Friday, May 4, 2012

Introducing A Better Queue


Welcome to A Better Blueueg, a blag for A Better Queue. Updates to will be posted here, among other things. This is my first development project, so I may write about code, too.

A Better Queue

A Better Queue let's you filter and browse Netflix instant movies by Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer. Set your own threshold for quality via consensus of the critics. You also filter by years and genres. Simple.

Why this was made

First, I love Netflix.

Second, I want to help you find good movies faster.

Let's stop wading through shitty movies. Let's stop wasting time.

Quick story:

Every once and a while, the planets align. My friends' lovely wives will sometimes let them out to play, all at the same time. When this happens, we usually plan some sort of self-aware, stereotypically masculine "man nite" where bad food, good beer, N64 Goldeneye, and a Netflix movie are called for. We're picky when it comes to choosing movies. We don't want our time wasted with crap 'flix. We found the Rotten Tomatoes' Tomatometer to be a pretty reliable indicator of movie quality. So we'd have two tabs open on our browsers: Netflix and Rotten Tomatoes. We'd scour Netflix for something that looked good and then check out its Tomatometer on the other tab. Too much work. Too much time wasted looking for a good movie. The solution? Take Netflix's currently streaming movies that have a Tomatometer percentage and put them all in one place.

Thus, A Better Queue.

Why this is good

It's simple. Filter with your criteria. Browse. Click the Tomatometer % for the movie's Rotten Tomatoes page. Click the poster for the movie's Netflix page. Enjoy.

How it will be better

Strengthening the reliability of the Tomatometer

Tomatometer percentage is based on the ratio of positive to negative reviews for any given movie. Simple enough. However, lots of movies with a high Tomatometer don't have a lot of reviews. And some of those movies suck. In short, less reviews lead to a less reliable Tomatometer. A fix for this is in the works.

"Add to Instant Queue" button

Soon, each movie will have an "Add to Instant Queue" button. This will allow you to add movies to your instant queue without leaving the website.

Improved UI

Right now, the UI is stiff and unresponsive. This is because I wanted to get A Better Queue out the door as soon as possible. I'll be working to make this a more view-responsive app. Speaking of view-responsiveness...

Mobile UI

Right now this app doesn't work at all with touch-state for the reason described above. I plan on making this site usable in a mobile browser soon. In addition, I very much want an iOS app in your pocket as soon as possible. Stay tuned.

Thank you

I want to thank everybody who checked out A Better Queue while it was in beta. You had great input. Special thanks goes to my good friends Steve and Jonathan Pardo, whose input regarding design and user experience was invaluable. Super-duper thanks to my very smart friend, Brian Fitch, whose RoR knowledge guided my thinking about clean code and other under-the-hood things.

A Better Yueue

Keep yourself posted about updates to A Better Queue by following @_abq on Twitter.

Also, feel free to drop me a line at dave dot jachimiak at gmail dot com. I'd love to hear from you.

Edited for clarity: 12:43, 7:53 AM 05/05/12


  1. Any chance there is an iPhone app in the works? That would be awesome and extremely popular.

  2. An iPhone app is most definitely in the works.

  3. Could you change the color scheme? It's extremely difficult to see. Otherwise, great site!

    1. The color scheme is now better.


  4. Tried it out, and it's not bad. Congrats on getting listed in PC World. NetFlix definitely needs a better system for filtering through and finding films for streaming, and what you have isn't bad. Only thing I can think of an addition is, I'm one of those people who looks for films BELOW certain maturity ratings (e.g. PG and below) and that might make for a good additional slider to incorporate in the future. My $.02.

    Keep up the good work.

  5. This looks amazing, thank you for your work. Any plans for a Roku app?