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max

netflix's database for writers and info is not really that great

and actor search is only good if they were lead or in the first of the call sheet.

Nicholas Barnard

Oh crike.. Yes they should have the information, but look it up on IMDb if you must then add to your Netflix Queue. It isn't that hard.

PlungeBob

Let me add to the excellent suggestion from Nicoloas that if
one adds the correct javascript shortcut to one's browser, then it
going from IMDB to NF takes a single click.

I found an old reference here
http://www.hackingnetflix.com/netflix/2004/11/neat_netflix_im.html

I used the button text "IMDB->NF"

So, the process is to find a cool movie via IMDB, and the click through
to the corresponding NF page, if one exists.

Listen to the shills excusing Netflix's poor service once again. The rule is that nothing Netflix does is ever worthy of complaint of criticism. If you have any complaints, QUIT, and STOP WHINING. Just go to another site to get info that Netflix could easily provide. What helpful advice! Thank you so much. Now, why can't you just admit NETFLIX IS LAZY and BBO ISN'T?!? NETFLIX THROTTLES FOLKS AND BBO DOESN'T (except according to shills).

You should be able to search by actor/actress, writer, director, producer, cinematographer, editor, or anyone else involved in the movie. Another problem is that when you search for a name on Netflix, they don't categorize results by whether the person ACTED in the movie, or DIRECTED it, or WROTE it, etc. That's stupid, too. They should list the cast along with the character names, and all the principle people involved behind the camera. It'd be easy for them to pull that off IMDB, but they're lazy.

i would like to think that
Netflix is on with a get it done
budget and will remedy the
deficiency. However, netflix does
seem to be paranoid about offering
a rich open ended seach features.
i wonder why?

"Let me add to the excellent suggestion from Nicoloas that if
one adds the correct javascript shortcut to one's browser, then it
going from IMDB to NF takes a single click."

That won't work any more, as the article you linked to states at the end. Netflix's URLs don't contain the movie name any more, so it won't be able to search IMDB. IMDB's URLS no longer contain the movie name either.

net fux

"netflix does seem to be paranoid about offering
a rich open ended seach features. i wonder why?"

Netflix's search is largely worthless. You search for something and get 10 thousand irrelevant results before the one you want. They aren't intelligent at all about giving you results in order of probability. First hits SHOULD be exact or near matchse, not a movie that includes the words or variations in its title. Netflix search is not working well at all. They have gone back, while BBO has gone forward.

Maybe it's just a new punishment for "heavy" users like me. Another rule in the throttle algorithm. They try to weed out heavy users (and long term members in general) by giving them irrelevant search results. No complex searches or advanced search options. Just a pathetic little search bar that gives pages full of irrelevant results. How lame.

Enjoy the throttling.

steven hoober

Um... my netflix to imdb bookmarklet works fine (can't include because "This blog does not allow HTML comments.").

I use it the same way I use lots of information services. I only trust a VERY small number of info libraries completely. Unless netflix had some way to assure me they were complete and accurate, I would still use imdb all the time.

imdb has the data, btw, so a partnership with them would seem very beneficial...

The one thing that bugs me about netflix in this general way, way more than complete credits is the date. Lots and lots and lots of remakes and reused titles out there. On the netflix details page they list the year in tiny letters that are NOT part of the headline so are not sent with the bookmarklet or included in the RSS feed. That's bad data practice.

"Um... my netflix to imdb bookmarklet works fine (can't include because "This blog does not allow HTML comments.")."

Um... you're lying. The name is not included in the URL, of either Netflix or IMDB. It is impossible to make a NFLX-IMDB or IMDB-NFLX link, unless they both use the same indexing system. If you know of a way to do it, post. Don't say "this blog does not allow..." Tell us how to do it, if you're not lying.

Why is it that just because a poster don't share your disdain for NetFlix, they're automatically a Shill?? I don't own Netflix shares and I don't hate blockbuster, I'm a simply happy netflix customer (they appears to be a few million of them).

Morgan

"Um... you're lying. The name is not included in the URL, of either Netflix or IMDB. It is impossible to make a NFLX-IMDB or IMDB-NFLX link, unless they both use the same indexing system. If you know of a way to do it, post. Don't say "this blog does not allow..." Tell us how to do it, if you're not lying."

Go to this entry: http://www.hackingnetflix.com/netflix/2004/11/neat_netflix_im.html

Follow the instructions. I just did and it works fine. The javascript probably just grabs the title from Netflix and runs it through IMDB. If you don't believe me, do it yourself.

"Why is it that just because a poster don't share your disdain for NetFlix, they're automatically a Shill?"

A shill refuses to accept valid criticism or complaints about Netflix. They tell people, "Quit whining", or "go to IMDB." Netflix can do no wrong in the eyes of a shill. They see the world in black and white. Netflix has to be either "all right" (in which case you can not complain) or "all wrong" (in which case you should cancel your membership). They do not see any gray/grey areas. "Netflix SHOULD have this feature..." THEN QUIT. "They need to stop lying about Unlimited DVDs..." QUIT IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT.

Spotting a shill is easy. They don't need to be employed by the company, necessarily, if they are un-critical and extreme in opinion. Any time someone says "Love it or leave it," that's a shill talking. Anyone who says "Who cares that Netflix doesn't have this DVD or this feature?" is also a shill. Whether you own stock or hate Blockbuster has nothing to do with it. You can be a shill without even being paid. It's all about attitude.

"Go to this entry:
Follow the instructions. I just did and it works fine."

I tried it already and it didn't work. Least not in Firefox. I never use MSIE unless it's absolutely necessary. Has anyone figured out how to get it working in Firefox???

This site explains how to make NFLX-IMDB and IMDB-NFLX links They work in Firefox, unlike the ones PlungeBob cited on Hacking Netflix.

http://www.derf.net/elsewhere/20050109_Netflix_bookmarklets/

Morgan

I am using Firefox 1.0.7 and it worked fine for me. Paste the link, drag it to your link bar and you're done. The only problem I had was the entire link didn't paste because it takes up two lines in the entry.

"You can be a shill without even being paid. It's all about attitude."

I've been called a "shill", "fanboy" or "liar" in the past by simply stating that I'm a happy customer and that I have not experienced any of the problems indicated by others. Immediately I'm branded a shill and told I'm either lying about my lack of problems or I don't experience them because I don't use the service the same way they do. Okay, perhaps I don't use the service as heavily and in the same way, does that make my comments any less valid? I merely state my positive experiences and they're immediately cast asside as the words of a shill.

"This site explains how to make NFLX-IMDB and IMDB-NFLX links"

Cool... thanks! These worked like a charm in IE.

PlungeBob

"steven hoober" you beat me to it!

I concur: the NF->IMDB and IMDB->NF links
work fine for me.

...and yes, I could not paste my exact javascript into
my posting, for the same reasons that you could not.

(what I cannot say is whether the old posting that I pointed to
is identical to what I use)

PlungeBob

" unlike the ones PlungeBob cited on Hacking Netflix"

Well, like I wrote, I couldn't post what I was using, which does work.
My original suggestion was appropriate, if misleading...

All's well that ends well.

"Um... you're lying... It is impossible to make a NFLX-IMDB or IMDB-NFLX link"

Wow, you immediately call someone a liar and proclaim that its not possible simply because *you* can't figure out how to do it? Perhaps do some investigation on your own instead of waiting around for someone else to give you all the answers.

"A shill refuses to accept valid criticism or complaints about Netflix...They don't need to be employed by the company, necessarily, if they are un-critical and extreme in opinion. Any time someone says "Love it or leave it," that's a shill talking."

Heh, funny. I think of a shill as someone who does just the opposite and complains about everything Netflix does regardless of what good there is to see. You're still a shill, just for the 'other' companies.

You're right, it's not necessarily black and white, but the annoying complaints run both ways.

I personally am a very happy Netflix user. I know you guys claim all kinds of things, but as of this month, I've been a member for a year. I recently discovered Netflixter and ran my rental history though it.

Guess what? I *average* 17 movies a month on the 3-out plan. My turnaround is always 1 day and I always recieve exactly what's at the top of my list - mostly new releases. I live in the same city as a distribution center and have *never* been throttled.

The only thing worse than a Netflix "shill" is someone who refuses to believe someone could be happy with their service and then in turn becomes an anti-Netflix shill while loudly proclaiming anyone remotely happy with their Netflix account, "a shill."

Mr. Pot, meet Mr. Kettle...he's black.

CJ

Wow! Glad I tune in on this site. It never occurred to me to make IMDB->NFLX and NFLX->IMDB bookmarks. The reference above works fine in Firefox. I used Bookmarks > Bookmark Manager > Create Bookmark, then pasted the copied javacripted URL in the Location Box.

BTW, one tip I use successfully to get new releases when they first ship from NFLX. Add the title to your queue way before the movie even opens up in theaters, right when NFLX first lists them. You can always delete later if the title's critically panned. I keep lists of up-coming titles and I check weekly to see if NFLX has any of them on it's list yet.

"The only thing worse than a Netflix shill is someone who refuses to believe someone could be happy with their service and then in turn becomes an anti-Netflix shill while loudly proclaiming anyone remotely happy with their Netflix account, a shill."

Nobody ever said that you were a shill just for being a happy customer. We said that a shill tries to make things black-and-white. Either you love everything about Netflix or you should quit. Constructive criticism or high-lighting problems is not acceptable to a shill, because they think Netflix is 100% perfect and the problem is with the person who complaining. Shills attack anybody that criticies Netflix or complains about their throttling limits on "unlimited" service.

Nicholas Barnard

Its amazing how people didn't read my comment; I said "Yes they should have the information," I didn't call Scott a critic, in fact I agreed with him. In my book being able to search by writers is something to put on the wish-list and leave at that. I've come to realize that any software application (including the Netflix website) will always do something that I don't like, or there will be something that can be done better.

Its just at some point you need to gently prod a developer and not go all out on them. If you sat down and asked the Netflix developers how long it would take them to add an author field to the DVD record/searching they'd probably be able to do it in a day, a week tops. But the big problem is where will you get all that data? Netflix has gone the cheaper route and built their database as they've added DVDs (It appears this way, as there is no licensing note for another company's database), Blockbuster has licensed some data from All Media Guide's All Movie Guide, I believe Amazon is like Netflix and has built their own database product by product (likely as they have licensed it to others, which would be hard if they didn't own it), Barnes & Noble has also licensed All Media Guide's All Movie Guide.

What is the point I'm trying to get at? Netflix's database doesn't contain this information and adding it would be expensive in either manpower or licensing someone else's content. Netflix can either be the efficient casual sit-down restaurant which gets the job done without much fanfare, or they can be the five star gourmet restaurant that does everything with a splash but costs three times the amount of the casual restaurant. Both have their advantages, but its a tradeoff between each. (I think most people would point you to Greencine or the like for the gourmet meal equivalent of Netflix, I can't say as I'ven't used it.

As someone who works in operations (not related to DVDs/Movies) I know its really easy to say go do X, but to make X happen can take a lot of thought and work. There are whole departments and sub-departments dedicated just to figuring out how to make X happen.

An aside, as research I looked up Brazil, directed by Terry Gilliam, on Netflix, BBO, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. I looked them up from the homepage with no special options, except for Barnes & Noble I selected DVD. All of them had the Terry Gilliam movie as the first option, but I thought BBO's results had an interesting faux pas. BBO lists all three discs of the Criterion collection as "Director's Cut". Its ironic because Disc 1 is the directors cut, but Disc 3 is the antithesis of the director's cut; it is the studio chief's cut. I will admit that BBO lists all of the Discs in the initial search results as individual entries (it is debatable which way is better.) Yet another example how keeping a database clean is a huge amount of work. Quite frankly, I'd rather Netflix leave the heavy lifting type DB work to others, or if they get bought by Amazon, they integrate with IMDb's database.

I think the internal argument at Netflix would go who do you decided to include in the database. If you add writers do you have to add cinematographers? What about Choreographers? Gaffers? Special Effects teams? A cursory look at a modern movie in IMDb will quickly tell you that although they've confronted these categorizations for years they still don't have a field for every film profession.

On the surface these look like easy questions to solve, but after you dig into them something like adding writers just opens a whole new field of tasks and challenges.

Nicholas the point is it is pretty cheap data to add. Blockbuster's website offers so much moe information, so it can't be that difficult. Blockbuste also helps you avoid gettign the wrong version, whereas with netflix's sparse info, it is much more possible.

Nicholas Barnard

Data is not cheap. If it was free companies like AMG, any credit bureau, Lexis-Nexis would be out of business.

You have to draw the line somewhere and Netflix has drawn it.

Also, for the record I was wrong Amazon.com does get some of their data from AMG.

Woha...Bizzare analogy especially laughable for a self-syled "writer" and "philospher". Proprietary specialized legal and credit data is indeed not cheap.

But adding a few more elements like who WROTE a film, which is one of the most important credits one can imagine, is extremely cheap.

Ever hear of "computers?" this data could be harvested in an automated way that would not just be cheap, but incredibly cheap.

Nicholas Barnard

So Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous, have you ever thought that the database that the data would be harvested from would be copyrighted. If Netflix scraped the data from the data from say IMDb they'd be sued very quickly by Amazon/IMDb for copyright violations. Notwithstanding if the copyright is valid Netflix would still have to go through court to prove their innocence.

Leave your URL or don't bother responding.

"Netflix can either be the efficient casual sit-down restaurant which gets the job done without much fanfare, or they can be the five star gourmet restaurant that does everything with a splash but costs three times the amount of the casual restaurant."

Has it increased Blockbuster's price to get the info from All Movie Guide? No. So your whole argument is a pile of crap. If people say Nflx's website is "the best", it should be the best. They could write a script and pull the information off IMDB and nobody'd even know. It's not like some proprietary information they "own." It's a database of public domain stats.

You could go in a video store and check out the box to see who wrote it. You could buy "Halliwell's Film Guide" and see the writer credit. But Netflix is too f-ing cheap for that. And shills like you try to rationalize and say it would cost too much. Baloney. At most, it would be a one-time fee to get the data on their old movies. After that, they could update titles as they were added.

Another thing, ALL of IMDB's stats are added by users/staff and confirmed by users/staff. In short, people watch the movie and post. So how can IMDB "own" the information, when it's provided by thousands of members? Much of it is not accurate. For instance, the character names are often mis-spelled. Like "Dexter REILLY" used to be spelled "Dexter RILEY" in their listings for "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes", "Strongest Man in the World", "Now You See Him, Now You Don't", etc. The name is showed as REILLY, several times in the movies. Like on newspapers or name tags. But their retarded staff didn't bother to confirm it.

Netflix could harvest the data. They could let users add data to pages, like WikiPedia does. They could pay a small fee to get the data from someone else. But it's INEXCUSABLE not to have the writer credit. The producer credit is also important. How else would you find movies by David O. Selznick, or Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson??? I say they should have a listing for every credit that is elligible for an Academy Award - writer, director, producer, actors, editor, music, art design, etc.


Searching for "David Selznick" gives NOTHING on Netflix. He produced "Gone with the Wind", "Rebecca", "The Third Man", and a dozen other highly rated classics. But there's no way to make that connection through Netflix. Nor is there any way to single out "Merchant-Ivory" movies, "Simpson-Bruckheimer" movies, etc. There's no complex search for people working together, common cast/crew, etc. IMDB could easily give you a list of all Merchant-Ivory movies, Hope-Crosby, Laurel-Hardy, etc.

Jinx

Would it be neat if I didn't have to leave Netflix to get all things movie? I suppose.

But I'm not a Netflix member because they make it easy to learn about movies, or find movies to rent based on the writer.

I'm a Netflix member because they send me the movies I want for a reasonable price without much hassle. The user interface is very good, and by that I mean it rarely pisses me off. I like the improvements they've made to list management -- important, because the list is one thing I'm entirely dependent upon them for. I especially like that they haven't completely reinvented it every six months, as many websites are wont to do.

I've been trained my entire life that if I want to watch a movie, I'm going to have to figure out what it's called first. There are tools out there for that, and I don't expect Netflix to try to replace them. Sure, a database hookup ought to be easy, but personally, I'd rather keep going to IMDB for free than pay Netflix more to license somebody's data or develop wikilike software to build their own.

Software development is a non-trivial process. Resources are limited. I'd like Netflix to continue improving its core business. If while they do that they can give you "everything in one place please" folks what you want too, great.

Jinx

PS -- I excuse Netflix for not having the writer credit.

Nicholas Barnard

Jinx, Hallelujah! Someone else who is reasonable.

For those of you still complaining about scraping the data or buying the data, it tends to be a licensing fee, you stop paying the fee you lose the right to use their data. As for IMDb, yes they have a copyright on the data, take a look at this from their site "Copyright: All content included on this site, such as text, graphics, logos, button icons, images, audio clips, video clips, digital downloads, data compilations, and software, is the property of IMDb or its content suppliers and protected by United States and international copyright laws. The compilation of all content on this site is the exclusive property of IMDb and protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. All software used on this site is the property of IMDb or its software suppliers and protected by United States and international copyright laws."

I'd suggest if you're questioning if it is legal or not you set up your own screen scraped version of IMDb and see how long it takes IMDb/Amazon to serve you with legal papers.

Oh, and one other thing. I'll gladly be a shill if I can start calling you lazyass anonymous idiots. You call me a shill, but you cannot even open a website to confirm what you're writing, like IMDb's copyright.

I agree with the concensus that Blockbuster started out behind and now has more high quality fims and better data on its webste.

As far as the errors in versions on Netflix site, I think this is why they withold the data (which is given for free from the film companies). The more data the more one can complain when neflix snds teh wrong version of the film (eg recetnly I received two non- criterion collection versionsthat had wrong or sparse data. )

Nicholas Barnard

Look its a Lazyass anonymous idiot who cannot spell!

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