Netflix Ratings Import/Export

Andrle and I each used to have our own Netflix accounts. For a time, after we got married, we kept both; mine was used for disc rentals, and hers for streaming. Eventually we realized we were mostly just streaming, so we canceled my account and went to a single shared account. Sadly, this meant I lost over 1400 movie ratings, since Netflix provides no official way to export. After a while, I gave up on ever getting my ratings back.

Finally, earlier this month, Netflix embraced their role as a household service and added profiles. I decided to pay for a month of streaming and reactivate my old account to see if I could get my ratings out. I found this browser script which, after applying a patch described there, gave me a JSON file containing all of my ratings. This is also a useful backup to have in case Netflix ever goes away (unlikely).

Unfortunately there is still no way to easily import ratings into Netflix, so I wrote a very basic Chrome extension that would read the exported JSON file and click through each movie, rating it. It’s available on GitHub. Make sure to read the instructions included with the code; it’s straightforward but requires some poweruser comfort to follow the steps, since I didn’t bother with an interface. (Incidentally, this is one thing I love about having programming skills – that sense of having more power and control over my own data.)

Obviously it would be nice if various online services practiced across-the-board data liberation (though with Facebook and Twitter adding export, it’s getting better), but hopefully this is one tiny step in helping other nerdy family units transfer their precious Netflix ratings.

Posted in Code Projects, How-Tos Tagged with: , , , ,
4 comments on “Netflix Ratings Import/Export
  1. Adam says:

    Hey Nick,

    Thanks so much for the extension and instructions. There’s a small bug in the manifest file that I called out on GitHub here: https://github.com/UltraNurd/netflix-rater/issues/1

  2. Kevin says:

    This is great to have, even for a relative tech noob like me. I’m curious, with the advent of other online streaming services – Amazon, Hulu, Flixster, etc. – would a similar mechanism be possible to transfer Netflix ratings to those other services or vice versa?

    • Nicolas Ward says:

      Kevin, that kind of cross-system import/export is harder for two reasons: the first is different site design and/or API; the second is different unique identifiers. Inside of Netflix the extension can use the exact ID to get the same item; outside of Netflix you’d have to do name-alignment which wouldn’t always work.

  3. Todd says:

    Thanks for posting this. I’m trying to extract my Netflix profile and create a separate account with it, and my mind was blown when Netflix support told me that wasn’t possible.

    The ratings extractor script that you linked to no longer works, but this one does: https://userscripts.org/scripts/show/32964

    However, it exports the ratings in a different format than your chrome extension is designed for. I’m not clever enough to know how to update your extension or how to resort the data. Any advice or desire to create an alternate version of that extension?

Nurd Up!

Nicolas Ward

Software engineer in Natural Language Processing research by day; gamer, reader, and aspiring UltraNurd by night. Husband to Andrle
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