Netflix Embraces Code Jockeys

If you know what an API is, then this news will interest you. Everyone else can skip it.

Oh, wait. Actually, this is seriously important for everyone, not just code jockeys. Netflix has announced that it's releasing its API at the Experience AJAX conference. An API (application programming interface) is a set of functions, procedures or methods that an operating system or service provides to support requests made by computer programs. By opening it to the public, Netflix will allow access to the movie data on their servers. No, all their movies don't suddenly become free to hackers, but the various metadata such as movie ratings and related movies can be used by other programmers.

The practical outcome?  And why do the rest of us care?

This lets various devices handle queue management. So, 'dumb' devices that run the Netflix streaming service will also let you add movies to your queue, without having to do it through a PC. This makes it easier for subscribers to get their movies. Good for subscribers, good for Netflix.

Anyone who's drunk the iPhone Kool-Aid will know that an application called iFlix already lets you access and reorder your NetFlix queue, and add movies. But presumably this open API will expand those horizons. Better yet, it would allow an open source version for Android and elsewhere.

Check the Netflix developer site for more info. -Ken C. Pohlmann