Trakt Helps You Keep Up With Your Media Collection
If you have a large backlog of movies and television shows you would like to watch (and let’s face facts, if you are reading Theaterverse you probably do) it is difficult to keep track of what you have seen and what is still on your “must watch” list. If this sounds like you, it’s time to get acquainted with Trakt.tv.
So what is Trakt?
Trakt is a service that helps you keep track (Aha, see what they did there?) of everything you watch. You can organize all your media into lists, view movie and television recommendations based on your viewing habits, view calendars with shows you have in your collection and more. You can also set up automatic scrobbling if you use a Kodi or Plex based HTPC or one of the other supported media players and servers like Media Portal, Emby, VLC, Infuse, or Netflix (using a chrome plug in.)
Once you dig into the service there are too many things you can do with Trakt to list them all here, but we’ll take a look at some of the highlights here.
- Your collection: Impress your friends with the sheer size of your media hoard. If you use something like the Trakt Kodi add-on, all the media in your library will automatically be added here. It can be sorted by episode, show, movies, date etc.
- Calendars: Trakt features built in Calendars that show the airdates of shows and movies as well as personal calendars that feature new episodes of shows you have watched, movie premiers and more. Never be in that dark again about whether your favorite show will be on this week.
- Lists: You can organize your media into lists to keep track of it all. For example, I have the shows my kids like to watch all in a list called KidsTV. If my profile is not set to private than other Trakt users can see that list and import it into their own collection if they choose. Trakt also has an incredibly handy watchlist that you can add movies and episodes to so you don’t forget to watch them. After you mark that you have seen it the movie or episode disappears from your watchlist.
- Social Sharing: If you don’t mind all your followers knowing you are drunkenly binge-watching reruns of Will and Grace (Editor’s note: Sean Hayes is a comedic treasure. Don’t judge us,) Trakt can automatically share what you are watching to your social networks.
- Recommendations: Trakt has lists of the most popular, most watched, and trending media as well as personalized lists based on what you watch. If I am having a hard time deciding what to watch I can always find something using these lists.
- Integration: Trakt can integrate with a bunch of popular media centers and servers like Kodi, Plex, Media Portal, Netflix, VLC, Emby, and Infuse for automatic collection management and scrobbling. There are also quite a few mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, but personally I think the mobile version of the website is just as good if not better than the native apps.
- VIP Features: A small monthly fee will grab you a whole slew of other features as well including widgets that show what you are watching for forum signatures, push notifications for shows you are tracking, customizable calendars, advanced filtering and searches, custom RSS feeds, and a whole lot more.
Sounds great! How we do?
The first step, of course is to head on over to Trakt.tv‘s website and create an account. Once you have done that you are going to want to decide if you want your profile to be public or private. If you are security or privacy conscious it might be a good idea to set your profile to private. This can be done on the settings page under the “Account” heading. Next you will want to integrate Trakt into your media center.
On my system of choice, a Kodi based HTPC, it is as simple as installing the Trakt add-on from Kodi’s official repository and entering your account settings into it. After you go through a quick and painless activation process you are all set. Just run the add-on and everything will be synced back to Trakt. When you finish watching something you will be asked to rate it, although this behavior can be disabled in the add-on’s settings. It will be scrobbled back to Trakt, where you can see your watched history and your rating.
Installing on the others isn’t difficult either, with the exception of VLC (It isn’t rocket science, but it is a bit more involved than simply downloading a plug-in.) Simply follow the instructions listed in Trakt’s app page for your specific setup.
So you are out and about and someone tells you about a great show or movie they watched. Just add it to your Watchlist from your mobile device. Because Trakt publishes an API developers are free to build it’s functionality into their apps. There is no official Trakt app but a quick search of the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store will return tons of options. If you are using Android however, I recommend creating a shortcut to Trakt’s mobile site on your homescreen. Here is how you do it using Chrome:
So there you have it. Trakt.tv is an indespensible part of my home theater experience and a huge part of what enables me to be organized enough to bring this content to you. Do you use Trakt? Tell us why or why not below.