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Show HN: Chrome Extension to See IMDB Ratings Directly on Netflix (chrome.google.com)
234 points by pawannitj 31 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 81 comments

Out of curiosity:

The extension makes API requests to http://www.omdbapi.com/ for its data.

The free API key only allows 1,000 req/day but you apparently only need to spend $10/mo for unlimited queries: https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=5038490

I've never seen Patreon used as a storefront like this. Kinda interesting because Patreon also gives you a UI for capturing other types of sponsorships.

I built up a similar extension to show MPAA rating on Douban and Zhihu. Though the extension is in Chinese, I setup a server to host all movies data to avoid the requests limit of omdbapi. Updating backend data frequently is definitely a hard job to do. I could guess why omdbapi is asking for support on patreon. Here's the extension link, if you don't mind I post it here :) https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/mpaa-%E7%94%B5%E5%...

In case Netflix is dominating your time... This is my Free Chrome plugin that will block Netflix after 1 hour and wait for you to commit something on Github to keep Netflix and Chill'n. Other options like Khan Academy are suppported.


I can see people adding this plugin thinking it's a good idea at the time of download.

Once the functionality kicks in and they're actually blocked when attempting to access Netflix, 'instant uninstall, proceed with Netflix binge..'.

or ... git commit -m "garbage commit. Give me Netflix!"

Main goal is to get children under twelve to go outside, jump in puddles, ride their bikes. My daughter did 10 rounds of this once, 10 hours of youtube with 5 multiplication problems each hour and eventually decided youtube wasn't worth it. It helps children to disconnect for a couple minutes and re-evaluate their summer day life choices.

Oh, well if you have someone of higher authority to enforce its continued and proper usage, then obviously that's a different story.

I was originally commenting from the perspective of the plug-in as a self-help tool where its usage and existence in the browser was determined solely by the users themselves.

In a household setting, I could see it being useful in preventing kids from spending too much time in front of the computer.

Building the skills to bypass it is a win. That is also learning.

That’s a great idea, and also strikes me as damn funny.

I built a similar extension for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Shudder. I'm also pulling and rendering RT and Metacritic scores (when they're available). I didn't release it, I just install it locally on the devices that I frequently stream from and have it collecting dust on my GitHub.

Interestingly, I recall when hacking it together that there are quite a bit of discrepancies between the services and the release years they use for videos. One service will say that Movie A was released in 1989 but IMDB will have it listed as 1990. Release years matter for titles where there might be little or no variation between an original film, remakes, or sequels.

Hey I'm interested in a version with RT in it - do you have a link to the repo?

Getting a 404 on that Patreon link:

  Oh no! Looks like you got lost.
  Quick! Make your way back to the spaceship!

The problem with OMDb is that it's not updated very frequently as the ratings don't come from IMDb directly but from various other sources. Especially for new movies that means that it often has ratings that are way higher than on IMDb. It also happens that less popular movies are on IMDb but not OMDb.

I'm surprised they're even able to confidently go commercial with their API since they scrape their data.

That’s the thing, they aren’t scraping IMDb, they scrape other sources that have the IMDb ratings from what I remember. Directly scraping IMDb is not a good idea if you make money off it.

LOL..."We didn't scrape your data, we scraped someone else who scraped your data!" Good luck with that one.

I don't think the distinction matters if imdb wanted you to stop offering their ratings in your commercial api.

I certainly expect that this project is too small of a fish for imdb to care either way. It's more of a curiosity for me since I always love the simplicity of an API as a business.

I wonder how realistic it would be to expect OP to be able to negociate some kind of deal with imdb should the extension meet some kind of success.

Anyone knows of businesses going rogue first, then striking a deal later ?

You can do anything until you get caught. However, I think there are many companies that exist in the realm of "data aggregation", likely walk a fine line though.

Yeah, will buy premium if it comes to 1000 req/day

I don't use Chrome anymore except for dev work. Any chance this could be released for Firefox?

I have recently learned to make chrome extension, will work on firefox once I get time.

It can likely be ported nearly directly.

Firefox supports a quite faithful port of the `chrome` object the Chrome extension APIs are namespaced under. The four extensions I've written in the past (generally internal-to-co) were all seamlessly supportable in both browsers once Firefox moved away from their old extension interface. There are some differences but Firefox keeps their additions/improvements they make contained to the `browser` namespace, which seem to be spec-driven[1] so maybe those changes will end up in Chrome some day too.

TL;DR: don't let worrying about compatibility prevent you from just trying to install and run the same code in FF to see what happens.

Also, is the source code for this publicly available? I was going to just check this myself, but I don't immediately see a GitHub link in this thread or at the linked page from FF for Android.

[1]: https://browserext.github.io/browserext/

Thanks for pointers, will try firefox too. GitHub link is mentioned on extension page. https://github.com/pawanmaurya/imdb-ratings-on-netflix

I tried it on Firefox and it works fine! I just needed to change the value of <secret_key> to a key I created on their website (or else it fails silently, it would be cool to have some console message I think).

Probably a little late as you've already shipped Chrome, but webextension-toolbox is a pretty neat little CLI tool to help write cross-platform extensions:


Doesnt Firefox support chrome extensions now since it has been standardized?

Mostly. There are some APIs that are supported by one platform and not the other, but the majority is shared. So there's a large chance this extension should just work mostly out of the box in Firefox. However, it still needs to be repackaged and released for each platform separately.

how about giving vivaldi a try? Its backend is chromium

An aside to the extension itself, but this makes me nostalgic for the days when browser extensions like this were commonplace. Today I don't even watch Netflix through a browser (I have a Roku and Android TV at home, and will very rarely watch on my iOS phone), and this kind of project simply isn't possible there.

I do understand the reasons why this is the case and don't have any proposals for how it could be meaningfully fixed, but still, I miss that bygone era of customisation.

Realistically, the platform itself should show these (imdb, rottentomat and metacritic). Instead they show some personalized likeness metric that never works.

In nearly 30 years of computing experience, one thing I've learned is the guys who make the platform never capture all the little details of what you'd like that platform to do.

IMO iPhones never really shined until they opened it up to 3rd party developers and built an ecosystem of developers around the app store.

One thing I love[d] about Windows was how deeply you could tailor the experience (through hooks, DLL injection, etc). Haven't played with Linux as much but love the concept that you can overhaul the whole source code to taste.

GreaseMonkey is analogous for the web.

I hope this concept isn't lost as corporations wrest control of both sides of the user experience (browser and services).

IMDB is owned by Amazon, a competitor to Netflix, so don't hold your breath for that one.

I don't think so - you'll end up with a situation where the platform gets to decide which rating service is important and which isn't. Most people might not want pluggedin(christian-value friendly rating) ratings, but it might be the #1 rating source for some.

A better method would be to embed a unique id for the movie in a rating s widget, and let the user configure in their user agent which services they would like to query for ratings.

Not only that, but Chrome and Firefox are limited to 720p by Netflix. That's why I only watch it in Edge browser.


I've been using RateFlix for a while now - haven't seen many issues as of yet. I love these type of ideas. When you add Rotten Tomatoes, I'm totally in to use!

1. Movies and TV shows will show an IMDb™ rating next to wherever you would typically see a Netflix™ rating, and additionally will be shown on the play bar of what you're currently watching as well as next to each listed episode when browsing episodes of a TV series

2. Rotten Tomatoes™ and Metacritic™ ratings will also be displayed in the same way, but currently only for movies

3. Clicking on an IMDb™ rating will open the IMDb™ page for that movie or TV show in a new tab

For Chrome only https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/rateflix/dddmgiige...

I don't like that it requests to intercept traffic to https://ajax.googleapis.com/* -that's far too general to trust.

Neat! I always end up doing the google search to check out IMDb/RT ratings.

Another nice to have is the number of reviewers - I've noticed that some of these movies have high ratings early on (potentially from crew/cast/fans) but then slowly drop to the mean as more people review the movie.

Good idea, but I am not sure of how to get number of reviewers since OMDB doesn't have it and IMDB doesn't have open API

I like how you scoped perms to only affect netflix.com and omdbapi.com. good job! Usually when I hit install and see "read and modify your data on all sites" I go straight to nope!

I think it would be cool if this was generic enough to show Rotten Tomatoes user ratings as many people nowadays find it to be a better indicator. I hope you repurpose it someday!

I really like Taste.io's movie and TV recommendations. Having just reviewed a few movies on the site, it has given me better and more unique recommendations than Netflix or Amazon ever have.

Their site also shows whether the movie is available on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, or HBO and will deep link to the other sites. I'm not sure what Taste.io's business model is.


My favorite movie recommender is Gnovies:


Apparently it uses AI to predict which movies you like.

In contrast to taste.io you don't need to sign up. You can get recommendations right away.

For me, the most useful feature of Netflix is the custom ratings it provides. They're almost always absolutely spot on, with the exception of "Netflix Originals" which seem to be bumped up a bit.

I'm curious why something like IMDB is useful for people. I would much rather get a metric related to what I, personally, might like, rather than what the majority likes.

Say you chose to share a single profile with your SO/family/household, for whatever reason. Then Netflix's ratings would be for a nonexistent aggregate person that is a combination of the tastes of all those people, weighted by the relative frequency of use and/or rating actions. This could be significantly less useful than what you as an individual see on your own account.

Netflix doesn't even provide ratings anymore. It provides "match percentages," which are trying to predict how well it matches your preferences, not the overall quality.

I find that more often than not just going for the high match percentage content is a pleasant enough experience. I think if I relied upon other people's reviews (a la Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic) I would have missed out on a lot of stuff that I genuinely liked that others widely panned.

I would much rather get a metric related to what I, personally, can evaluate as more likely being good, rather than what Netflix thinks I might like.

OT, but for anyone looking for an idea: it'll be neat if some service can notify me when a movie I saved on IMDB is available on Netflix.

Great idea but I wish the data source was better, e.g. Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic, because IMDB ratings are almost useless.

Interesting, because I've found imdb ratings to be the best because it's based on user votes.

Movie critics, on the other hand, seem to vote the complete opposite of regular viewers (and each other) to set themselves apart. Or voting some awful art house movie a 10/10 to signal that they, too, understood the high brow nuances that the groundlings could not. I end up agreeing with the user votes far more often than the critic scores on RT and Metacritic, and the user scores tend to line up with imdb anyways.

IMO IMDB has a big problem with recency. #3 in their top movies list is The Dark Knight, which is frankly absurd (it's a great movie, but #3 of all time? Come on)

> Or voting some awful art house movie a 10/10 to signal that they, too, understood the high brow nuances that the groundlings could not.

I think this just speaks to a divide in movie reviews. Those critics are reviewing the movies as art, whereas many user reviews are reviewing movies as a consumer product. Neither approach is incorrect, but they have very different outcomes.

RT has Black Panther as their #1 movie of all time. The fact is, people have learned to inherently train themselves to use certain review websites. https://www.rottentomatoes.com/top/bestofrt/

My current rules - Anything over an 8 on imbd is a must watch if over a year old. If a comedy/action movie over a 7 is fine. For less than a year old I read reviews, and decide how invested I am in watching it. Fantastic Beasts 2 tanked, but I watched it anyway and enjoyed it.

Similar for me, but more forgiving. Especially for horror which I enjoy but IMDb raters don't seem to the same. In general, anything below a 6 I'll maybe reconsider, or 5 or so for horror.

It's not so much a question of who is correct or incorrect, but rather which will be more relevant to consumers. Probably the "consumer product" reviews. Not always, but for the most part.

IMDB ratings are easily manipulated. See the recent case of a Brazilian movie that was heavily voted down.


so you accept that you are a simple man and don't wish to impress anyone?

Ha. I had the exact same thought. Metacritic has become my go to. It's not as simple as seeing average critic reviews though. If there is a huge disparity between average critic and average user reviews, it tends to be significant (eg critics panning something that's hugely entertaining or fawning over something that's really trash).

But I've pretty much stoped looking at IMDB entirely. One example: what I call the sci-fi fudge factor (SFFF), namely that if something is sci-fi or fantasy (or superheroes come to think of it) it tends to be a full rating point worse than its rating would suggest. Another: there are a lot of things in the 7s where something could be really good or really bad and I'm not sure why.

Most rating systems I have discovered rarely apply to my specific tastes or needs. More and more I follow specific reviewers or, more interestingly, individual review comments. I find one or two short reviews (without spoilers) to show what the reviewers deem important to them, giving their rating more qualitative weight, and therefore I can compare it better to my specific tastes. If I went off the average/median rating alone, I'd never find fresh, unique content.

RT is owned by Warner and Universal. IMDB is owned by Amazon. I find it hard to believe user scores aren’t massaged when required when the parent companies are spending billions on creating movies/TV.


A vote for the "Google user score" - I've found the Google user score to be most accurate, personally.

What difference do you see between Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB ratings?

Thanks for feedback, adding Rotten Tomatoes is in my TODO list

Perhaps this could include scores from multiple sources, similar to how google displays them when you search for a movie.

Yes, I am planning to introduce atleast rottentomatoes ratings at first. Wanted to validate idea first.

Would love the RT connection, especially if it has both critics and user scores. IMDB usually tells me nothing but "This sucks, don't watch it" (score of 5.X) but I don't get anything else from their ratings.

This is a cool idea. But worked once - did'nt work for a LOT of titles i tried. Seems to be some bug.

Friends - https://imgur.com/a/t5aduhK

OMDB currently supports movies only, I think, that might be the reason. Will look into it

Love it!


- Does not show the rating for all movies. Examples:

-- https://www.netflix.com/title/80189213 (empty)

-- https://www.netflix.com/title/70136120 (N/A)

Feature requests:

- Show "IMDB rating" right away and a spinner while you're fetching the data from the API call.

- Let me click on it and go to IMDB to see more information

Thanks for feedback. OMDB is used as data source and its doesn't have all movie's info. Will see if there's another data source with better coverage. I really liked idea of putting clickable link to IMDB.

Update : I got "HN hug of death" and OMDB api free limit is crossed. Working on converting it to premium.

Its fixed now thanks to quick response from OMDB creator

does that work with international, non US markets? non english Netflix versions?

I can confirm it works for the Spanish site.

Data source is OMDB. I have seen it work decently on Indian movies

it's being super super slow for me, otherwise, cool idea

Netflix won't work with Chrome(ium) on Linux.

This should depend on whether your "chrome" package has the Widevine content decryption module plugin packed with it. With Arch linux - for example - it's a separate package to install.

Yes, Netflix and Widevine should work out of the box if you are using Google's Chrome or Mozilla's Firefox builds for Linux.

Yes, it works fine with Firefox. I looked up for Widevine in Synaptic and found nothing. Same thing with Chromium extensions. I'll keep researching.

It works for me, but only on normal mode. It won't work for me on incognito mode.

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