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New Plug-in: Netflix


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#1 IanB!

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 05:38 PM

Hey,

Over the last couple of years of reading these forums, i've learnt how important the Netflix channel is for so many US users. I've seen various fixes/rewrites which have resolved things for a short period of time but then slowly broken by site changes and other external factors. A while back I was asked to look into it to see if I could do a re-write in the hope that we could build a more reliable Channel. It took a little while but I think I might have something ready for the masses. I was a little scared with pushing this directly to the App Store so thought best to release it here and then get feedback to allow me to fix any issues, etc.

Netflix.png


Known Issues
  • This channel is US only (Netflix only provide API access for US users, i'm really sorry about this)
  • Instant queue is limited to 50 items

Update #1 (23/05/12)
  • Fixed issue to allow the 'Ask' preference to be used for Resume/Restart behaviour

Update #2 (3/06/12)
  • Fixed paging for Instant Queue
  • Attempt to fix Resume (please test!)
  • Fixed issue with missing Preferences and Search icons

Update #3 (12/07/12)
  • Updated API URL base address

Update #4 (31/08/12)
  • Updated following Netflix site change.
  • Released via the App Store

Update #5 (03/09/12)
  • Resolved resuming of a video

BETA
This channel is available via the App Store/Channel Directory. If you've installed a previous 'beta' version that was attached to this forum, please remove manually and install via the client.

Let me know what you think!
Ian
Plugins: SkyGo, LoveFilm-Player, Crackle, Blinkbox, Stuff.tv, 5by5, RWC2011, FXUK, Jerry Seinfeld, VideoJug, SoundCloud, Ziln
Rewitten: YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Pitchfork.TV, National Geographic
Blog: Plex Plugin DevBlog

#2 elstreif

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 06:47 PM

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#3 gage006

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 07:34 PM

Oh man, loads faster than the old plugin and looks to work great, thanks!

Only things I'm noticing, if I have the playback set to "Ask" nothing happens when I try to play something. Set it to resume and it doesn't resume. I'm assuming those things just aren't implemented yet?

With my non-server clients (2 OSX computers) i'm not seeing any of the content, just the login prompt stuff. Do I need to login on Safari or something to get those on the other computers?

#4 IanB!

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 07:40 PM

Oh man, loads faster than the old plugin and looks to work great, thanks!

Only things I'm noticing, if I have the playback set to "Ask" nothing happens when I try to play something. Set it to resume and it doesn't resume. I'm assuming those things just aren't implemented yet?

With my non-server clients (2 OSX computers) i'm not seeing any of the content, just the login prompt stuff. Do I need to login on Safari or something to get those on the other computers?


They should work, but were the last thing I finished off. I probably did something in a rush and made a mistake. I'll have a look and see what i've gone and done. Thanks for reporting it!

Are the non-server clients, are they running the latest version of Laika? They should connect to your server (since all channels run on the server) and work exactly the same as your server machine...
Plugins: SkyGo, LoveFilm-Player, Crackle, Blinkbox, Stuff.tv, 5by5, RWC2011, FXUK, Jerry Seinfeld, VideoJug, SoundCloud, Ziln
Rewitten: YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Pitchfork.TV, National Geographic
Blog: Plex Plugin DevBlog

#5 IanB!

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 08:53 PM

I think I found the 'resume' issue but appears that it should only affect TV Shows. Could you try and set the Resume option in the preferences and see if it works for Films? I'm still looking at why the 'Ask' preference isn't really working. For me, this works for Films but not for TV Shows. I'll keep looking into this and push another version out once I get to the bottom of it...
Plugins: SkyGo, LoveFilm-Player, Crackle, Blinkbox, Stuff.tv, 5by5, RWC2011, FXUK, Jerry Seinfeld, VideoJug, SoundCloud, Ziln
Rewitten: YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Pitchfork.TV, National Geographic
Blog: Plex Plugin DevBlog

#6 IanB!

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 09:41 PM

Updated as mentioned in the first post
Plugins: SkyGo, LoveFilm-Player, Crackle, Blinkbox, Stuff.tv, 5by5, RWC2011, FXUK, Jerry Seinfeld, VideoJug, SoundCloud, Ziln
Rewitten: YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Pitchfork.TV, National Geographic
Blog: Plex Plugin DevBlog

#7 gage006

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 10:25 PM

Ah yeah, it was a TV show I was trying it on. I'll update and give it another go. The clients issue resolved itself with a restart of the server, sorry for the false alarm!

Edit- Ask works! It's still not resuming where I left off but the options are there and functional. Tested on a TV show and movie this time.

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#8 Wormhole

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 11:05 PM

tried this today. I primarily use PlexFlix to view my netflix queues. when trying to play any plexflix strm file, i get an error, cannot play back file error.

#9 jmuck78

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 11:56 PM

The plugin is very quick - I like it so far. I too use plexflix and am unable to play plexflix streams (which may not necessarily be an issue with this plugin).

The big potential improvement would be to utilize the plex search services so that a global search returns results from netflix. Have you considered implementing this? Hulu and Youtube (and a few others) have this service implemented rather well.

#10 Murderous Moppet

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 01:08 AM

he is the guy that wrote YouTube and Hulu plugins so if it works for them i assume it is on the map :)

#11 jmuck78

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 01:22 AM

he is the guy that wrote YouTube and Hulu plugins so if it works for them i assume it is on the map :)


Heh. Looks like we came to the right place...

If I were feeling greedy, I might ask him to develop an amazon plugin, too - but I'm not greedy, so I won't ask.

#12 pmoondi

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 02:02 AM

This doesn't work for me. I downloaded the zip and put the .bundle file into the /Library/Application Support/Plex Media Server/Plugins folder and the app shows up under "Video Channels". I can get the Netflix app to launch and can view all my personalized recommendations etc. But whenever I select a video to play, I get an error: "ERROR: Could not read data from file".

My flash and silver light are both up to date.

Any idea what the problem could be?

#13 IanB!

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 07:58 AM

Ah yeah, it was a TV show I was trying it on. I'll update and give it another go. The clients issue resolved itself with a restart of the server, sorry for the false alarm!

Edit- Ask works! It's still not resuming where I left off but the options are there and functional. Tested on a TV show and movie this time.


Thanks for re-testing! Looks like the Site Configuration file needs to be updated to properly handle the 'resume'. I'll have a look to see if I can figure out whats going wrong...
Plugins: SkyGo, LoveFilm-Player, Crackle, Blinkbox, Stuff.tv, 5by5, RWC2011, FXUK, Jerry Seinfeld, VideoJug, SoundCloud, Ziln
Rewitten: YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Pitchfork.TV, National Geographic
Blog: Plex Plugin DevBlog

#14 IanB!

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 08:02 AM

The plugin is very quick - I like it so far. I too use plexflix and am unable to play plexflix streams (which may not necessarily be an issue with this plugin).

The big potential improvement would be to utilize the plex search services so that a global search returns results from netflix. Have you considered implementing this? Hulu and Youtube (and a few others) have this service implemented rather well.


I've got to confess, I don't actually know what PlexFlix is and how my changes to the Netflix Channel would affect it. I've also just done a re-write for Hulu so if it is somehow tied into these Channels, the original developer might want to take a look. Both Channels have been re-writen to the new Channel Framework in order to support the latest features. If the PlexFlix developer has any queries on these re-writes i'm happy to help out...

Regarding the support of Universal Search, i'd love this too! At the moment, it's not technically possible. This is to do with how the Netflix API authenticates which subsequently provides an Access Token to be used for API interaction. At the moment, the Access Token is only accessible to the Channel and the Plugin Framework doesn't provide a mechanism to communicate this between the Channel and the Search Service. The Plex developers are aware and hopefully we can support this in the future.

Ian
Plugins: SkyGo, LoveFilm-Player, Crackle, Blinkbox, Stuff.tv, 5by5, RWC2011, FXUK, Jerry Seinfeld, VideoJug, SoundCloud, Ziln
Rewitten: YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Pitchfork.TV, National Geographic
Blog: Plex Plugin DevBlog

#15 IanB!

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 08:04 AM

This doesn't work for me. I downloaded the zip and put the .bundle file into the /Library/Application Support/Plex Media Server/Plugins folder and the app shows up under "Video Channels". I can get the Netflix app to launch and can view all my personalized recommendations etc. But whenever I select a video to play, I get an error: "ERROR: Could not read data from file".

My flash and silver light are both up to date.

Any idea what the problem could be?


Hey, sorry to hear your having trouble. A failure at this point would indicate something is wrong with PMS starting a WebKit session. Some things to check, which version of PMS are you running? What version of Silverlight? Do you have issues with any other channels which are Flash or Silverlight based (e.g. Hulu)?

Ian
Plugins: SkyGo, LoveFilm-Player, Crackle, Blinkbox, Stuff.tv, 5by5, RWC2011, FXUK, Jerry Seinfeld, VideoJug, SoundCloud, Ziln
Rewitten: YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Pitchfork.TV, National Geographic
Blog: Plex Plugin DevBlog

#16 jmuck78

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 05:20 PM

I've got to confess, I don't actually know what PlexFlix is and how my changes to the Netflix Channel would affect it. I've also just done a re-write for Hulu so if it is somehow tied into these Channels, the original developer might want to take a look. Both Channels have been re-writen to the new Channel Framework in order to support the latest features. If the PlexFlix developer has any queries on these re-writes i'm happy to help out...

Regarding the support of Universal Search, i'd love this too! At the moment, it's not technically possible. This is to do with how the Netflix API authenticates which subsequently provides an Access Token to be used for API interaction. At the moment, the Access Token is only accessible to the Channel and the Plugin Framework doesn't provide a mechanism to communicate this between the Channel and the Search Service. The Plex developers are aware and hopefully we can support this in the future.

Ian


Plexflix is a separate tool written by a plex user that scrapes your netflix instant queue into .strm files in a local directory on your plex media server so that the plex media server can add the netflix items into your plex library. Plexflix also allows you to add tv shows from hulu.

http://www.anomiesof...x/Plexflix.html

http://forums.plexap...flix-and-laika/

Regarding the universal search, thanks for the explanation. I wonder if you can add the netflix API authentication and search function directly to the universal search script - or would having two access tokens create a conflict?

#17 IanB!

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 05:49 PM

Plexflix is a separate tool written by a plex user that scrapes your netflix instant queue into .strm files in a local directory on your plex media server so that the plex media server can add the netflix items into your plex library. Plexflix also allows you to add tv shows from hulu.

http://www.anomiesof...x/Plexflix.html

http://forums.plexap...flix-and-laika/

Regarding the universal search, thanks for the explanation. I wonder if you can add the netflix API authentication and search function directly to the universal search script - or would having two access tokens create a conflict?


Thanks for the links. I'm still not sure how my channel changes would have affected Plexflix, are you sure it worked before hand? I think it's unlikely I would be able to resolve this since I don't maintain PlexFlix...

The Authentication Token should only be obtained once per-application. Therefore, it would not be a good idea to also re-authenticate for searches. Also, searches are non-stateful, which would mean that it would need to completely re-authenticate every time you made any search...

Ian
Plugins: SkyGo, LoveFilm-Player, Crackle, Blinkbox, Stuff.tv, 5by5, RWC2011, FXUK, Jerry Seinfeld, VideoJug, SoundCloud, Ziln
Rewitten: YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Pitchfork.TV, National Geographic
Blog: Plex Plugin DevBlog

#18 gage006

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 06:13 PM

Thanks for re-testing! Looks like the Site Configuration file needs to be updated to properly handle the 'resume'. I'll have a look to see if I can figure out whats going wrong...


No worries, this is still LOADS better than the old one. Better layout and much quicker. Is it going to be able to show partially watched status, like local media? Or would that not be possible? Thanks again!

#19 Mr Hyde

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 06:36 PM

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#20 IanB!

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 06:45 PM

No worries, this is still LOADS better than the old one. Better layout and much quicker. Is it going to be able to show partially watched status, like local media? Or would that not be possible? Thanks again!

It's a nice idea that i've already talked to the developers about. I think that it might be possible in the future, but at present it's not. One of the problems with the previous channel was that it used a combination of data, both from the API and the Site. When the Site changed, the channel fell over pretty much immediately. This channel is 100% API backed so i'm hoping it will provide a much more stable platform to extend in the future. As soon as other things become possible (Universal Search, Watched Status, etc) i'll try to update. I just wish the API was accessible from outside the US, then I could actually use it myself! :S
Plugins: SkyGo, LoveFilm-Player, Crackle, Blinkbox, Stuff.tv, 5by5, RWC2011, FXUK, Jerry Seinfeld, VideoJug, SoundCloud, Ziln
Rewitten: YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Pitchfork.TV, National Geographic
Blog: Plex Plugin DevBlog




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