Searching through all the streaming services you use (and pay for) can be a real hassle. You might remember that Mean Girls is available somewhere, but you don’t want to search all over for it. With CanIStream.It, you can search through all major streaming services, and see rental and purchase options, for the movies or TV shows you want.
Say you want to catch up on Mad Max before you go see Fury Road. Searching for it on the CanIStream.It website brings up where you can rent or buy it online, with links to easily go to the content. You can also set up notifications to alert you when the movie comes to additional services like Netflix or Amazon Instant Video.
In addition to the web app, CanIStream.It is available for iOS, Android and Windows Phones. Reminders can be set up to email you or send you a mobile notification when the service detects your desired title on your desired streaming service.
It’s not without its flaws though. The Mad Max search turned up results for Mad Max Fury Road. CanIStream.It showed that the brand new blockbuster was available to rent or purchase through the Google Play Store and on DVD from Amazon. Those linked to the first Mad Max and a preorder page, respectively.
While rental and purchase options are available through an API, subscription streaming services hold their information more closely. Since the application isn’t authorized by the streaming providers, it will likely always run into problems with accurate data.
There are other competitors in the space. The MPAA and six member studios came out with WhereToWatch last year to provide a search engine for legal content. The site looks better and provides marginally more accurate results. The Mad Max search still brought up pre-orders for Fury Road but didn’t confuse it with the original.
However, the site only searches through sites that provide an API. Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and many other subscription streaming services don’t have an API so they don’t show up in results.
For Netflix devotees, there’s always @netflixbot ,which tweets out titles from the Netflix New Releases RSS feed. You can set up mobile notifications and wake up to 10 or 20 Twitter notifications of all the new additions each morning.
Universal search boxes are also popping up on streaming media players like the Roku and Amazon Fire TV. Roku even added the Roku Feed recently, which focuses on movies. You can add a title to your feed and it will show up on a dedicated page when it’s available through a service to which you’re a subscriber.
But for everyday use, CanIStream.It is a very helpful tool.