flixplore.in — Take Control of Your Online Viewing Experience.

I remember that on one pleasant Sunday evening, while my brother and I were watching our favorite tv show (The Two and a Half Men) on Netflix, it occurred to us that we had watched every single episode of it at least ten times.

We couldn’t help but wonder why is that we never came across such captivating TV series more often. On discussing a little further we realized that the recommendation system of Netflix and Amazon isn’t perfect yet, and they don’t allow us to sort the content effectively as per our requirements. This is when we decided to take the matter into our own hands.

We set out by looking for public-facing APIs of Netflix and Amazon and quickly realized that they do not exist. On further research, we found that TMDB exposes content from these platforms to a good degree.

Hence, we have begun by writing a NodeJS script that consumes TMDB, OMDB APIs, processes the content, and populates our DB in a format, as shown below

{
“genre_ids”: [
18,
878
],
“_id”: “60048ee96f45c6efab1b423a”,
“adult”: false,
“backdrop_path”: “/dueiWzWc81UAgnbDAyH4Gjqnh4n.jpg”,
“id”: 614911,
“original_language”: “en”,
“original_title”: “The Midnight Sky”,
“overview”: “A lone scientist in the Arctic races to contact a crew of astronauts returning home to a mysterious global catastrophe.”,
“popularity”: 1309.808,
“poster_path”: “/51JxCk77ZCqLzbLkrDl9Qho6KUh.jpg”,
“release_date”: “2020–12–10T00:00:00.000Z”,
“title”: “The Midnight Sky”,
“video”: false,
“vote_average”: 5.9,
“vote_count”: 915,
“imdbRating”: “5.6”, --> fetched from omdb
“type”: “movie”,
“Poster”: “https://m.media-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BNDQwYjJjODMtOWNmNC00NDJjLThiNDgtNzVkOTM1MjY5NDQ5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTEyMjM2NDc2._V1_SX300.jpg", --> fetched from omdb
“metaScore”: “58”, --> fetched from omdb
“region_array”: [
“US”,
“IN”,
“GB”
]
}

Subsequently, we wrote a simple web app that helps us search, filter, and sort content as per our requirements. That’s it we thought, we can now relax and find some good content for binging on the weekends. However, soon we realized that it is not just us who were facing this problem, many others faced the same too.

To make this data available free for everyone in a consumable form, we acquired a domain and an EC2 instance, deployed our app, and voila it's now available on the internet for you to access.

Furthermore, we are on a constant lookout for feedback and feature requests to improve this further for everyone. So please do not hesitate to drop an email at achyuth@flixplore.in

Next Steps

After gathering requirements from everyone, we will formalize a development plan, and enhance this MVP candidate. On the technical side, we plan to use Angular for improving the UI, acquire more EC2 instances, MongoDB cluster nodes, and a load balancer).

Thank you for reading!

Passionately Curious. Believer in Simplicity. Humble Writer.