The UFC Vault is an invaluable resource, especially for someone like me. Having a library of footage proves invaluable to a gambler or someone working on some sort of referee project (help still needed, we're almost done). Suffice it to say, I use the Vault on a very regular basis.
Unfortunately, the site blows and sucks at the same time, to put it mildly. Over at Sack Mike Goldberg, I wrote up this list of problems:
- Inefficient user interface. Wanna search by event? Good luck with that. Want a less graphic-intesive output to browse through? This is 2009 why would you want something like that? One thing that really grinds my gears: let’s say I’m looking for Gray Maynard and Frank Edgar’s fight (which, by the way, isn’t up for whatever reason). In some cases, if I search for Edgar, I won’t get a result, but if I search for Maynard, I will. What the fuck is going on in the tubes?
- Poor Firefox support. For awhile, you couldn’t use Firefox if you wanted to download fights. Now you can, although the “UFC Download Manager” still opens in Internet Explorer. Which leads me to…
- Internet Explorer blows. I end up using IE because the UFC Vault ends up screwing Firefox up and I can’t download any fights. But IE has it’s own set of hilarious bugs. First off, it’s Internet Explorer. No one in the right minds uses this pile of crap unless they have to. Most glaringly, there’s this huge issue where I never stay logged in. At first, it seemed fairly random, but I concluded that if you aren’t downloading fights one after another like a heroin fiend, the system automatically logs you out. There’s some other bugs tied to…
- Some files are fucked. Two prelims I downloaded from UFC 92 were 1000 MB in size. Yes, that’s 1 GB. For one fight. That’s how big files are for Super Awesome Magical Internet downloads of recent pay-per-views. More annoyingly, some files have critical flaws somewhere in the code that 1) minimize the UFC Download Manager instead of playing the file and 2) crash my file explorer if I try to open them locally. Very nice!
- Where’s the WEC? It’s bad enough that the Pride selection is still rather paltry, but I can at least give them a pass because they should be more focused on getting the UFC collection complete. But why aren’t WEC prelims and archived fights being uploaded? I want to see 135-pound Japanese fighters in American cages, goddamnit.
- The UFC Download Manager is awful. The fights aren’t arranged in any sort of order, and change order after you watch a fight. The video player blows - five preset audio levels, skipping around is damn near impossible, and you get two choices of video size (the default and full screen). Not to mention the ads they plaster on a paid subscription. (By the way, did you guys know Jackson vs. Jardine is March 7th?)
UFC Vault users out there, are you having these same problems?
UPDATE: Nate just pointed something out to me. Go to http://video.ufc.com and click on "Subscriptions." They aren't being offered anymore. Terrible, terrible move. Once my expires, I won't be paying $1.99/fight.
UPDATE 2: Conversation I had with live support on the subject:
Nathan Samwick: Hello! Thank you for contacting UFC Live Support. How may I assist you today?
Michael Fagan: Hello Nathan, I was wondering why you have stopped offering subscription service to the UFC video library?
Nathan Samwick: Sorry currently we do not have any information regarding this.
Michael Fagan: Where can I get this information?
Nathan Samwick: Sorry, we do not know the information you are requesting available to us.
Michael Fagan: But you do know that subscription services are not being offered currently, correct?
Nathan Samwick: Yes, currently there is no subscription service available, we are having only Video On Demand only.
Michael Fagan: OK, why was that decision made?
Nathan Samwick: I'm sorry, we don't have any information available about this.
Michael Fagan: OK, when my current subscription nears expiration, will I be able to re-up it (i.e. some sort of "grandfather clause) or will I be subjected to the On Demand service?
Nathan Samwick: You will be subjected to On Demand, once your subscription gets expire.
Michael Fagan: Can I speak with a manager?
Michael Fagan: Or supervisor or whatever
Nathan Samwick: Sorry, right now no one is available please write your comments to the following address : firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Fagan: Is there a phone number I can call?
Nathan Samwick: We do not have any phone number, We provide only chat / Email support.