The need for importing an exported IMDb list

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  • Updated 7 months ago
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I try to keep track of everything I do in life and this is true for the things I watch too. I just want to have a full view of my watching activity and how much I like what I see throughout my life - very interesting insights! And IMDb is where I store all those records.

So, naturally, I make full use of IMDb's ratings and check-ins lists. I check-in when I start watching and I rate after I finish watching. Everything's tracked by the hour.

But there's an issue. Every time I come across a movie/episode I watched in the past, I want to mark it as "seen" (by adding it to my check-ins list) without messing my tracking. Also, sometimes I just forget to check-in and I may have to do it days later.

To solve this, I could have them added to my check-ins list, not between my "real-time, authentic" check-ins but somewhere else where they're not in the way (like before some specific date in the past, e.g. my birthday). So, I need to be able to alter the date in which an item was added and not the order of my check-ins list items (that's actually possible but not helpful, since I want to see my records by date).

  1. A solution would be for IMDb to let us export (possible) and import the list modified.
  2. Another solution could be to add the option to change the "date added" while editing the list.
  3. Or maybe IMDb could let us remove the "date added" altogether from specific entries, but that could create other unwanted ordering issues.

I'm hoping for some update so I can solve this issue.
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Posted 7 months ago

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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Hi Stilian,

IMDb's "Seen" feature may meet your need to keep track of what you watch even when you do not rate a title.

IMDb implemented the "Seen" feature based on a suggestion posted on IMDb's Get Satisfaction forum (in other words this website). It allows users to indicate that they have seen all or part of a film or television program without rating it. The "Seen" feature is available for all IMDb title lists. Here is an example for the IMDb Top 250 ( from my IMDb account:

If you click between the blank star and the + sign, you can either rate the title or indicate that you have seen the film. If you rate the film, a solid blue star is displayed with your rating to the right. If you select "seen", the star is colored light blue and the word "seen" is displayed to the right.

At the top right, you can hide titles that you have rated or seen.

The seen feature applies to all IMDb title lists. This includes user created lists. Here is an example based on one of My IMDb lists:
2015 Oscar Nominations Alphabetical Detailed

You can convert any title list to the "seen" feature by replacing "list" with "seen" in the link to the list. You may also play a trivia quiz based on a list, by clicking on the link to the right. The link to the quiz is shown below.

You may also be interested in a poll based in part on this list:
Poll: 2015 Multiple Oscar Nominations

The "seen" feature allows you to see which film you have rated or "seen" for a specific person. For instance, on Clint Eastwood's main page (, you should see this on the right side of the page towards the bottom:

If you click on the link, Clint Eastwood's work, you should see something similar to this:

The drop down menus allow you to select in what role or capacity Mr. Eastwood has for a production and the title type. For instance if you select Soundtrack and TV Episodes, you should see something like this:

Here is an interesting undocumented feature of the IMDb seen feature.

Titles You Have Seen But Not Rated

Here is an example:

IMDb still allows you to rate films and still maintains your rating list. For instance, these are my ratings:
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Dan, thanks for your detailed response of a not so well-documented IMDb feature - the "seen" function.

However, I already knew about it (I'm sorry I didn't mention that, so you didn't have to explain it in detail, but I learned a few new things from you anyway - thanks). And I don't think it solves my need of an easy way to track all my viewing activity by date AND make changes if I need to.

That's what "check-ins" should do, right? If not, what else?

Here's why the seen feature is not ideal:
  1. It shows only the not rated titles
  2. It's not mobile-friendly (can I even use it on mobile site/app?)
  3. The various seen pages (with "seen" in the URL) are a bit confusing since there is no "sort by" option. How are they sorted, really? (I hope IMDb will add this sorting option.)
  4. The seen page ( is buggy for me. => I noticed that if I check-in/mark as seen a title and undo it afterwards, if I redo it again, it doesn't show on the seen page for some reason. It's like it's blocked from appearing again. Note: the "seen star" appears on any other page without an issue. Have you noticed this too?
  5. And finally, it's not as intuitive to use as the check-in feature for my purposes
So, I think the check-in feature is ideal for me, since I don't have the above issues and I can see by date all the titles I have watched in the past and how many times. Now, my issue (as I described on my original post) is what happens if I forget to check-in a title while watching and if I randomly come across a title I have seen in the past and want to check-in now (after the fact)? The "date added" messes up my tracking.

Remember: this whole issue is because I want to track my viewing activity real-time (at the day level, at least) throughout my life and that's very important to me.

Again, as per my original post, my thoughts on possible solutions for this are:
  1. IMDb could let us export (possible) and import the check-ins list (or any other) after we modify it. (Seriously, why this isn't yet possible after all those years. It's a no-brainer to me. Is this because of some security concern? - I cannot think of any. IMDb could check the file automatically before it's uploaded so there is no error and then update any (unique to us/personal) changed data inside our account database.)
  2. Even better, an option to change the "date added" while editing the list.
  3. In addition, IMDb could also let us remove the "date added" altogether from specific entries (if that doesn't create other sorting issues with the "date added" ordering option
Please, IMDb, do something about this. I even gave you possible solutions to help you. This is important to me. Unfortunately, if nothing changes, I'll have to look somewhere else for a solution.

Thank you.

PS. Some extra feedback/ideas for you:
  1. The mobile version of IMDb doesn't have a check-in option on a title page. Shouldn't it be inside the Share menu below the Cast & Crew section?
  2. Also, it would be really awesome if we could easily see (by the click of a button) how many times we have seen a specific title: 1. a graph showing how many and which we have seen 1,2,3, or more times or 2. a search bar to search a title and showing us underneath all the check-in entries of a title. Right now that's hard, we can only manually count through the long list.
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Thanks for the additional details on what you are suggesting. I have a better understanding of what you would like to do.

What you suggest appears to be useful. It is now up to IMDb staff to determine whether there is sufficient interest in such a feature. You may be able to help your case by promoting this thread via social media. Best of luck.