Lyle Schofield's Technical Journal

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Delicious Library 2

26 September, 2009 (17:26) | Software | By: Lyle

Is this a common problem?  You are in a book store, or a record store (yes, I still go to record stores), and you see something you like but you’re not sure if you bought it before?  Probably not too common, especially for a modern music purchaser who downloads from web sites and doesn’t go into stores anymore.  But, for an old geezer like me who still likes physical copies of what they purchase, it happens.  For proof, I’ll show you my multiple copies of Miles Davis’ Milestones.

I tried a running list which I copied to my Palm Pilot, but this wasn’t satisfying and a lot of work.  More recently, I discovered Delicious Library 2 from the software company Delicious Monster through an article.

This software is in the category of “inventory management”, optimized for books and CDs.  A more recent upgrade adds other categories so you can use the software for tracking tools, software, and any other categories you can think up.  Side note: the company could not be any cooler to contact for support or questions as I found out when the v2 upgrade was announced right after I purchased the original v1 software.

Snapshot of HTML Export page

Snapshot of HTML Export page

The software UI design is clean and unique, using a bookshelf metaphor to show you your books or CDs with various sorting and display options.  Where it really shines is when you initially load your library into it.  Delicious Library 2 is able to use the iSight camera (or any camera) as a bar code reader.  You just hold up the item so the camera can see the code (a preview window helps this), it beeps when it recognizes a code, and it looks up information on the item over the Internet using Amazon.Com’s web services.  If the item is recognized you get reviews, categorizing information, cover art, and even reseller information.  It will also announce the item using the creepy software driven voice to confirm it found the right thing.

If it can’t find the item, you can manually search for it.  And, if its really old and not in the database you can enter everything by hand – useful for your bootleg home recordings.  There is also an option for a real bar code reader if you think you’ll use this a lot.  I do have occasional problems with using the camera for the bar code reader, mostly due to lighting conditions or unusual bar code printing (small codes on reflective CD cases, for example).  But, its not enough trouble to purchase a reader.

So, how does this help the original problem?  You can export the libary to HTML (and other formats), which I’ve done and published to my web server.  Now, if I’m not sure I have something I can quickly look it up on the server, even from my phone while I’m in a store.

Final verdict; love the product, love the company, been using it long enough that any warts have been exposed and they are very minor.  And, it allows me to search through my library from anywhere with an Internet connection, which these days is just about anywhere.  Very nice.

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