Locate TV goes into public beta

The PR woman has been belting on at me for ages to give this a mention, and seeing as today, it’s now available to the public rather than just we brave beta testers, I thought I’d finally relent and talk about Locate TV.

It’s supposed to be like Google for tele, movies and actors. You type in the name of a film, TV show or actor, and it tells you what the actor’s been in, when the next showing of the programme or movie is online or on television (you can tell it where you live and what TV services you have access to) or whether it’s available on DVD. You can then embed a little widget in your blog that gives other people access to the equivalent information for their region, etc.

At the moment, it has two problems, apart from a not inconsiderable slowness, IMHO:

  1. The widgets are fugly. Ugh.
  2. It doesn’t do a good job of aggregating data into an easily consumable format – true of Google as well, I suppose, but not helpful when you have to keep going back and forth between search results to make sure you’ve covered all eventualities.

If you do a search for Doctor Who, for example, it gives you 30 results. The first three are

Doctor Who (2005) – TV Series

NEXT ON: Saturday 6th October 12:00pm – UKTV Gold

Time-travelling adventures, following the exploits of the Doctor, aided by his trusty sidekick

Doctor Who – TV Series

Sci-fi adventures with the eccentric Time Lord

Doctor Who – TV Series

A mysterious traveler can visit any point in space and time.

Could have done with them stuck together, I reckon, although the spelling of traveler in the third one suggests an American source, even though it just lists DVDs.

So still a bit wobbly, but could be useful with a bit more smartness in the aggregation logic and a better web designer.

Click to see LocateTV results for Airwolf. Always up to date, always relevant to you.

UPDATE: Stu tells me that a similar – and possibly better – service is available from Bleb. Thanks Stu!

  • It just looks rubbish, doesn’t it?!

  • I told them when they asked me that it looked horrid – as though they’d used a bunch of clip art and fonts from the bargain bucket at PC World. Apparently they took this feedback on board with the latest designs. I can’t tell the difference, but they claim it’s darker, as though that’s going to fix the problems?��Ǩ��

  • Hello, persistent PR woman here (I’m actually a blogger but hey labels schmabels). It’s good to see some debate even if it’s..erm..mixed!
    Yes Rob did take time to give us some great and detailed feedback thank you and we took your points. Obviously we can only go with majority opinion on things like embed design, taking the most common comments and adapting it according to those, which is what we’ve done. Of course, that means not everyone’s going to be satisfied as we have to take a majority view… but I assure you we are still listening to feedback and this is not necessarily the finished article.
    The data and the aggregation is being worked on daily (this is a genuine beta phase, not just a nervous Web 2.0 label) so hopefully you will see that it is improving very quickly. We made the decision to open the site up to users and comment before it was all ideal so we could develop along with the feedback. The speed should also be much better now.
    Thanks for your patience with a raw baby and I hope you find it better and better as we get closer to launch.
    Cheers, Lottie

  • espedair

    Ah bless PR lady. Keep being patient.. perhaps we’re seeing an internet phenomenon being born!
    Keep it up Lottie