Screen Select Lives!

Film As you know, I recently signed again with Lovefilm-by-post having become tired with the tedious wait for the few films I actually want to see to be uploaded to one of the streaming services (as opposed to those entertainments which I'll watch because they're there). Surprisingly they'd retained my previously viewed items from the six months before back to 200 titles.

I've always been slightly cheesed off about brevity of that list. Back when Lovefilm had its own website and before that ScreenSelect, it was possible to look backwards right through the archive, be able to check if you'd seen a title before. Now, it seemed, anything before 200 was dropping off, just a year or two going backwards.

Well. Idling online late the other night, I was startled to discover that the entire archive is still there. Amazon still retains the entire list of everything I've watched either via shiny disc or streaming right back to 2004, albeit in their own format.

For the three people reading this for whom it'll be of interest, here's how I found it.

 At the top of the page under the search box it a link for "Stuart's Amazon" replacing my name with yours. Click this.

Now you'll see a link for "Improve Your Recommendations". Click that too.

Log-in. That brings a page which defaults to items you've purchased. To the left there's a link called "Videos you've watched". Click that.

You'll now see a list of all the discs you've had by post and watched through Amazon Prime in reverse chronological order.

This is where is gets a bit tricky. Scroll to the bottom of the page and you'll see a yellow "next" button with 1-15 to the left. Click that.

At this point I assumed that this would just take me backwards through the two hundred. But I was wrong.  It went even further.

 Now, look up at the address bar. You might need to scroll a bit but it should contain something like the following text:

As you can see at the end, there are instructions to tell the website which section of the dvd list the show, fifteen items, in this case items 16 to 30. This is the tricky part.

Feeling myself backwards, I first tried to look at the page with items 185 to 200. So I changed the numbers thusly:

That worked. So decided to go further.

And was amazed to find a series of items from the Lovefilm era, from Michael Clayton to Spider-Man 3. How far backwards did this go?

Produced a blank page indicating I hadn't watched anything, so I began working backwards in 50 item intervals until, magically I reached:

And the start of my viewing list, right back in 2004, the ScreenSelect days with the "previous" button at the bottom of the list allowing me to go forward in time.  A record of my dvd viewing for the past decade and a half, beginning with my French New Wave obsession.

There they were, the first discs I ever rented, Keanu Reeves actioner Chain Reaction, The China Syndrome and anthology series "Perfect Crimes" with its episode by Steven Soderbergh.

Much of this first year is recorded already on this blog in the ultra tedious Review 2004, but everything after that is like a diary of my viewing tastes which have always been eclectic and reminded me that back then I was just as likely to watch something archival or back catalogue as something new.

That's something I'm trying again.  To be continued.

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