In the last blog post about SharetheTV and Trakt.TV, I mentioned the need for a way to track TV episodes which your social network were on. It got me thinking what ever happened to the promising startups of the time including tape it off the internet (tioti.com) and sharetv.
Back then, all these services relied on you putting all the data in and to be fair it might have been a little early. Now you got serious processing power under the TV from boxes like XBMC, Boxee, GoogleTV, etc. Setting up a TV tracker site would be pretty easy now. Almost all the boxes now talk to the Internet and there’s APIs a plenty now.
It is surprising no ones really pushed the idea yet. Like the prototype above shows, it doesn’t take much to get it right.
In response to Constantin’s attempted takedown of these satirical videos, the Institute for Internet Studies offers this helpful public service announcement explaining how to dispute a wrongful copyright claim on the grounds of Fair Use.
In a surprise (surprising to me at least) move to XBMC there is now a couple of services which allow you to show off your collection to the awaiting public. Something a little like Boxee does but much more like Last.FM (or rather Audioscrobbler) does.
The first one is Trakt.TV which simply tracks what you watch, just like last.FM/Audioscrobbler but for TV and Film. Of course its still early days, so theres not a lot of data right now but the database is powered by other open source projects the movie database and the TV database. Of course the scobbler plugin is built directly into the new Dharma XBMC, but you can force it into Camelot too if you don’t want to upgrade quite yet. One of the nice settings in the plugin is the ability to only send a update when you watch a certain percentage of the film/TV show. And of course you can blacklist certain directorys if you want to protect your p0rn for example. You can imagine the Lol’s when someone finds your secret stash of p0rn on the site. Credit is certainly due to trakt.tv for the global stats and chart pages, alas OKtrends.
Oh by the way my profile is here but its quite empty right now because I’ve not been watching anything from my xbmc library today.
Share the TV
Share the TV is the next one which aims to be less like Trakt.TV and more like a place to just dump your whole movie collection. Like Trakt.TV theres a plugin directly in the new XBMC and its just a matter of enabling it. Also like Trakt theres a load of options you can configure so its only uploading you collection every once in a while. Unlike Trakt, share the TV uploads the whole of your current movie and TV database to the site. So ideally you can show your friends what you got. Its also powered by the movie database which is a nice touch.
I like both of them but its very handy being able to see the whole collection with sharetheTV. I do worry somewhat that someone will look at my collection and decide that a film which isn’t out yet is obviously pirated (Grow up people!) (I tend to download a lot of trailers of course and XBMC picks up the metadata for them). I would really like to see trakt.tv and sharethetv come together to form a much stronger single site really.
Nothings perfect but theres room for change in both. Being able to change the update perious is useful in sharethetv because for example, Notorious auto scans as the 1946 film with the same name. So I need to change it before it syncs up the cloud.
Its great they both use the open movie/tv sites but it would be great if in turn they would also provide a export option for your own data collected. I’m sure there both working on it but sooner rather that later. I’d also like to see the ability to embed your collection elsewhere (actually trakt does support basic embeding). I’ve been burned on this front before with myfilmz.net.
Finally it would be great if either site could solve the problem which was highlighted by tape it off the internet (or tioti.com which is now findmetv.com) When your watching a TV series such as for example The Event. Some friends are following the UK Channel4 series, some are downloading it and some are waiting for the boxset. It would be fantastic to be able to track all that in a simple web/gui.
Thoughts and ideas of a dyslexic designer/developer