Movies today are much bigger than they have ever been before. HD trailers, video-on-demand access from dozens of outlets and dozens more online rental services. One rental service Netflix, much bigger then any other, has come to the forefront as the ultimate rental service.
Netflix was established in 1997 as the first completely online DVD rental service. Almost immediately they began massive amounts of web advertising to help get the word spread. They would house thousands of DVDs that users can rent via their Netflix website. All shipping expenses would be paid, after a small monthly fee. No late fees, no envelopes to worry about, and an incredibly easy website to create movie queues, rate them and reserve future releases. The ease and price of the service made it extremely popular almost immediately. Today it’s huge and continually growing. They now have hundreds of streaming movies to watch through your browser, and nearly every DVD and Blu-Ray disc ever.
With something as popular as Netflix, there are always going to be individuals out there trying to take advantage of the service in their own way. There have been both online and offline Windows Netflix apps that have come and gone as Netflix has upgraded their website. However on November 1st 2008, Netflix released their API to the public and we are already beginning to see web-based Netflix tools and iPhone Netflix apps being released.
Below are a couple of fun apps that have been hatched based upon that very API.
Feedflix is a Netflix analyzation tool that takes your account’s RSS Feed and breaks down how often you’re renting, and if you are truly getting your money’s worth.
As long as you are logged into your Netflix account through the present PC you are using, Feedflix can link up to your account and begin an analysis.
Below is a graphical breakdown of my account. I haven’t been returning them as often as I should be, so at $1.55/movie it’s not bad, but I could be doing better. I should point out that this includes instant viewing as well.
Below are even more stats in regards to my account – how many rentals I’ve completed and much more.
This is just a small look at the main page too. There are so many other cool features built into FeedFlix, you could keep yourself entertained for hours. Here are some of those features:
- Email alerts - create alerts to remind yourself when you’ve been holding onto a title for too long.
- Popular title graphs and reports – see even more graphs and reports on popular titles presently at home, in the past two weeks or most awaited.
- Fun graphs and reports – see what day is the most popular to rent/return, how long users typically hold onto a movie, popular plans and average queue sizes.
The fun behind FeedFlix isn’t really what it’s all about. You really get much more then that. It forces you to get yourself motivated and get much more of your money’s worth on your account as well. Like I said, all that you need is any sort of Netflix account.
Another fun product brought upon the release of the Netflix API is Qflip. A web app, supposedly built in 48 hours, that ‘rents randomly’. You put the faith in the internet to randomly select a movie for you, and put it at the top of your movie queue.
After connecting your account, as you do in FeedFlix, you first enter any one word to help select your random movie. Such action, awesome, sad or humorous.
Once you’ve entered your keyword, five completely random movies are selected based upon your likes and dislikes, but having nothing to do with your keyword. Once the five movies are selected, you can have friends, family or complete strangers vote on what movie to rent, based upon your word. Below were three of my five, for the word ‘Humor’…which would you vote for? tough call:
Voting lasts 24 hours, at which time the results are tabulated and a movie is selected and moved to the top of your queue. You can then have results e-mailed to you. Although there isn’t much to it, if you’re looking for something completely new and don’t like any of the recommendations, Qflip works perfect in this situation. Try it out, it’s simple and fun.
It’s good to see Netflix finally releasing their API. I can imagine along with the half dozen compatible iPhone apps that we’ve already seen, we are going to see several more web apps as well. For the amazing product that they have already given us, we are going to get so much more out of it with applications such as these.
Have any other Netflix apps you’d like to share? Have you tried either one of these products before? Please give us your feedback.
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