FilterPlay: Products explore, with filters galore

FilterPlay is currently in Time Out. They’ve pulled the site down with a promise to return. We’re taking their word for it. Will update when we learn more.

Buying electronics can be fun. It can also be a headache. I remember looking for a digital camera before a long trip. The options were dizzying. There’s zoom, optical zoom, video, screen size, and then the custom battery trap. Ultimately I selected the Cannon PowerShot, which happily takes AA batteries. Many people are not so lucky. They end up with printers that can only make it through 52 pages prior to cartridge replacement. No shortage of colorful language has been uttered by new owners of digital devices when they learn they purchased a lemon.

Finding the best camera or TV for your value is important. Some people want all the bells and whistles. Others want just the functionality that they’ll use. Some of us go with whatever won’t be too confusing. Sorting through the many options can take days or weeks trying to find exactly the right functionality and quality for the price. Or it can take just a few minutes. FilterPlay is a site that gives you unprecedented insight into the various options when purchasing electronic products. You can filter based upon the attributes specific to that product to quickly narrow down your search.

Behold, the Cannon PowerShot!

FilterPlay is a comparison shopping site that contains all the information you need to make educated decisions on your purchases. It has summaries of the features, images, details, and reviews from its users. Finally it contains prices from online retailers with direct links to purchase. The categories available are Appliances, Audio, Cameras and Camcorders, Computers, Health and Personal Care, Musical Instruments, Office, TV & Video, and most importantly, Video Games.

Let’s say you want to watch the Packers run the worst two minute drill in recent history on a larger, crisper TV. You can navigate to the compare tvs page and check out the reviews on the best brands of flat screens tvs. They can be sorted by bestselling, best price, and rating, amongst other options. Notably, you can select maximum resolution which is key to getting the clearest view of Sunday night football rookie flubs. The filters are the crux of FilterPlay’s service. By default the products are returned in order of popularity. By selecting filters specific to that product type you can view only the results most interesting to you. Particularly helpful is the price filter which provides an interactive bar graph slider (say that three times fast)! The graph shows the distribution range of the number of products offered at each price. The min and max sliders affect which results are returned. Also, not only are products reviewed, but attributes as well. So you can get feedback on how important various features are. This handy demo video explains their service in greater detail.

(Video was removed.)

To contribute to the ratings and reviews you need to register for an account. Here FilterPlay makes a brilliant design decision that many a website should follow. Google, Facebook, AOL, Yahoo, OpenID, myOpenID, all offer the ability to authenticate with their system instead of building your own. FilterPlay offers each of those options so you can register with any of those accounts. Nobody needs yet another user registration to remember. If you happen to have been living on a boat in recent years resisting all technological advances, they include a link to register for an OpenID account which is the most generic of the options.

FilterPlay is the new way to research electronic purchases online. The ease with which attributes can be filtered narrows your search almost instantly. Since they are equally affiliated with all providers there’s no preference or bias given to products or brand. They round out their offering with product info and user feedback, so you can get the complete picture prior to purchase. With FilterPlay comparison shopping is easier than ever so you can make quicker and better purchasing decisions.