Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Wonders of Browser Add-Ons

I just wanted to take a second to expound on the virtues of browser add-ons. You know what those are, right? They're little programs you can install on your computer that will let your internet browser do all sorts of cool things. Just the other day, for example, I was bemoaning how hard it was to look up the IMDB ratings of movies I find on Netflix. While I enjoy Netflix's tailor-made recommendations, I often find them to be a bit lacking, especially in determining if a movie is going to be good or just so so. (Three stars or four stars--there's a big difference there. Sometimes I'm willing to put up with a 3 star movie. Sometimes I want to be sure it's going to be good before I get into it. I find IMDB's 10 star system better at judging that, especially since the users there often tend to be better at evaluating films. No offense, Netflix.)

Well, today I came across this article. There's now an add on for Chrome that will automatically bring up IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes ratings when you're looking at a movie on Netflix's site. How awesome is that? I installed it immediately. While it still has some bugs, it works quite well for the most part--and it's free!

Add-ons will do all sorts of other nifty things. You can find out more about them here. They're generally very easy to install. (Though sometimes *too* easy. Internet Explorer users are notorious for having a slew of add-ons on their browsers. I've opened IE sometimes and had the whole computer just lock up as it tried to load them all at once. A little can go a long way. Only install the add-ons you actually are going to use.)

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