So Netflix has the worst search capability ever. I can’t even adequately search for a genre such as “history channel” without returning results like Cars Toons: Mater’s Tall Tales and Charge. Seriously, that’s one of the top results. So I decided to see if they have an API so I can write my own program to return legit results. Of course Netflix has closed their public API. Netflix, you’ve reached a new level of “suckitude”.
Screw it, I’ll watch Cars Toons. And this really sums up Netflix. My inability to find what I want coupled with innate laziness is a microcosm for my continued use of their service. It’s so cheap, that I say “why not” and continue to give them eight or so dollars a month. I think millions of other people have this same mindset and so Netflix is able to make 8 multiplied by millions per month… It’s unbelievable and brilliant at the same time.
They have a monopoly on streaming and it shows. The service is sub-par. Netflix could really use some competition to either put them out of business or stir a little innovation. You can find more and more baffling results. Searches for “History” and “Historical Documentaries” yield head scratchers like Transformers: Dark of the Moon and The Short Game.
What the heck is The Short Game? Well per the description its a documentary about “Eight grade schoolers tee off to compete in a junior world championship at North Carolina’s prestigious Pinehurst golf course.” Yes this is clearly what I am looking for when searching for history related documentaries.
It’s obvious Netflix search is terrible. Perhaps its a little unfair that I am searching for only history. Is it though? When I perform a search for historical documentaries on YouTube I get plenty of great results like Secrets of the Ancient Empires – The First Cities (History Documentary) and History of Britain: Life Before the Romans | BBC Documentary. Even when I search for a documentary on the Battle of Alesia which occurred nearly 2,000 years ago I get multiple hits.
Netflix is a crappy service, with a crappy search, and it won’t even let its customers fix it by opening up its API. At this point I am not even sure allowing me access to their API would help though. One of two things are likely: One, what I am looking for doesn’t exist on Netflix. Two, the meta data on their titles is so terrible that I wouldn’t even be able to find what I’m looking for without considerable work and cross-referencing other APIs.
It’s amazing that a service like Pandora, which in many ways is not so different from Netflix is so on the money in getting me what I want. It’s effortless really. Entering in a single song, genre, or artist name will instantly yield a station I absolutely love. Pandora does this making a tenth of what Netflix makes. Of course Pandora has legitimate competitors like Grooveshark and Spotify. Netflix has?