Jinni searches Netflix better than Netflix

Semantic movie search engine Jinni now ties into your Netflix account, letting you search through Netflix faster and easier than you can from the actual DVD rental site.

Jinni, a semantic search engine for movies, now works with Netflix. If you're a Netflix subscriber, you can link up your account and get custom-tailored search results and recommendations based on what you've watched and rated on the DVD rental service.

I've been giving it a spin over the past day and it's downright cool. If you've used Netflix's own search tool (which I find highly underpowered), you'll appreciate that Jinni gives you many more ways to sort out and hone the results.

Jinni's movie search engine works great with Netflix, and you can even limit its results just to movies you can rent or stream from the service. CNET Networks

Jinni organizes search results in a cloud with varying sizes of thumbnails, with the larger ones being the most relevant to your search. You can also adjust it to show how long each movie is, what it's rated, and what year it came out. Hovering over any of these results expands it, giving you a brief description of the film, and if you've linked up your Netflix account, the option to add it to your queue. There's also the option to search only from movies you can stream from Netflix's Watch Instantly service--something you can't even do from Netflix.com.

What I really like about this integration is that Netflix users who are new to Jinni can start using it to discover new movies without having to go through the rating and bookmarking process all over again. If you've rated just a few movies on Netflix, it will already have recommendations for you based on a combination of those ratings and your rental history. Netflix does the same thing, but this way you can continue to rate movies in Netflix and get a whole new layer of recommendations along with a better search tool.

Jinni is in private beta, although I got access just a few minutes after signing up.

About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.

 

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