‘The Man In The High Castle’ and how Amazon can’t get their shit together



Just watched the first (and to date, only one made afaik) episode of Amazon’s new show from their 2015 Pilot Season named “The Man In The High Castle”.  This was a good show, and I wish that I could talk more about it, but the entire experience was just incredibly mind boggling that a company the size of Amazon can’t get their shit together enough to make it easy to view and then properly discuss the show with other people outside of the limits of their own comment section.

1 – silverlight is necessary to view video on Amazon.  Yes, you can “temporarily” change over to flash, but in what universe that that make sense? I’m not going to install Microsoft’s bloated carcass of a streaming solution just to watch the one or two things that I manage to find on Amazon Prime Instant Streaming, which leads me to point 2…

2 – APISS* has a bad interface, not ‘slap your mama’ bad, but just bad enough that it feels like they’re intentionally making it difficult to search and view episodes and movies.  My primary point of contention here is that they lump in ALL their offerings for video, regardless of their APISS or something from their “pay too much to rent this” catalog.  Combine that with no viable solution for desktop support (Kodi, windows media center, et al) and it means digging out a keyboard and mouse to view anything on my main TV.  I do own one of those fancy pants smart TVs, but it’s back in my office, and again, the interface is horrible on it, so there’s no no joy in trying to discover content.

3 – NO trailers for any of their new shows, at least none that I can find in 5 minutes of googling.  Best results for “Man in the High Castle trailer” is a student made trailer that actually does a good job of it, but it’s not the show that I’m looking for.  I settled for a dust cover from the book that the series is being adapted from

4 – voting for pilot season is difficults.   If you were to go to the page for this show, where would you think you would vote this show in an attempt to indicate to Amazon that you’d like to see more episodes?  See where nearly 5,000 people have rated the show?  Nope, that’s not where you vote to have it selected for a full season.  As far as I can see, there simply is no link to the 2015 Pilot Season page where you have to fill out a survey per series to indicate to Amazon your enjoyment.  I’m pretty sure that Amazon will see both sections and be able to figure things out, but why split the votes off into two different sections like that?

My suggestions? Dump Silverlight, get a unified User Experience team that can specify and enforce application design standards across all devices and applications, then get this bad boy some actual apps for desktop users that are using a 10 foot interface.  Make some trailers and make it obvious to viewers how to vote for their favorite shows.  Obvious point is obvious, but these are all items that Netflix has encountered and risen above years ago.

This just reminded me of my recent experience trying to view APISS content on my android phone which I was at the hospital recently, what a clusterfuck that was.  I already had the Amazon App Store on my phone, so I searched for and installed the Amazon Prime Instant Streaming App, only for it to tell me I had to install yet another Amazon app, which as far as I can tell is just Amazon.com in app form.  It’s sole function is to give me alerts for things that I simply do not care about.

(teehee, APISS = Amazon Prime Instant Streaming Service.  Just made that up, right here, it was me, and it makes me giggle little a child.)

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    tiki god

    Not sure if I was clear about this, but I really enjoyed the series and I even wrote up a survey for them. You should check it out if the phrases ‘alternate history science fiction’ or ‘Philip K Dick’ do anything to your nerd boners.

    ill take your advice….and not pirate it
    wink wink


    I NEED to see this asap.

    Chet Manley

    Just check out thegreateststorynevertold.tv instead.


    OR … you could get a damn Roku or Amazon streaming stick and watch on a screen bigger than a bug’s butt, with great sound to boot. Streaming to your computer or pad or phone is a convenient but lousy viewing experience. Roku in particular opens up a world of viewing options, from mainstream to downright demented. Getcha some.

    tiki god

    my 10 foot interface isn’t a tiny screen, it’s a 65 inch DLP

    why would I want a roku box when I have a computer that’s 100x better already hooked up to the TV? Also, not sure if you knew this or not, but it’s the same god damn interface on the roku box 🙁

    your strawman was good looking, but was just a flammable as any other, sorry.


    Watched it through the Amazon app on my sony blue-ray and again on an iPad. Couldn’t get it to play on my regular computer.

    Great show, lots of potential. Hope that Amazon makes it a regular series and doesn’t pass it up because they’ve made it so hard to vote.

    I didn’t realize there was a separate page for voting until I found this MCS post.