Butaca, IMDb and TMDb

Right now, probably all of you know IMDb. The Internet Movie Database is "the place" you'd go to look up a movie or check the filmography of an actor, writer or director. Some of you will also be familiar with IMDb Android and iOS applications, which allow you to check out that very same information on your mobile device, providing the means to settle any arguments (who directed The Terminator? And Aliens?). However, IMDb doesn't provide a free API: it provides a big ZIP file that you can download and parse to get that info. Then... -if you don't want to get a commercial license for the API- what are your chances as an Open Source developer willing to get the same functionality?

The open movie database

TMDb was started in the fall of 2008 as a side project in order to help serve high resolution posters and fan art for the popular XBMC project. What started as just a simple single page linked with some zip files has morphed into one of the most active user built movie databases on the entire Internet.

themoviedb.org is a free and open movie database. It's completely user driven by people like you. TMDb is currently used by millions of people every month and with our powerful API, also used by the world's most popular media centers.

And indeed it is a powerful API. Butaca uses it to provide you with all the movie information you could need :). At this moment, Butaca implements almost all the API exposed by TheMovieDb, so you can search and get information from people and movies and navigate through genres: the only thing you need is an Internet connection. Besides, Butaca allows you to mark the content as favorite so you'd keep it in your home screen as a shortcut.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Welcome view with favorites"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="120" caption="Detailed Movie View"][/caption]

Other available feature in Butaca is movie showtimes. Right now, I couldn't find any world-wide open showtimes API: looks like there are some local ones, which could serve in some countries (or areas inside some countries) but most of these APIs need to be licensed. So what's the solution at the moment? When the user wants to check what's on the theaters around him, the browser is open pointing to Google Movies. The browser is used also, if you want to check if there are shows for a particular movie. In the future (unless I find some good API), instead of opening the browser, a WebView will be used.

So if at this point you're still interested, please check out the project. You'll find plenty of screenshots there, and instructions on how to add the OBS repository (deb http://repo.pub.meego.com/home:/spenap/Harmattan/ ./) to your device so you can install Butaca and start using it. And then, start filing bugs :)