Backing up stuff: Netflix Ratings

I recently purchased a new big disk (500GB), and a NAS enclosure. My goal here was to simplify my home network storage setup, and turn off some of my always-on computers. These were using about 450 watts of power together, which costs a couple hundred dollars a year, and is generally bad for my carbon footprint. The NAS disk, on the other hand, uses about 15 watts of power — even less than that when in standby, which is about 75% of the time.

While in the process of going through all my media, mostly music and video, and cleaning it up to move to the NAS disk, I also started thinking about backup strategies. The other reason I bought the NAS disk, besides cleaning up my media and saving power, was to have a central place that all my computers can send their critical stuff to be backed up.

That got me thinking again about data that lives out “in the cloud” on the services I use, on my blog host, etc. Which brings me to Netflix.

A number of people have mentioned the desire to back up their Netflix ratings, Queue, etc. I decided I wanted to do this too. But it turns out that it’s actually pretty difficult. I tried a few different Perl / Python solutions, but wasn’t able to get any of them to work for whatever reasons.

Then I stumbled on this:

It’s totally low-tech, but get this — it totally works. I really don’t care about the output format, or that it runs as a JaveScript bookmarklet in my browser. (Latest version of Safari ok.) I got my data, and copied and pasted it into a text file, and for now I’m happy with that.

If I ever have to put it back on Netflix that will be a different story, but for now I’m satisfied that my data is safe, and in a format that I’m sure I could write my own code to do something interesting with.

In case you’re curious, here they are: {manilaSuite.gems.includeGem (11)}


  1. Pete W G said:

    Are you using your mashup at all to hack away at the Netflix prize? I was wondering if anyone was making an effort to use IMDB or Amazon’s API and I’ve been googling around to see if there’s any progress in that regard. I’d be really curious if you’re involved! Thanks.

    March 31, 2008
  2. Jake Savin said:

    Nope, not involved. In fact I don’t even know what the Netflix Prize is…

    May 6, 2008

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