Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Importing Flixster Reviews to Letterboxd

Today was a triumphant day as I finally finished figuring out how to import my Flixster reviews (all 872) into Letterboxd. Letterboxd can import reviews, but they have to follow a specific format. Here's the post from letterboxd feedback that got me started (courtesy of lestyn Lloyd):

I followed this guide for getting the JSON file and converting to CSV, if you know what you're doing it takes 2 minutes http://melitamihaljevic.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/sunday-hacking-get-your-movie-ratings.html
- Login to Facebook 
- Access the Flixster page in the apps menu 
- Once on the Flixster FB app, access your Account via the profile 
- Under your account, you'll see a link to access your ratings, click on this - mine was 350 movies, hence me wanting to get these out and doing this 
- This only displays 8 movies at a time though, and you need to click on Load More at the bottom of the page 
- In the URL however, you'll see your Flixster user ID e.g. http://www.flixster.com/user/xxxxxxxxx/ratings/ a ~9 digit number shown here by x's - make a note of this number 
- Now insert your Flixster ID number into the following URL:https://www.flixster.com/api/users/xxxxxxxxx/movies/ratings?scoreTypes=numeric&page=1&limit=zzzadjusting limit=zzz where this is the number of ratings you made for movies (mine was 350). You can also adjust page if you like. With 350 mine took ages to load but it did complete 
- The JSON code may look like gibberish so you may want to go tohttps://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/jsonview/chklaanhfefbnpoihckbnefhakgolnmc and install this extension for Google's Chrome browser which will allow you to view it in a more meaningful manner 
- You can go to File > Save As... and save the JSON file to your computer.
SO, I got as far as the JSON file, which is pretty much one long string of numbers and text on a web page. I tried saving it to my computer, but it didn't automatically assign it a file extension, so Windows didn't know how to open it. So I poked around online to see I could do an online conversion, and found the best one (or should I say the only one that converted it the way it supposed to) right here: http://konklone.io/json/. I copied and pasted the JSON text into the converter. What I got then was a CSV file--basically a spreadsheet with all the information in it. I then tried uploading the file into letterboxd, but it wouldn't take it. So I looked again at the import rules and saw that there had to be specific category headings, like "Year," "Rating," "Title," etc. which were different that the headings Flixster had. Once I went in and changed the appropriate ones (letterboxd just ignored anything extraneous), the file loaded relatively quickly. I went through the list and sorted out any films letterboxd hadn't found (typically because of specific wording in the title), and imported the ratings. Voila! Six years of film ratings and reviews reclaimed! And I now have a CSV backup of all my Flixster reviews. 
I do love the Internet.


  1. I was recommended to Letterboxd today by a friend. I am also attempting to transfer my 1500+ ratings and reviews from Flixter to Letterboxed. I am getting stuck at the part where I need to change category headlines in the JSON text.
    I have tried copying the JSON text to a TextEdit document, doing a find and replace on Title, Year, Rating, then copying back to the converter and reconverting. Still was not accepted by Lettrboxd.
    How do I go about doing this? What am I missing/doing wrong?

    1. Did you use the converter I've linked to in the post? You need to convert JSON to CSV first. Then open it with a spreadsheet app and change the headings (you have to follow the directions for category headings here: http://letterboxd.com/about/importing-data/). You also need to be a PRO member to import, but it's only $19 for the year and it's *well* worth it.

  2. Once you request beyond a limit of 400 or so, it usually times out. In that case, you can use the page option to get smaller chunks and combine them. For example, get chunks of 200 reviews by changing the page number (1,2,3,4,...), https://www.flixster.com/api/users/xxxxxx/movies/ratings?scoreTypes=numeric&page=3&limit=200

  3. This worked perfectly. Thank you, thank you, thank you.