Initial Thoughts on How to Implement Audiovisual (Movies, TV Series, Anime)

Implementing audiovisual will be a big task. Lets chat about it

Proposed implementation

  • Completely separate lvl system from books. No comparisons allowed. However, the level system would work similarly in all other regards.

  • Book Search & Audiovisual Search will be completely separate pages. Same with Book Libraries and Audiovisual Libraries.

  • Individual items would be: a singular movie or a tv series season. Episodes would not be an individual unit.

  • Series items would be: a collection of movies or a collection of seasons

  • Audiovisual search & library management would be as identical as possible to book implementation

  • New item requests for audiovisual would simply require a TMDB link

  • By default, there will be a ‘watched with english’ list in your library. Allow you to mark if you watched with Japanese subs or no subs. Cannot mark something ‘finished’ without marking subs or no subs.

  • Statistics would be similar to Books, just with mins watched rather than pages read.

  • Can update to minute watched for movies, or episode watched + minute watched.

  • Eventually, I think I’d allow you to do ‘timed sessions’ to see how long you spent watching (not necessarily equivalent to mins watched) but not initially

Edit: Added a few more items from my reply to @Mizuki


This mostly looks good to me. Would be exciting to see the Natively system come to movies and TV :slight_smile:

Will you be visibly marking the levels as different from those of books in some way, like having a different style for the rectangles? I could see that being confusing for a new user. For the subtitle markers, I would also avoid making English the default and only non-Japanese option, because users might also speak other languages fluently; for example, you could have German users who are fluent enough in English to use the site but might watch something with German subtitles. Perhaps it could be replaced with a more general option for watching something with subtitles in a language you know well already, although I’m not sure what a short way to say that is.


Well there will be a few distinct things about it. First, book search & audiovisual search will be completely separate pages. Your audiovisual & book libraries will be separated too. So, it’s not like things will be intermixed.

BUT you’re right that the level indicators should be a bit different. My thought was to simply change L30 → AV30… utilizing that subtle text change to indicate the difference.

That’s a good point. I’ll have to think on what’s the terminology there. Non-native perhaps? I’m not entirely sure what will look right (hard to tell until you see it all laid out), but I’ll keep that in mind.

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I strongly suggest not using AV on a site that is currently about Japanese content. :joy:


Perhaps I want that SEO?

… I literally did not think of that, thank you :joy: :joy:


As I suggested previously for books, I extend my suggestion for audiovisual.
Allow multiple records of the same book/movie/audio. Rewatching or revisiting a book is not that uncommon, and specially if you are learning and want to see if you missed something or how’s your progress.

Also please consider audiobooks in the audiovisual. One of my objectives for when I’m less busy after summer is reading a book along with the audiobook and it would be nice to be able to record that on the profile.

Maybe you can make a default setting on the user profile for this?


Agreed. Although I don’t think it will make the 1st version, i’ll give it some thought on how I might do something for rereads / rewatching.

Audiobooks are somewhat difficult to categorize in my mind. I agree they seem to fall into audiovisual as the ‘with subs / no subs’ considerations are also applicable. However, the language they use is tightly correlated with the written text, which makes me want to correlate the audiobook difficulty with the written book’s difficulty.

Regardless, I definitely need audiobook support. It’s falls behinds movies / tv shows / anime, but ahead of Visual Novels & Video Games in my mind, totally agreed.

That would be an easy solution. I’ll see how I feel after I get deeper into it.


The level would be the same as the written text depending on what is the criteria for calculating said level.

If you take in mind that you are getting all the Kanji read for you, and given proper intonation, I’d consider it a couple notches easier than the written text.

Right, that certainly could be the case. Currently, people who read audiobooks simply mark them as ‘read’ books right now, which isn’t ideal but generally assumes what you’re describing there - they are around the same difficulty, albeit with some fuzziness.

But yes, audiobooks will need to be thought on a little bit and I’ll want to get more feedback when I move on to trying to add them. :slight_smile:


I’m inclined to disagree with this. If you’re reading the text alongside the audio, for sure it is easier, but I listen to audiobooks regularly and I think they’re more difficult than reading. I can read much, much more complicated texts than I can currently listen to. I think this is due to:

  • Even a kanji compound I don’t know the reading of I can often guess the meaning. Much harder to guess from sound alone.
  • If I get a tricky sentence in a text I can quickly go back and reread it, or reread surrounding sentences to check my understanding. That’s more difficult (and annoying to do) with an audiobook.

I’m one of these people:

and I currently do my best to evaluate the audiobook as if it were text. I pay attention to the words (range of vocabulary) as well as expressions (grammar) used and place it from there.

I’m also looking forward to more audiobook support though! I’ve been bugging brandon about it for months now :joy:


Would it perhaps be possible to add a link to a book’s page if there’s a show/movie/etc. based off of it (and vice-versa)? That way, if someone comes in having only experienced the anime, they can easily find out there’s a light novel. Still separate sections of the site, but just a small bridge between them.


Yes, absolutely! I’m a big fan of how AniList does their ‘relations’ between things… light novels, manga, anime, side stories… etc.

Although they can get a bit crazy… like One Piece!


Another thought: should podcasts be included? They don’t have a handy pre-built internet database (that I know of), granted. And drama CDs, come to think of it. :thinking: I should probably look around and see if there are any dbs of this stuff before I keep tossing out random suggestions…


Podcasts would be awesome. Same with Video Games, Visual Novels, YouTube Videos… really the lists goes on :sweat_smile:

Unfortunately though I have to draw the line somewhere. I think in the foreseeable future, it will just be movies/tv shows/anime + books + maybe a bit better audiobook support.

There’s a lot of things beyond just expanding the media types… and adding media types isn’t easy. It also has somewhat dwindling returns beyond books + movies.

So the current plan for this year is to get movies/etc down and then add Korean (I’m living in Korea). Next year, I imagine will be two pronged: expand to a few more languages & do high priority platform features (tagging, support for book clubs / groups… a few other things).

Additional media types may work there way in, but as you can imagine, there’s lots of amazing things to do!

(apologies for the long winded response, but hope that puts things in context on why adding something awesome like podcasts may not come too soon!)


No apologies necessary! I definitely understand the issues feature creep brings in. @.@ You’ve already got so much planned, just looking at this one post shows that for sure. It’s too easy to get excited about new features when you’re not the one who has to implement them, haha.


Haha - you just listed all the things for which I really, really wish there was a place at Natively, because comprehensive directories targeted at language learners are nonexistent (in the case of podcasts and video games) or can’t hold a candle to Natively (in the case of visual novels). It’s a pity that it sounds like they won’t come next year either.

But at least I have the anime section to look forward to!


I know - it’s a bummer. I would be hesitant to say they wouldn’t come next year, but they aren’t in the ‘core’ plan in my mind. However, the lack of those directories also showcases how it does have a smaller amount of interest :confused:

The good news is that they will come. There’s a real need to be able to log & categorize these sorts of activities for language learners, in a way that casual consumers don’t need.


I mean… that’s like saying that Japanese learners were not interested in books before Natively. :stuck_out_tongue:

And it’s not like various lists don’t exist, but they seem mostly the opinion of one person or a smaller group, and I’m not aware of any place with comprehensive difficulty rating driven by users.

With podcasts it’s kinda bearable because trying one out is low effort, and since many are made for learners (at my stage at least) they also often include whether they are made for “beginners” or “intermedate” students. I am often looking for new podcasts though because it’s such a nice medium for improving listening comprehension with a variety of small content chunks, and I am wondering how many podcasts that would be right for my level right now I am missing.

With video games it’s harder since there are so many of them, and they usually don’t come with obvious markings as to how hard they would be for a language learner.


Oh I sorry, that’s not exactly what I meant - I meant there aren’t large social networks around logging podcasts / video games, in the vein of the bookmeters / goodreads / anilist / MAL / VNDB. At least, not to my knowledge ( I think there’s a small one for video games, not sure).

Granted language learners are a different profile, so the popularity of those activities compared to reading books / watching movies may be closer in actuality. But still, I think there’s a gulf there… Books / Movies (1st tier) → Podcasts / Video Games / VNs (2nd tier).

But yes, I hear you on the video games / podcast front. It really would be nice. And that’s helpful context on your experience. I know, i’m trying to find books in Korean right now and it’s a pain! I’ve been buying translated japanese books into korean and hoping the Natively Japanese level is about the same in Korean. :sweat_smile:


Separating books & this – good. If I can avoid getting notifications, etc. in the social part too that would be great. I am focused on reading so I don’t want to be distracted by this feature… yet :thinking:

I think it’s been mentioned, linking/referncing an audiobook from the book page. That sounds neat, I often wonder if there’s an audiobook for what I am reading.