Frinkiac is a search engine exclusively for The Simpsons. It lets you match over three million screenshots with quotes from the iconic show. In 2016, three Simpsons fans came together to create the simple yet unique website named after Springfield’s favorite scientist, Professor Frink.
What makes Frinkiac special is that he is precise and fast at finding Simpsons content, often more so than Google. However, that is not all that Frinkiac is good at. Let’s take a look at its interesting features and technical details.
How does Frinkiac actually work?
All the images available in Frinkiac are indexed using the subtitles of the episodes of The Simpsons. Therefore, you need to search for a screenshot using a quote or term that was said during a particular episode of The Simpsons. You cannot yet search for images using a character name or scene description.
The subtitle of each episode in Frinkiac is broken down into a prefix of at least 2 characters before indexing is performed. For example, “mal” can be a prefix for “illegal” or “ill-gotten”. So the more you type in Frinkiac, the more precise your search results become.
To dig deeper into the technical details, Frinkiac is written in Go. While Google uses AI to understand your searches, Frinkiac finds the screenshots through video analytics. Frinkiac works by analyzing each scene from The Simpsons into 100 sections. It determines the average color of each section, then compares it to the previous scene or frame. Frinkiac only saves a screenshot when there are differences between the current scene and the previous one.
This is how you can move through each episode of The Simpsons frame by frame in Frinkiac. This is also the reason why Frinkiac’s GIFs loop so well. Although GIFs are created in beta mode, Frinkiac’s most interesting feature might be the cleanliness and fluidity of its GIF loops.
Features that make Frinkiac great
Now that you know how Frinkiac works, here are some of the features that make it incredibly fun:
1. Its database covers 17 seasons
Frinkiac features screenshots from 17 seasons of The Simpsons. It also features The Simpsons Movie released in 2007. The idea for Frinkiac originated when the creators encountered a setback – it was surprisingly difficult to find a relevant image for one of the Simpsons scenes on Google.
However, the creators have taken it upon themselves to make sure that no other Simpsons fan experiences the same issue. And that’s why Frinkiac continues to expand every day.
2. It has its own memes and GIF generator
When you search for a term or quote on Frinkiac, it helps you find relevant frames. You can then add your own text to the frames or choose from the available suggestions to create your own memes.
Frinkiac may have been born as a simple image generator site, but over time it has evolved to function as a GIF generator site as well. One of the users thought it would be great if the Simpsons search engine could also create GIFs. Now, Frinkiac allows you to create GIFs that are up to seven seconds long, covering a total of nineteen frames per GIF.
3. Frinkiac is invited to provide comments
If you are unhappy with some features of Frinkiac, or would like to congratulate the creators for a job well done, Frinkiac gives you the opportunity to share your comments anonymously as well as publicly.
For private comments, you can email the team. But if you think your comments need some public reception, you can reach out to the team on social media. In fact, you already know that Frinkiac takes his comments seriously. This is how the site’s GIF generator functionality became available to all of its users.
4. It allows easy downloads
Once you have your meme or GIF ready, you have an extremely simple option to download it. To share a meme, you need to click on the yellow box that has an arrow pointing right at the bottom right of the screen.
For a GIF, the process is the same, except that Open GIF is clearly stated. You can save the image, share it with your friends or just post it on social media afterwards.
5. It allows you to find your old GIFs
If you can’t find the GIF you just made on one of the best Simpsons episodes, you can either create a new one or enter the old URL and find your GIF in Frinkiac.
This is because once you create a GIF on Frinkiac, it stays on the servers forever. Although the cache is cleared every few months, your GIF is always accessible via a unique URL to anyone with the link.
6. Frinkiac allows you to view entire episodes
When you search for a scene on Frinkiac, several relevant images may appear. You pick the one that’s closest to the scene you’ve been looking for and proceed to make a meme or GIF. But what if you can’t find a frame that matches your search?
Frinkiac’s See the episode functionality has you covered. It lets you view the entire episode frame by frame so you can find the screenshot you are looking for.
Each episode of The Simpsons is broken down into a list of scenes. The list is quite comprehensive as it includes not only the quote and screenshot but also the length of each scene. Thus, there is no chance that a screenshot will not appear on the site, unless the episode is not uploaded.
What does Frinkiac have in store for the future?
With interesting additions lined up, Frinkiac has a bright future. While the creators have big plans for Frinkiac’s future, they’ve already started working on improving research using complex parameters like a character name or scene description.
The creators also plan to add a storefront / gallery of user-created images to this Simpsons search engine, while still allowing users to search in different languages. Finally, you will soon have the option to change the font size and style of memes and GIFs you create.
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