Foreign Films from iTunes

The other day we rented The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo from iTunes. Lately, we’ve been using iTunes and Amazon quite a bit for renting movies. Our track record for returning movies to the video store is pretty abysmal even though Austin has a truly great video store in I Luv Video.

Our TV watching technology is pretty “old school” as television has never been an integral part of our life. Our TV is a hand me down from my grand dad and has begun to show its age rather clearly. To watch shows or movies we just hook up the laptop and go full screen. Pretty simple.

The problem is that when we watch foreign films (which is somewhat often) iTunes seems prefer subtitles in white text. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a Swedish film, which means, surprise surprise, there is a lot of snow. Another theme in the movie is collecting information from text that traditionally is on a white background. The result was an EXTREMELY difficult time reading the dialog. The frustration is hard to express in fact. As we became intrigued by the complicated story line, we’d hit a character wearing a white shirt and have to jump up try and catch the missing pieces in the story we couldn’t read.

You would think in this day and age of extreme usability we’d see a bit more dedication to obvious issues. I’ve seen plenty of foreign films with yellow text and that would have done nicely. It would also be obvious to move the text to the unused portion of the screen. Yes, I realize that is a hold over from my ancient television tech, but it still is a decent option an application could offer. It would be a neat trick to have the text change color according to the background, but if the text was yellow, that would work too.