Thursday, September 27, 2007

Search Update

Hi - it's Meghan again. You may have been wondering about how things are going with search. Well, last week we switched to a new engine on the back end. You can't see it, but it is improving results and it gives us the flexibility to make further improvements.

Over the next few days you'll see the first visible change on the site: auto-complete suggestions. As you type in the search box, you will see a list of movie titles that match what you type. Now you can find "Ratatouille" or "Koyaanisqatsi", even if you aren't sure how to spell it.

It will be live on Friday, and I'm curious to hear what you think. This change and some others we're working on were mentioned in the previous search post.

35 comments:

  1. Thanks Meghan. It'll be great not to have to Google spellings before searching! One request, down the road : right now, when you click on a director you get every movie or TV show they've ever been associated with, in whatever capacity (vide : Ron Howard!). Could you maybe put 'actor' , 'producer', or whatever next to anything that he/she didn't actually direct, otherwise it can get very confusing.

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  2. Looks great! Has anyone started working on del.icio.us style tagging?

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  3. I'd love to be able to filter a search (even a *.* search!) by my anticipated rating, so I can see in a list, for example, every movie that Netflix predicts I'd rate four stars or more (or every movie directed by Ron Howard, for a more restricted search example).

    I guess that's what Recommendations are for, but I've been surprised how many movies I find on my own that Neflix guesses I'll rate 4 or 5 stars that never appear in my "Recommendations."

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  4. You can see all the suggestions for you, ordered by anticipated rating, by clicking the Movies You'll "heart" tab, then scrolling to the bottom and clicking the See All Suggestions button.

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  5. "Now you can find ..."Koyaanisqatsi", even if you aren't sure how to spell it."

    Oh, now you add this! A couple years ago I spent about 2 hours searching for that movie and its sequels.

    Seriously though, this is very cool, looking forward to it. This will be available in all browsers, yes??

    @Walter Yes, but there are still a ton of movies that Netflix predicts we will give 4+ stars to that don't show on that page.

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  6. @walter

    Baff is right... I have a grand total of 16 suggested movies, but I know there are many, many more than that number which Neflix anticipates I'll love. It should be a simple matter to search for all those that I'd rate greater than n stars.

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  7. @Dan You sorta can. You can look in each of the 19 genres. I too have wished many times I could view all the movies that way.

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  8. Meghan,
    This is perfect! Makes searching much easier and doesn't bring up random movie associations when seaching. Thanks!

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  9. The new search feature appears to be live now (at least for me), and at least at first glance, it's quite nice. Good work Meghan (and team)!

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  10. I have read all of the previous posts, just these. It would be really nice if you could set up your search like the IMDB (Internet Movie Data Base)page. At least stop limiting how many movies come up on one page. I would like to scroll through the entire list when i search by title or star rating, for example, instead of hitting next page a thousand times.

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  11. 1000% better! Aside from 'Woman in the Dunes', my various 'test movies' all showed up on the drop-down list by the 4th letter - e.g. 'LEAV (ing Las vegas)'. Very Cool! Great job guys.

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  12. New search working well for me too.

    There a slight change to the queue today too? Added in MPAA?

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  13. There a slight change to the queue today too? Added in MPAA?

    That wasn't there before? lol -- I never noticed. But the side scrolly thing on the Community pages looks different to me. Was the text on the tabs always underlined?

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  14. Meghan, nice job on the search. If your group was responsible for the Que changes I like the Move to the top on the left side. These changes will be very helpful. Thank you.

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  15. A little funkiness with searches found:

    I searched for "Doctor Who", then I clicked on the Movie Matches which claimed 19610 matches.

    On the first page it shows 40 matches
    On the second page, 4 matches
    Third (final) page, 32 matches

    Something wrong with the 2nd page. The number of claimed matches is to be tied to the word 'who', I saw similar results from other common words.

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  16. Hey Baff, are you on that d*mn netflix blog again? We really have to talk.

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  17. Hey netflix, I like your blog. Visit my blog at www.neslynews.blogspot.com, It has videos, pictures, questionares and more.

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  18. While I'm certainly happy to see some search improvements, would it be too much to ask that clicking on a movie in the auto-complete takes us directly to the movie page? I kinda thought that would be the main reason for doing something like this. If I see the movie I want, why make me go through an extra search results screen to get there?

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  19. Thats what I was expecting to happen too the first time I used the new search.

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  20. What if there are more than one movie with that title? Does the search drop down list differentiate between them? Maybe that's why it takes you to a search page.

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  21. No, it doesn't. But, if there is only 1 exact match, it could go to the movie page, and if more than 1, to the search page. Thats what IMDB does.

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  22. I have been unable to create any lists at all. I've tried on FireFox 2.0.0.7 and IE 7. When I type movie names in the box, nothing happens, the plus sign is dead. Please give me some clues on how to do this. Thanks. lbrakeman@cox.net

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  23. The new search is horrible. Even though I type in an exact movie title I end up with 2000 or so titles to search through. It even finds totally unrelated stuff, the old engine was much better. Please at least allow the use of quotes around the title, name etc. so it doesn't find every John that has ever been involved in a movie. Add the capability to restrict spelling to exact match.

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  24. Suggestion! ...

    Please add a search box to the little pop-up thing that comes up after you add a movie to your queue. It's really annoying when you are trying to search and add a bunch of movies to your queue (which I'm sure people do quite often) to have to hit the little close button on that pop-up every time to get back to the search box.

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  25. The search feature is unaware that there is a movie titled American Beauty. I found this out when I was creating custom list and while typing the title into the "add movies" box the search list presented me with The American Beauty, but not the 1999 film starring Kevin Spacey. I can get to American Beauty by typing the full title into the search box on the browse page, but was not able to add it to my custom list, even when I ignored the search selections offered and typed in the correct title myself. It just would not add.

    I don't know how many other titles there may be that are identical except for this one pesky little word, but I thought I would mention it as a possible glitch.

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  26. As a work around, you can go to the movie's page and click "Add to Top 10 List" on the left.

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  27. Thanks, baff! I never would have found that link, way down the page there. The movie is added and I appreciate the assist.

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  28. My first complete flunk out (a pretty impressive success rate after many dozens of searches). Typing in 'Lola' brings up everything except Fassbinder's 1981 film of that name, for which one needs to write 'The BRD Trilogy : Lola', which only real Fassbinder aficionados will know. Same with 'Veronika Voss' and 'The Marriage of Maria Braun'. Thanks.

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  29. Works great. But agree that unless there's more than one movie with that same name the drop-down link should take you straight to the movie page, not to a second search page.

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  30. LOVE the auto-complete on the search! Thanks!

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  31. the new search is great. i watch a lot of foreign films and mispelled them half the time.

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  32. I would love to filter or sort movies by genres / release date, usually I have already seen all the movies netflix suggests and I am only interested in resent releases that I have not watched.

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  34. The Netflix search capability is really weak. It's nuts you can't search within genre, or limit, for example, to only movies available to watch instantly.

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