Yes, this is another one of my rants that I have a tendency to splurt out when something frustrates me.
Keeping track of which episodes of various TV-shows that you have watched can be a bit problematic. At least if you , like me, have a bit of a “teflon-memory”. It does not help that the French TV channels are absolutely abysmal when it comes to TV-shows. There is zero persistent planning that you can follow. They might decide to send half a series, a third, two-thirds or something else and then stop for several months before sending the rest. Also, you never now how many episodes are sent. Sometime it is one followed by a rerun. Sometimes it is two new episodes in one evening. If you are trying to catch up by watching a re-run they might decide to give half a dozen of those on the same evening. It is really a bloody mess.
So I have been looking around for some app to my Windows 8 tablet that would help me keeping track of what I have watched. There are a few out there that are not too bad. However, what I really wanted was an app that used and/or synced with some service like Trakt.TV. That way everything would be up to date between my PCs, my tablets and my phone and I could use any web-browser from any device to look things up and update my data.
Unfortunately there are not really any good ones. Actually Trakt’s user interface on the web is not exactly a stellar experience but their API appears to be quite complete. Unless it is really really buggy, which I do not think it is, it is quite surprising that few the Trakt-enabled apps that exists are so poor.
I have found only four apps that have Trakt.TV sync and none of them are very good. The four apps are
- Primetime TV
I have tried all four of them and below are my personal findings.
The first one, Showtracker, I never managed to get to work at all. Epic fail.
The second one, Primetime TV, at least loads up but it simply doesn’t want to load all the shows I have in Trakt. It also seems like it doesn’t recognize Trakt lists and it splatters the apps home screen with useless information so that I have to scroll right to get to my shows. The fact that it doesn’t load all my shows is of course a showstopper.
The third one, SeriesHub, is actually not too bad. It is quite simplistic with a neat clean interface. You instantly get a view of your shows. Unfortunately it does not show any details concerning the individual episodes of a show which is really not acceptable. It also do not pick up the Trakt lists but that I could have lived with.
The fourth one, Watchlist, is the one I am using now but that one is also full of flaws. The user interface is quite good and the information displayed is totally acceptable. It also picks up your Trakt lists so you can browse per list. Unfortunately its Trakt sync is really flawed. First of all, despite asking for your Trakt credentials it requires you to make your Trakt list public otherwise the sync just fails all over the place. Worse, even if you do that, the sync is weird.
The app have the concept of “favorites” and you basically have to have the app selected as a favorite otherwise it will not update the series information with new episodes etc. Okay, I can leave with that. The shows that I am currently watching or at least is not yet completed/cancelled are set as favorites. This also makes the show first on the apps “home page” so it not a bad thing.
The bad thing comes when you try to remove a show from favorites. The the bloody app goes of and marks all episodes of that show as unseen on Trakt. What the f… I have sent feedback to the creator of the app but so far all I got back was a nonsense answer. There seems to be little interest in fixing this.
I still use this app for the time being until something better comes around though. However, every time I have finished with a show, that is watched the last episode, and no longer wants it in my favorites I have to log the app out of Trakt, change the shows status, and log the app back into Trakt again.
I really whish someone would start to make better apps for Windows 8. It is not a problem with Windows (I am a developer after all) but more of a problem with the will to put some effort into it. Look at my favorite hate object in this context for instance, Amazon’s Kindle app for Windows 8. This is a prime example of how you can simply screw things up if you do not really care to make a good app. There are other apps that make a much better job than the Kindle one so it is pure laziness on the part of Amazon.