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Netflix Will Now Let Android Users Download Content Onto SD Storage (consumerist.com) 62

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Consumerist: Now that Netflix has finally opened the doors to offline viewing, subscribers have the ability to download content and watch it later. That's all well and good if you've got plenty of space on your device, but not so useful if you don't. Android users will have some breathing room now, however, as Netflix's most recent app update lets users set their download location to either internal storage or an SD card. As The Verge notes, offline content has a time limit, so it's not like you can download all the movies and TV shows your heart desires and leave them there forever. The feature doesn't support any Android devices that have a microSD slot, either.
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Netflix Will Now Let Android Users Download Content Onto SD Storage

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  • Edit Time (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    "The feature doesn't support any Android devices that have a microSD slot, either."

    I assume this is actually "...support all Android devices..."

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So it lets users chose download location between internal or SD, but it doesn't support devices with a SD slot?

    • (u)SD: yes (Score:4, Informative)

      by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Tuesday January 24, 2017 @06:59PM (#53731507) Homepage

      After testing on my personnal device :
      yes, the Verge is full of shit.

      Netflix correctly suggest downloading to my externel exFAT-formatted uSDXC card.
      (Which is setup as default under the android system settings).

      • by Desler ( 1608317 )

        No, the issue is that BeauHD is just one of a long line of shitty editors.

    • Only full-size SD card slots supported. Massive brick of a phone required.

      • by ncc74656 ( 45571 ) *

        Only full-size SD card slots supported. Massive brick of a phone required.

        The Treo 650 I used back in the day had a full-size SD-card slot on top, and it wasn't particularly big (especially compared to your average "phablet"). That said, you'd be hard-pressed to find an Android device, past or present, that does.

        • My response was definitely not serious. But yeah, battery space dominates most phones now to a degree I would have never guessed back in those days.

  • by tietokone-olmi ( 26595 ) on Tuesday January 24, 2017 @06:44PM (#53731431)

    I recall "Secure Digital" being a reference to the built-in DRM that SD cards had since day 0, to contrast with e.g. CF cards that were "just" a small form-factor for the ATA/ATAPI protocols. The irony of DRM software not being compatible with a DRM architecture from about 15 years before is, while amusing, nothing out of the norm.

    Luckily this also means that TPM-based DRM is also dead in a practical sense.

    • Actually I suspect you are thinking of MMC (Multi-Media Card), which was the same form factor as SD but without the protected segment or whatever. CF pre-dated MMC/SD, was about 2.5 times as big physically, and was common in digital cameras.

      • I know exactly what I'm talking about.

        FYI, MMC never took off. It was used, at most, in less than five models of the Nokia Communicator, and that's it. Flash was very expensive back then.

  • Android devices with full sized SD slots, certainly aren't phones. This app update by Netflix is useless to anyone with a smartphone and a micro SD slot, if they actually limit you to only using a full size SD card. That just doesn't make sense, unless they really don't want to encourage offline mobile viewing.
    • by Fly Swatter ( 30498 ) on Tuesday January 24, 2017 @06:51PM (#53731471) Homepage

      That is what I thought too, but the summary just plain butchered this line:

      And Netflix notes that the feature doesn’t support any and all Android devices with a microSD slot.

      However even that was clear as mud due to the horrible choice of grammar.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        For clarity, I am currently downloading a video onto my MicroSD card from my Android app. So yes, "SD Card" is generalized to "external storage". I have no idea what the consumerist.com write-up means by "The feature doesn’t support any Android devices that have a microSD slot, either".

        • For clarity, I am currently downloading a video onto my MicroSD card from my Android app. So yes, "SD Card" is generalized to "external storage". I have no idea what the consumerist.com write-up means by "The feature doesn’t support any and all Android devices that have a microSD slot, either".

          Fixed the quote for you.

          I guess what this means is that there are some devices that can't use SD. I don't know what the constraints are... maybe it only works on devices with sufficiently-good hardware DRM (there are various levels, and Netflix does adjust its behavior based on what your hardware has), or maybe it only works if the SD card is configured as adopted storage [android.com] (which is encrypted for security, making it also unusable for sharing Netflix videos). Or maybe The Verge is just wrong and it does wor

          • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

            I bet it has to do with android version.

            Netflix runs on as far back as 4.4, maybe only 5 or 6 plus have this feature enabled.

    • I have not idea where the Verge got this idea from (or maybe they just tested it once on a shitty device with broken uSD support and decided to speculate that it concerns all devices...)

      Took my Acer Iconia 10 (model B3-A20).
      Started Netflix (got immediately advertisement about the download feature)
      Went to App Settings

      And sure : the storage device which is shown there is my external exFAT-formatted uSD(XC) card (which is the default device on my tablet's android settings).

      (And in practice a full sized SDHC/SD

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Go to original article on the Verge, they specifically show a phone with a MicroSD card as well as state that a MicroSD card can be used
    http://www.theverge.com/2017/1/24/14374180/netflix-offline-downloads-android-sd-card

    The Consumerist is just pure click bait with no original, unique content at all. It's a website that should be taken offline.

  • by thygate ( 1590197 ) on Tuesday January 24, 2017 @07:08PM (#53731539)
    my brother downloaded a season of a show to watch abroad, but when he got there he was not allowed to view it. So what use it this feature anyway ?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Download a show on your home wifi and watch it in HD at the gym instead of fighting to get it to stream in 480 on the 50kbps of bandwith you can get at the gym? Take it on a plane where you have no network access?

      As long as you keep your network access off and it doesn't update what region you're in, this isn't a problem...I don't think?

      YMMV

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If you turn on airplane mode, the region lock will return to the location where you downloaded it. I tried this on a recent trip to HK.

    • Let me give you the use cases. I'm currently watching Breaking Bad and started it just before Christmas.

      1. I flew to San Jose for Christmas which I had roughly 6-7 hours of total flight time each way. I watched the show while on the flight.
      2. While on my lunch at work I will watch the show and out of respect for my company I wouldn't eat up bandwidth unnecessarily by streaming the show over their network connection.
      3. When I go out to eat a restaurant I do so by myself so I can take the tablet with me and b

  • Offline content (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Tuesday January 24, 2017 @07:15PM (#53731569)
    Offline content doesn't have an expiration. Playing it does. So if you download in the US, then store it for 12 months to play elsewhere, it'll eventually refuse to play. But it's still there, unless you delete it. You just connect, open Netflix, go to your downloads, and click on it, and it'll play locally, after a quick check to the servers that it would be playable if you were to stream it.

    Actually quite reasonable of a restriction. I've found stuff lasts about 2 weeks, but not everything expired at the same time, so that may not be a firm number (or I could have started looking at a time in the middle of an expiration period).

    So if you are not trying to game the system, you can download at home, play on the bus (while connected via 3G) and 100% of playback will be from local, and nothing will ever expire. Also, if you open netlfix daily at home, but play offline at work, you shouldn't see a problem. So the "expiration" is over-stated in an attempt to generate clickbait to get people angry over the limitations that seem quite reasonable.
    • by T.E.D. ( 34228 )

      So if you are not trying to game the system, you can download at home, play on the bus (while connected via 3G) and 100% of playback will be from local

      Uhhh-huh. And how about if I want to play it on the airplane (while connected to nothing)?

      If I can't watch it whenever I want, without having to hit a network at all, then there's really no point to this. I suppose if my network connection is crappy, having it local might prevent some buffering, but is that really worth the trouble?

      • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

        There's still bandwidth saving, even if it required a check in for every playback.

        But it doesn't require that either. Sure, it won't get you unlimited playback everywhere forever, but it will get you two weeks of it know your region (or if you turn off location, everywhere).

        It's a nice add on for flying, but it doesn't really convert it to purchased local (as it would seem some want).

        It also allows me to download high res versions over Wi-Fi, and I've opted for low res no data billing on T-Mobile.

        • by T.E.D. ( 34228 )

          It's a nice add on for flying, but it doesn't really convert it to purchased local (as it would seem some want).

          ...except its not, because it still won't play if it can't call back into that server.

          • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
            It'll play back if it can't call back. It won't play if the authorization to play has expired (weeks). It won't play if the authorization to play back fails (you downloaded US-only content, then opened Netflix in Albania and connected to local Netflix regional servers that don't have that show.

            You have to wait weeks for a time-out, or actively connect in a Netflix region where the content is not allowed. Otherwise, it works, no connection to a server is required to start playback (in fact, connection to
          • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

            You're experience with the service is very different than everyone else I know's.

            Maybe you have a setting broken?

      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
        Works 100% of the time. Did it myself on an airplane, no connection to anything. The part about 3G on the bus is that you don't have to worry about data charges. A few kb here or there to re-authorize is nothing compared to the massive downloads saved.

        So long as you are flying from the US, you'll be fine. Connect to the WiFi at home, or at the airport, or mobile data and make sure everything is authorized, and you can watch it on the plane. Flying back 6 weeks later after your backpacking trip, though
  • "An anonymous reader quotes a report from Consumerist:"

    Slashdot now reduced to regurgitating consumerist slashvertisments from some consumer magazine.
  • Not very knowledgeable, here, but it seems SD slots in phones have gone away. My laptop has one, but not the phones in my household. Maybe you can get an adapter to plug an SD card into the USB port on a phone. Then again, internal memory in these devices has increased and 128 GB, or more, can be had at a premium. And, how much memory does one of these downloads, say a 2 hr HD movie, to SD card use?
    • by Geeky ( 90998 )

      Actually I think most of the current generation of Android phones have them with the main exception of the Google Pixel.

    • by T.E.D. ( 34228 )

      Dunno. Every phone I've ever owned had an SD slot (and a removable battery). I don't buy new phones like they are seasonal fashion items though, so I don't know what's available today.

      I do know that my current tablet is constantly running out of on-board NVRAM, and has tons of free space on its SD card that apps refuse to make use of. Its nice to see one of them trying to find a good use for it (even if I have qualms about their approach).

  • which is kinda annoying. It's because it's a separate data stream that isn't included in the unmetered service. This'd be nice to have for that. That said, there's not a lot of anime or kung fu on netflix anymore...
  • How is that news? Choosing the download location is a feature that should have been there from the start; it is trivial to implement and deserves at most a mention in their changelog. Or do apps programmers suck so bad at their job that we can't expect even basic functionalities from them?
  • For all its flaws (region locking, expiring content etc), this is still better than not being able to store and watch later, especially since certain organizations (Copyswede, etc) want me to pay extra just because my phone has storage and therefore COULD be used to store privately copied copyrighted material (as in stuff I own and subsequently made copies of for my own personal use, not pirated material)... No allowing me to you know, actually doing that would be just plain wrong :D

  • by jonr ( 1130 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2017 @09:50AM (#53734321) Homepage Journal

    Why do I need gaddem Microsoft Edge to watch your stuff in 1080p?

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