Monday, November 30, 2009

Get Movies From The Ottawa Public Library

It turns out that you can borrow videos from the Ottawa Public Library, and many of these are mainstream movies. So the library is like a free movie rental store. Sounds kind of cool.

First problem: none of the good ones are available. First solution: you can go to the website and request them. They'll eventually arrive at your local branch and you'll be notified by phone or email. You have about a week to pick them up and about a week to watch them. I think your number of requests are unlimited. So you can do what I did and simply request hundreds. With any luck, they'll show up at a rate of about a couple every week. You can engineer the rate at which they arrive by looking at the "position" they tell you when you request the movies or later by looking at the "position" column when looking at your account. But be warned, I think position doesn't take into account the number of copies they have. So if you're in position 20 but they have 10 copies then you should expect to receive it in about a week, not in 20*7 days.

Second problem: their website sucks. You can't easily browse, and you certainly can't browse by availability. You can search for a specific title. It's best to use their: Search > Advanced Search > Format: DVDs. Here's a link.

Ottawa Library Movie Search

You have to login in order to request movies. If you have a library card then I think you have a account. It's just your library card and your phone number (I know, super secure). But if that doesn't work for you, just stop by any branch and they'll set you up. Once you're logged in, you just search for a title, click on one of the results for details, and click the "Request next available copy" button.

Here's a good portion of decent films from their pre-2009 movie list. I built this by searching for DVDs titled * (i.e. all of them, but I gave up after a while).

  • Lilies
  • In the shadow of the Moon
  • Guess who's coming to dinner
  • Lake of fire
  • Stalag 17
  • All roads film festival collection 2
  • A room with a view
  • Pollock
  • The 11th hour
  • Six degrees could change the world
  • Up the Yangtze
  • I'm not there
  • The great debaters
  • Across the universe
  • The kite runner
  • American gangster
  • A collection of 2006 Academy Award nominated short films
  • Murder in the first
  • Shallow grave
  • Immortal beloved
  • Legends of the fall
  • Donnie Darko
  • The Shawshank redemption
  • The Da Vinci Code
  • Passchendaele
  • Stormchasers
  • Richard III
  • Cat on a hot tin roof
  • My dinner with André
  • Wildlife specials
  • Shake hands with the devil
  • Going upriver: the long war of John Kerry
  • Word wars
  • The last Englishman
  • Manufacturing consent
  • Fearless
  • Boys don't cry
  • Quiz show
  • Bullets over Broadway
  • The adventures of Priscilla, queen of the desert
  • Becoming Jane
  • I remember Nelson
  • Human footprint -- National Geographic Channel
  • The tenant of Wildfell Hall
  • Standard operating procedure
  • Terry Jones' Medieval lives
  • Ghost in the shell
  • Rob Roy
  • Les Misérables
  • The sound of music
  • The age of innocence
  • Swimming with sharks
  • The Buddha of suburbia
  • Man on wire
  • Body of war
  • A collection of 2007 Academy Award nominated short films
  • All Roads Film Festival: 5th anniversary collection
  • Control
  • Sergei Prokofiev's Peter & the wolf
  • Cranford
  • Chop shop
  • Sense and sensibility
  • Earth, the biography the story of our world
  • John Adams
  • Pulp fiction Fiction
  • The small back room
  • The fugitive
  • The small back room
  • Maya Lin: a strong clear vision
  • Africa: the Serengeti
  • In the heat of the night
  • Atonement
  • The Live's Of Others
  • John Adams (TV)
  • Earth, the biography (TV)
  • Foyle's war - Set 5
  • The private life of a masterpiece
  • Days that shook the world
  • The Crow
  • Stargate
  • Pulp fiction
  • Seven
  • The usual suspects
  • 12 monkeys
  • The Englishman who went up a hill but came down a mountain
  • Poldark
  • Apollo 13
  • Sharpe's rifles
  • Middlemarch
  • Like water for chocolate
  • Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
  • Reality bites
  • Timecop
  • Maverick
  • The client
  • Baraka
  • The remains of the day
  • The fly
  • The piano
  • The Secret of Roan Inish
  • In the line of fire
  • Short cuts
  • Driving Miss Daisy
  • Bloody Sunday
  • Clear and present danger
  • Nell
  • Speed
  • The madness of King George
  • Heavenly creatures
  • Forrest Gump
  • Interview with the vampire
  • Tombstone
  • The birds
  • Nixon
  • A great day in Harlem
  • True lies
  • Before sunrise
  • All or nothing at all
  • My fair lady
  • Charade
  • In the name of the father
  • Shadowlands
  • The secret garden
  • Groundhog Day
  • The crying game
  • My own private Idaho
  • Wuthering Heights
  • The Blackheath poisonings
  • Merlin and the dragons
  • Lawrence of Arabia
  • Doctor Zhivago
  • Great expectations
  • The Fisher King
  • Oliver Twist
  • A Canterbury tale
  • Hands of a murderer: a Sherlock Holmes mystery
  • Dick Tracy
  • White Fang
  • Cleopatra
  • Pump up the volume
  • Madama Butterfly
  • The real Bruce Lee
  • The Life of Leonardo da Vinci
  • The agony and the ecstasy
  • Astro boy - The complete series
  • A tale of two cities
  • Sex, lies, and videotape
  • Dead poets society
  • The Unbearable lightness of being
  • The thin blue line
  • A handful of dust
  • Mississippi burning
  • Fury
  • The Jane Austen collection
  • The Maltese falcon
  • National Velvet
  • Good morning Vietnam
  • The sword in the stone
  • Alice in wonderland
  • Bleak House
  • Swiss family Robinson
  • The black cauldron
  • Anne of Green Gables
  • Killing fields
  • The Dead zone
  • Man on the moon
  • The boys from Brazil
  • The Longest day
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's
  • Romancing the stone
  • Dune
  • The velveteen rabbit
  • The dark crystal
  • Sweeney Todd: the demon barber of Fleet Street
  • Fast times at Ridgemont High
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • War and peace
  • The Man from Snowy River
  • Crazy/beautiful
  • The postman always rings twice
  • Shogun
  • The four feathers
  • The lion, the witch & the wardrobe: the first book of the Chronicles of Narnia
  • White oleander
  • Cinderella
  • Big Red
  • Monster's ball
  • A knight's tale
  • And justice for all
  • Apocalypse now
  • Almost famous
  • Kramer vs Kramer
  • The Patriot
  • All quiet on the western front
  • Hair
  • The King and I
  • Alien
  • The rainmaker
  • The real Bruce Lee
  • The day the earth stood still
  • Murder by numbers
  • The notebook
  • The fast and the furious
  • Donnie Darko
  • The believer
  • The Shining
  • Caddyshack
  • The Thomas Crown affair
  • Raging bull
  • The Blues brothers
  • Jack Frost
  • David Copperfield
  • Bright young things
  • Matchstick men
  • Spider-Man 2
  • Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind
  • The grapes of wrath
  • The last unicorn
  • Tuck everlasting
  • E.T. the extra-terrestrial
  • Spider-Man
  • The world according to Garp
  • The princess diaries
  • Interview with the vampire
  • Star trek II: the wrath of Khan
  • Blade runner
  • Jumanji
  • vSling blade
  • Brideshead revisited
  • Sin City
  • Finding Forrester
  • The terminator
  • Lolita
  • Star trek III: the search for Spock
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street
  • Ghostbusters
  • Against all odds
  • A Christmas carol
  • The war of the worlds
  • Amadeus
  • Hamlet
  • Gandhi
  • A streetcar named desire
  • Octopussy
  • The night of the iguana
  • Never cry wolf
  • Scarface
  • The breakfast club
  • The color purple
  • The goonies
  • The pirates of Penzance
  • The Americanization of Emily
  • Name of the rose
  • Mean girls
  • Freaky Friday
  • Old Yeller
  • Ocean's eleven
  • Pretty in pink
  • Platoon
  • Dr. Strangelove, or, How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb
  • Mary Poppins
  • Labyrinth
  • The Mosquito Coast
  • Top gun
  • It's a wonderful life
  • The color of money
  • Capote
  • George Orwell's 1984
  • Girl with a pearl earring
  • Lost in translation
  • Die hard
  • The Sixth sense
  • The land before time
  • Dead ringers
  • Rain man
  • A fish called Wanda
  • The Princess bride
  • Snow White
  • Rumpelstiltskin
  • Chicago
  • Fargo
  • Three men and a baby
  • Full metal jacket
  • The untouchables
  • Wall Street
  • Lethal weapon
  • Spaceballs
  • Planes, trains and automobiles
  • Titus Andronicus
  • The many adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • The jungle book
  • Charlotte's web
  • Touching the void
  • Twelfth night
  • A room with a view
  • North and South: the complete collection
  • Bend it like Beckham
  • Awakenings
  • GoodFellas
  • Charlie Wilson's war
  • Around the world in 80 days
  • Big
  • The little mermaid
  • Public enemy
  • Life of Brian
  • The adventures of Indiana Jones: the complete DVD movie collection
  • Driving Miss Daisy
  • The abyss
  • Turner & Hooch
  • Back to the future the complete trilogy
  • Tremors
  • King Lear
  • The fury
  • Patton
  • When Harry met Sally
  • Say anything
  • The fly - The fly 2
  • Henry V
  • Steel magnolias
  • Rosemary's baby
  • The fly
  • Monty Python's flying circus
  • Who framed Roger Rabbit
  • The Witches
  • Field of dreams
  • Batman
  • A.I.
  • Star Trek VI: the undiscovered country
  • The little mermaid
  • 101 Dalmatians
  • 101 dalmatians II - Patch's London adventure
  • Wizard of Oz
  • Me and you and everyone we know
  • The paper bag princess
  • My fair lady
  • Peter Pan
  • Whale rider
  • The hunt for Red October
  • Dances with wolves
  • About a boy
  • Back to the future the complete trilogy
  • The chronicles of Narnia
  • Harry Potter and the philosopher's stone
  • Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban
  • Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets
  • Ghost
  • Not without my daughter
  • The Godfather DVD collection
  • Home alone
  • The Rescuers Down Under
  • Misery
  • Pink Floyd, the wall
  • Arachnophobia
  • The Crow
  • Into the woods
  • Die hard 2: die harder
  • Night of the living dead
  • Scream
  • Terminator 2: judgment day
  • Aliens
  • Robin Hood: prince of thieves
  • Dances with wolves
  • Amazing Grace
  • Naked lunch
  • The nature connection with David Suzuki
  • Cape Fear
  • He said, she said
  • City slickers
  • Hook
  • Courage under fire
  • JFK
  • Three kings
  • Reservoir dogs
  • Bridge on the River Kwai
  • The Doors
  • Arsenic and old lace
  • The perfect storm
  • Thelma & Louise
  • Patriot games
  • Beauty and the beast
  • Glengarry Glen Ross
  • Dracula
  • Spartacus
  • The best of Mr. Bean
  • Wallace & Gromit - Three amazing adventures
  • Schindler's list
  • The complete Beatrix Potter collection
  • Romeo & Juliet
  • Sleepless in Seattle
  • Black Hawk down
  • War and peace
  • Iron will
  • The essential Egoyan
  • Wayne's world 2
  • What's eating Gilbert Grape
  • The Three musketeers: [all for one, and one for all]
  • Annie Leibovitz
  • The tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny - The tale of Mr. Tod
  • The Firm
  • Kalifornia
  • Philadelphia
  • Searching for Bobby Fischer
  • Jurassic Park
  • Mrs. Doubtfire
  • Lord of the flies
  • Treasure Island
  • Four weddings and a funeral
  • Dragon, the Bruce Lee story
  • What's love got to do with it?
  • The nutcracker
  • The Pelican brief
  • Into the wild
  • Howards End
  • Aladdin
  • My cousin Vinny
  • The piano
  • White men can't jump
  • Malcolm X
  • A river runs through it
  • The last of the Mohicans
  • Hero
  • Scent of a woman
  • The great escape
  • Lethal weapon 4
  • A League of their own
  • Batman returns
  • The player
  • Baraka
  • Blood diamond
  • Jarhead
  • Shelley Duvall's Faerie tale theatre
  • Aftermath: population zero
  • Romulus, my father
  • The Buddha of suburbia
  • The Edwardians
  • Starting Out in the Evening
  • Long way down - Complete TV series
  • King Corn
  • Ballet shoes
  • The Deal
  • Housewife, 49
  • Sharkwater (TV)
  • Gulliver's travels (TV)
  • The legend of Tillamook's gold
  • Ganges
  • Love in the time of cholera
  • Darfur now
  • No country for old men
  • Pucca - Kung fu kisses
  • All about Eve
  • Life after people
  • Zodiac
  • Boy called Twist
  • Philby, Burgess and Maclean
  • Watership down
  • The furies
  • The Hudsucker proxy
  • Mr. Holland's opus
  • Leonard Maltin's animation favorites from the National Film Board of Canada
  • Raining stones
  • Much ado about nothing
  • A year in Provence
  • Heaven & earth
  • Six degrees of separation
  • Lip gloss
  • Diary of a worm
  • Cracker - Series two
  • The Windsors, a royal family
  • The Bostonians
  • Bizet's dream
  • Kurt & Courtney
  • Thumbelina
  • Queen of the East
  • Yanni live at the Acropolis
  • Whaledreamers
  • Around the world in 80 treasures
  • Faces of Earth
  • Mitzi Gaynor: razzle dazzle!
  • High noon
  • Reservation Road
  • Le peuple invisible
  • Jimmy Carter - Man from Plains
  • The memory keeper's daughter
  • Love and other dilemmas
  • Late fragment
  • The wild horse redemption
  • Surviving my mother
  • The secret of Santa Vittoria
  • The Strauss family
  • Elton John: tantrums and tiaras
  • The lost book of Nostradamus
  • American teen
  • The daydreamer
  • Love's unfolding dream
  • The Dick Francis thriller - Volume 2, The racing game
  • A walk to beautiful
  • African American lives 2
  • Abel's island
  • Country matters
  • Before the devil knows you're dead
  • Normal
  • Too tough to die, a tribute to Johnny Ramone
  • How the West was won
  • Journey to the center of the Earth
  • The stone angel
  • The Easter Bunny is comin' to town
  • Lonesome dove
  • Steal a pencil for me
  • Family motel
  • Into the unkown with Josh Bernstein
  • Tortoise vs. hare
  • Finding Rin Tin Tin
  • Operation Valkyrie: the Stauffenberg plot to kill Hitler
  • The small back room
  • Recount
  • The last laugh
  • Spirit of the Marathon
  • The Jewish Americans
  • King Priam
  • The hands of Orlac
  • Tin man
  • The blue elephant
  • The rape of Europa
  • Surfwise
  • The business of being born
  • Moondance Alexander
  • I'm still here: real diaries of young people who lived during the Holocaust
  • Missing
  • Sorrell and son
  • Shaun the sheep. Off the baa!
  • Lost stallions: the journey home
  • Crusade: a march through time
  • Justice League - New frontier
  • Steep
  • In the family
  • Alice upside down
  • Charlie and Lola - [Volume] eight, I am collecting a collection
  • Sand and sorrow: a new documentary about Darfur
  • Wind at my back: the complete third season
  • Jesse Stone - Sea change
  • Jumanji
  • Get on the bus
  • Pocahontas
  • Victor, Victoria
  • Forget Paris
  • Cadfael - A morbid taste for bones
  • Brother Cadfael - The leper of St. Giles
  • Mighty Aphrodite
  • Waiting to exhale
  • Clueless
  • Restoration
  • Nixon
  • Mallrats
  • Heat
  • Something to talk about
  • Safe
  • Truman
  • How to make an American quilt
  • Goldeneye
  • Dolores Claiborne
  • Babe
  • Circle of friends
  • Anne Murray's classic Christmas
  • Leaving Las Vegas
  • Damage
  • The best bits of Mr. Bean
  • Casino
  • Get Shorty
  • To die for
  • The bridges of Madison County
  • Clerks
  • Dido & Aeneas
  • Sharpe's company
  • Angels in the outfield
  • Sharpe's enemy
  • Sharpe's eagle
  • Oliver's travels
  • Sharpe's battle
  • Stonewall
  • Kurt Cobain, about a son
  • Phantom museums: short films of the Quay brothers
  • Scotland forever
  • Can you hear me thinking
  • Mysterious Britain
  • Double happiness
  • Liberation
  • The rector's wife
  • Omagh
  • Crumb
  • Ben-Hur
  • Wind in the willows
  • A wrinkle in time
  • Million dollar babies
  • The courtesans of Bombay
  • Who gets to call it art?
  • The assassination of Richard Nixon
  • Pulse
  • Mad hot ballroom
  • Brother minister
  • Hotel Rwanda
  • God sleeps in Rwanda
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