I wish I could look up, locally, without ever making an external request, the release dates (for each region/country) for "any commercially sold product ever". For example, I could do:

SELECT product_name, release_date_usa, release_date_fr FROM products WHERE (creator_company = 'Nintendo' OR publisher_company = 'Nintendo') AND title LIKE '%Zelda%' ORDER BY release_date_usa DESC;

That would give me a nice list of each Zelda game released and their release dates for the USA and France, ordered by their release date in the USA.

I've many times had the need to do things like that, and if somebody from 1985 would somehow read this question from the future, they would say:

Are you kidding? You can't even do that in the year 2020? But... all of these TV programmes talk about how databases and computers will make everything wonderful and easy and free? How come you still don't have it so far into the future?

To make it crystal clear:

I'm looking for a regularly updated and high-quality (reliable, and with the correct product names) CSV/JSON file which I can regularly download as a single archive, update my local SQL database with and then make all kinds of queries on locally, as shown above.

Please let this exist. If it's too broad, I would be okay with "just" all video games and movies, but preferably, I want every single product ever released in any nontrivial amount.

1 Answer 1


If it's too broad, I would be okay with "just" all video games and movies

The IMDB datasets contain data about movies, TV series, and video games, under the form of compressed, tabulated data. Look in particular at the title.basics.tsv.gz file.

Advantages: It is refreshed daily. Among the available data, there's the "primary title", the original title, the release year, and the genre. Other files contain data about movie crews, ratings, language of the title, etc. See this page for more info.

Downsides: no date of release by country, and it is restricted to personal and non-commercial use.

As for the reliability of the data, I've never seen complaints relative to IMDB. Now, to ensure its reliability, you'd need some ground truth to compare it to, and unfortunately to the best of my knowledge there is no global flawless database to compare it to (Wikipedia is infamous for its numerous mistakes).

But if you really, really, really want to check and estimate IMDB reliability for yourself, a very-tedious-but-not-unrealistic alternative is to take a random sample of titles from the IMDB database, conduct a desk research on each of these titles to find if IMDB got the information right or not, and then it will give you an idea of the percentage of errors you can expect. If you want to go down the rabbit hole of how to conduct calculations for error estimation and required sample size, it is probably worth a question on Cross Validated.

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