Well, as I wrote last week, Netflix's public list of expiration dates for streaming titles seems gone for good. An official announcement was made Monday on the company's blog:
Starting today, we will no longer provide expiration dates for any of our titles in the public API... We are making this change because the expiration date can be inaccurate as a result of frequent, often last minute, changes in content flow. Netflix members will still be able to see the listed title expirations on Netflix.com on each individual title page.
That means even sites like Instantwatcher.com will no longer have advance notice of what's expiring. The best we can now expect is a one-week notice for any titles already in our queues. Other titles, i.e., ones we may not know about or whose title page we haven't recently visited, will just disappear.
I'm hoping there will eventually be another alternative, but until then my plan is to spotlight any noteworthy titles that I discover are expiring in the last few days before they're gone. This will be more hit and miss than picking from a compiled list--and with shorter notice--but I should still catch a few good ones that would otherwise have gotten away. In other words, stay tuned...