Post Reply Problems with Search Functionality
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Posted 3/23/17
I'm finding the search functionality to be tedious and annoying. If I am trying to look for a specific series, or a set of series to watch another subseries (like the Gundam franchise for instance), I end up with a some links to actual show pages, and the problematic links to general informational pages.

How do I filter out the pages I am absolutely not interested in when I am looking for something to watch? Is there an easy way to tell what titles are available but NOT in my region?

How many accounts would I have to pay for to sway Crunchyroll to acquire something that is otherwise difficult to acquire?
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Posted 3/28/17
I have given up on the search bar rant.

Glad you are fighting the powah.

I believe the official, quote, suggestion is to use another search engine with specific keywords.
One Punch Mod
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Posted 3/28/17 , edited 3/28/17

jddbeyondthesky wrote:

I'm finding the search functionality to be tedious and annoying. If I am trying to look for a specific series, or a set of series to watch another subseries (like the Gundam franchise for instance), I end up with a some links to actual show pages, and the problematic links to general informational pages.

How do I filter out the pages I am absolutely not interested in when I am looking for something to watch? Is there an easy way to tell what titles are available but NOT in my region?

How many accounts would I have to pay for to sway Crunchyroll to acquire something that is otherwise difficult to acquire?


Yeah, using the search to find a series isn't very useful.

One halfway decent way to see a list of the titles which are available in your region is to use the alphabetical "view all" page:

/videos/anime/alpha?group=all

Of course to be most useful, that requires knowing the title that CR uses, and knowing that CR puts all the the titles that begin with "The" under "T".
xdrmdz 
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Posted 4/9/17
I'm frustrated with crunchyroll. There are so many infuriating problems. The one that gets to me the most, isn't that the site goes down due to high traffic, or that the mobile app sucks, or even that the search functionality is terrible. No, the most shameful issue is that crunchyroll doesn't seem to care. Moderators rarely even respond to comments on the forum and the same issues have been around since 2014 or longer. I like supporting the anime community, and I like what crunchyroll tries to do, but sometimes it's hard to justify paying for something this poor. Especially when no one is trying to fix it. Or, at the very least, communicating with users about the issues and setting reasonable goals for improvement.

However, to stay on topic and to vent some of my current frustration, let's talk about something that isn't all that important. CR's search bar!

The search functionality is laughably bad. The most common advice I have been given was to use Google instead. Yup, leave CR, go to Google, search, and magically Google is smart enough to figure out where you want to go and link you to the correct CR page. This is, by the way, the same advice I give others and what I normally do. So, yeah, this feature is so bad that it's basically worthless. However, just for fun, let's try and see why it's so bad by using some examples:

1. I search for "Mahou" and get 2 results: "Mahou Shoujo Nante Mouiidesukara" and "Mahou Shoujo? Naria Girls".

okay, this could mean that it looks for the word "Mahou", the string "Mahou", or maybe titles that start with "Mahou". It's unclear at this point, but it's starting to paint a picture as to how this was coded. Now, the search feature, _could_ be searching more than just the title, but "Mahou" is used fairly commonly, and would likely appear in reviews, comments, descriptions, etc., so it seems far fetched to believe that the search is looking at anything other than the title.

2. I search for "nante" and get 1 result: "Mahou Shoujo Nante Mouiidesukara"
3. I search for "ouiidesukara" and get 1 result: "Mahou Shoujo Nante Mouiidesukara"
4. I search for "Mahou Nante" and get 0 results...

Well, that pretty much gives me my answer. It is searching for the given string, in a list of titles, it's doing it by comparing each individual character, in order, case insensitive.

Wait a sec, what about the English title? "Mahou Shoujo Nante Mouiidesukara" roughly translates to "I've Had Enough of Being a Magical Girl" So, maybe we can search for that?

5. I search for "Magical Girl" and get 3 results, but none are "Mahou Shoujo Nante Mouiidesukara"

Hmmm, wasn't there a show, "Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei" aka "The Irregular at Magic High School"? Why haven't I seen that yet...?

6. I search for "Mahouka" and get 0 results...
7. I search for "Irregular" and get 1 result "The Irregular at Magic High School"

Let's analyze this data. It seems that the search works by matching characters, case insensitive. However, it does not try and look for each word, but rather the entire string entered. It would also appear that it is only searching titles, and I would guess that CR only considers 1 title per show, no alternative titles and no additional considerations. It would also appear that CR is inconsistent about whether to use the English or Japanese title.

......
...........
..................
Are you kidding me?!?!

The software developer that wrote this should fired. Whoever even helped in the design review for this feature, should be fired. This is the laziest implementation of a search feature possible. In essence, and I apologize if this isn't exactly correct, but something like this:

String searchText = requestParams.getSearchText();
List<String> titles = database.getTitles();
return titles.stream().filter(t -> StringUtils.containsIgnoreCase(t, searchText)).collect(Collectors.toList());

Feel free to nitpick my code or my analysis, but this was just a fun exercise for me and a good way to vent my frustration at crunchyroll. Seriously, your website is infuriating. And, as many, many, oh my God so many other threads have stated: Get your s--- together. Care about your users. Take some pride in your work.
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Posted 4/9/17 , edited 4/9/17


CR uses the official titles for each show, as chosen by the production committee. They may refer to alternate titles when announcing shows, but it's not as if they're choosing what title to list the show as at random on their own. There are also some aliases used for URL redirection, so you can find "Irregular at Magic High School" by visiting /mahouka.
xdrmdz 
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Posted 4/9/17
Hey eyeofpain, thanks for the response.

That's fair, the production committee can determine the title of the show, but why should the search feature be limited to that? You can have a list of alternative titles that would be searchable. At a minimum, this should cover the common ways to reference a show. I've seen a few threads on CR asking whether people prefer the English or Japanese titles and there's no consensus. So, make the lives of your users easier by making your search bar more flexible.

As for the URL redirection, I actually didn't know that, and that's pretty nice. However, does it help anyone searching for the show? How do you find these aliases? Why can't aliases be used in the search logic?
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Posted 4/9/17 , edited 4/9/17

xdrmdz wrote:

Hey eyeofpain, thanks for the response.

That's fair, the production committee can determine the title of the show, but why should the search feature be limited to that? You can have a list of alternative titles that would be searchable. At a minimum, this should cover the common ways to reference a show. I've seen a few threads on CR asking whether people prefer the English or Japanese titles and there's no consensus. So, make the lives of your users easier by making your search bar more flexible.

As for the URL redirection, I actually didn't know that, and that's pretty nice. However, does it help anyone searching for the show? How do you find these aliases? Why can't aliases be used in the search logic?


It's possible those will be more visible in the new infrastructure that CR is building out. As far as I know, the redirects are manually created by Miles (@MilesExpress999), the Senior Social Media Manager for Crunchyroll. Anime News Network should reference the official title at the top of the entry for any show, so that's a good way to find what anything should be listed under if the search doesn't return it.
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