sources of interesting artists to feature -- but when I was feeling lazy, YouTube's "Recommendations" system was always there and always had something interesting to watch.

    Until now. Where it shows the same eight videos and that's that. Siiiiiiiigh! Yet another thing ruined, sort of like how Coleman discontinued their three-LED folding tent lantern that was the size of a deck of cards in favor of some giant round monstrosity that takes up way too much space in your pack... it's getting to the point where if I find anything I like, I go ahead and buy ten of it, because I'll never be able to buy it again because corporate assholes will discontinue it within six months in favor of something "New! Improved!" which isn't. Siiiiiigh!

    - Badtux the Grumpy Penguin

  3. I call this the "Ass-hole with an MBA Syndrome."

    Those jerks ruin everything they touch.

    JzB (who has an MBA)

  4. Thing is, Jazz, the Google ruination of YouTube was done by geeks, not by MBA's. Google basically doesn't have MBA's except in their business department. What they have is a bunch of insular geeks who just don't "get it" when it comes to user interfaces. The only reason many of their products have reasonable user interfaces is because of the way Google's development process takes place -- products get initially designed and implemented by one or two people (which instantly limits the user interface severely, thereby making it more likely that it'll be usable), and then, and only then, does the proverbial cast-of-thousands take over the job of extending it to unusability. Which is, apparently, what just happened to YouTube :-(.

    But the Coleman folding tent lantern? Yeppers, that was definitely a MBA thing. All popular products display a trailing curve for sales -- they sell like hotcakes to start with, then trail off as everybody who needs one buys one and only replacements are being sold after that point. So the MBA's will tell you, discontinue that product and introduce a "New! Improved!" product that will get all those people who bought the old product to buy the new one, putting you back at the top of that sales curve again. But usually the "New! Improved!" product isn't. That's happened to the maker of my backpacking headlamp (who now has a "New! Improved! Lighter!" model that doesn't put as much light onto the trail because they cut out half an ounce by making the reflector smaller), and of course the above-mentioned Coleman tent lantern example...

    -- Badtux the Ornery Conservative (in the old sense of the word) Penguin

  5. By any chance, is the new music interface designed so that Oogle can sell those eight spaces to companies that want to flog bands? Monetize the music search, eh?

    "You WILL have your nose rubbed in these groups, whether you want to or not, in the hopes that you'll pay 99¢ for a download!"

    As for buying more than one of things, when I met Mrs. Bukko, she was a well-paid computer programmer and I was a lowly-paid LPN. It amazed me that when she found an item of clothing she liked, she'd buy two, in different colours. Her reasoning was "Why not? The money's there, and the item might not be available when this one wears out." Now I'm doing that too (not with everything, though) more with a Doomer's eye. Might as well stock up on non-perishable products so we have backup for whenever TSHTF and the distribution system collapses.

  6. My annoyance with Google ruining YouTube started with these annoying ads that pop up at the bottom of the video player in addition to the ads they play at the beginning of many videos now that you cannot fast-forward.

    I remember a Futurama episode where the Planet Express team enters the internet through "virtual reality" technology. Upon their virtual avatars connecting with the internet they are immediately swarmed and attacked by ads.

    This is why I think that tales of a virtual utopia are far-fetched because if we do find a way to connect our minds to a computer we will be so swamped by advertisements we would never be able to experience anything else.

  7. Unless you are looking at a Vimeo selection you can check out the posters other videos. If they have more than a handful you might still find some worthwhile stuff. And like dah sab I found a pile of recommendations when I looked, but I was looking at geezer stuff which is always more diverse.

  8. Like I said, the problem isn't on the video page. I can still get a list of videos like the one I'm looking at. The problem is on my home page. My home page used to have a big long list of recommendations based on my viewing history. Now it has eight recommended videos. That's all. And hitting "Load More" doesn't get new ones, it just changes the order of those eight...

    I have other ways of finding videos, so don't think this means I won't be putting videos on the blog. But it's annoying anyhow.

    - Badtux the Music Penguin

  9. Geez, whaddaya complaining about? I just went to YouTube -- based on what BT said -- and I can't get anything to frickin PLAY. Just a black square and "DONE" in the bottom bar. No controls, no nothin'.

    No music, no Looney Tunes, no clips of politicians being douches, no nothin.

    So, BT, didja break YouTube?

  10. For an experiment, use Google Chrome to view YouTube instead of your current favorite browser. My guess is that it will work. Coincidence, I'm sure :).

    - Badtux the "Google imitating Microsoft much?" Penguin

  11. Mr. 618,
    you probably, like me, have noscript or some such going. I got the black window too.. YouTube now requires we allow scripts from (google was my friend.. sort of.. ;-)) Don't know if ytimg will help Da Penguin..

  12. I'll give it a try, although I did find one possible cause... Norton Business Suite, as supplied by my very favoritest company ever, CrapCast (which I have to use at work, since it's their computer and their ISP). How come Norton doesn't play well with others anymore?

  13. Symantec (the owners of Norton AV) make their money on these bunding deals, not by providing a quality product. If you can coin money by putting your product everywhere, why bother making a quality product?

    Oddly enough, on my Windows machine I'm using Microsoft's own free antivirus and it works fine. Of course, I don't browse anything more adventurous than YouTube on my Windows machine, because Windows catches viruses more often than grade school kids catch the common cold...

    -- Badtux the Geeky Penguin

  14. > Symantec (the owners of Norton AV) make their money on these bunding deals, not by providing a quality product.

    and you think Google is imitating MicroSloth!?! ;-)

    not that I don't shake my head at some of what Google is doing..
    keeping in mind that U.S. corporate law pretty much requires a company to 'maximize investor profits'..

    as for Windows7, it worked (adequately) to d/l AVG, Firefox & then d/l, burn & install a Linux distro... See?, I don't find MS totally useless.. they can also be a perfectly good, bad example.. ;-)

    I boot to Win7 every month or so to update the AVG defs.. and tell Norton "No, I (still) don't want to install you".. ;-)


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