Here is a nice utility helping you catalog your VHS or DVD video disks, DVDpedia. The application is written for Mac OS X and it sports a metal interface. Let’s dive in for some more info on it. The application consists by a vertical strip on the left showing you the different collections you may have (you can add as many collections you want, e.g. Sci-Fi, sports etc) and underneath it you get a small window with the front of the currently selected DVD. On the center you get all the DVDs on the currently selected collection and on the right, you get a drawer with more details about the selected DVD.
The application lets you add new DVD/VHSs either manually or by asking the user to type a title and then fetching more information off the web. The second way seems to be the fastest way to add information to your media database. Just make sure you have selected the correct DVD in terms of widescreen or full screen (all other details remain the same between the resulted DVD after a search).
While the application will fetch most information off the web, in many instances you can overwrite some info with your custom one. You can also add your “rate” and then sort all your movies according to this or any other field. There is a long list of fields that a user can add, but the main ones are “title, starring, director, my rating and genre”.
My favorite feature is the “smart collection” feature which allows you to catalog movies that have a special common field, e.g. all your widescreen movies or all your PAL movies. The application can fetch info from Amazon and Imdb and open their respective web pages at these sites. Regarding the file format, it can be exported as several file formats, including a .csv file which is usable across many platforms.
Regarding the negative points of the app: the application supports plugins but there is none shipped with the app, neither I could find any on the developer’s site… Also, the user has to manually add the trailer of a DVD/VHS movie, while another OSX apps, Watson, can fetch the right trailer successfully when selecting a movie. Also, I tried to “add multiple DVDs” at once, and so I typed “star trek”. I know that there are about 20-25 Star Trek products out there, but DVDpedia only added one (ST:Voy). As for the UI, it is very nice, but it can still see some clean ups, for example it is difficult to read a DVD’s details on the metal drawer: I had to look close to my monitor to be able to read the text. Other things are not very self-explanatory, for example the little door icon on the top-right corner of the “add a dvd” window that opens a drawer with the search results.
Overall, this is a nice application and for the most part it does the job as advertised. One of the best in the Mac world. The developer has obviously made all the hard work, he only needs to clean up a few things to make this a perfect product. If you have too many DVDs or VHS disks, this is well worth your $18, and it is so much easier to install and run than some web-based similar solutions that don’t look as nice and don’t feel as integrated and cool.
Bruji also has a similar application for books, the Bookpedia.
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There are about 5 or so of these projects for Os X, and they all get updated frequently, i watch them show up on macupdate at least every other day. But out of all of them, i find none of them exactly what i want.
First off, i’m a picky picky os x user. I like my apps to adhere to apple HIG very strictly and be consistent. I demand a nice UI and i hate brushed metal. This is why i stick to developers like Panic, the little app factory, ranchero, freshly squeezed software, and so on. But don’t worry, i DO balance useful ness and features as well.
None of these apps offer this + the features i want. From what i have seen, they all use a proprietary format for storing info and none export to html in a pleasing matter. And none have a decent print function.
I dont want to put forth all the effort to put my data into one app just to have another app that is exactly what i have been waiting for come along and have to do it all over again. Lets get some XML storage. I want to be able to print out my stuff to store somewhere to reference or give out. I would also like to be able to export to styled xhtml and be able to then toss it a css file to then get a nice page i could post to show people my library. These might be strong demands, but i dont think they are terribly hard to implement. And using xml to store the data would allow these kinds of exporting and formatting to be very easy to develop.
PS: if i’m wrong about any of these points, please point them out, i’d love to find my dream dvd archiver I haven’t tested the apps in a while, but from what i’ve seen they’ve all been point releases and their version history hasn’t shown much feature additions.
anyone know if there is something similar for linux? sounds cool and i have way to many books.
so if you want those features, impliment your own, and maybe other people will want those features too.
this isn’t a troll, this is how good projects get started. you see a need that needs to be filled, you have your list of requirements (xml, xhtml, etc.) and constraints (apple hig); formalize that into a document and you’re requirements elicitation phase is practically done. tech research, planning, design, implimentation, and testing (not necesarily in that order and not necesarily once per step) and you’ve got some software other people might be interested in using.
just make sure you post an announcement here when you’re done
The one problem I have with all these iTunes like programs are that they does not stettle with one standard DB for their data. When you have entered info and personal opinions about 200+ movies it would be nice to have an opportunity to extract the data and use it elsewhere.
It is funny and sad: everytime somebody says “I would like so and so, this and that”, someone answer: “if you want it, do it yourself”.
We’re not all developpers. As users, we may have some precise ideas of what we want, without having the knowledge, the skill (or maybe the time if finally we are developpers) to implement our own.
…I’m currently writing something very similar to this using mono/gtk#, inspired by a film mad friend back at uni.
For Windows and Linux boxes I strongly recommend Ant Movie Catalog http://www.antp.be/software/moviecatalog/ . It’s free, it can fetch covers and movie descriptions from various online resources and can import/export to many different format (HTML, CSV, SQL, Origons…).
I had no problems to run AMC under Wine on a Linux box but the GUI doesn’t render well.
Now there is a Linux port of AMC under development based on Python/Qt and called XMAC http://home.gna.org/xamc/ .
A quick search reveals alexandria http://alexandria.rubyforge.org although I haven’t tried it yet. However, I don’t think it has the “smart booklists” of bookpedia.
From the “support” tab on the website:
“Where is all the information stored?
The information is stored individually for each user under Home > Library > Application Support > DVDpedia. The info file is an XML file containing all the text attributes and information about your collection. The TIFF images are the cover images of each DVD.”
…The info file is an XML file containing all the text attributes and information about your collection. The TIFF images are the cover images of each DVD…
Hey thats interesting… I currently use separate xml files for each entry, with metadata relating to the film, and a base-64 encoded jpg of the cover
Perhaps i should add a DVDPedia <–> Filmology converter too…
Metal interface, Aqua, new Konfabulator-type “in your face” utilities…i think it can be safe;y said that the once very regular, sane, and reliably designed Mac interface is probably no more useable than Windows or any of the unix environments.
Apple threw out consistency for eye candy.
Great article I was pondering writing an Access application to catalog my 600+ DVD collection. For $18 bucks why bother! its nice that it will export to a CSV for fun with MySQL to bad it will not link up to a database backend. i did check out ante.be/moviecatalog application which looks cool but i shudder at the thought of having to type in all the information in for 600+ DVDS.
I’m not trolling, I’m just questioning how useful this application is to people. I mean, do people actually use the data after they have entered it? And if so, for what? Again, not trolling, just curious.
I actually picked this up last week. For me, it’s nice to have a good running track of what DVDs I have and more importantly, which ones are out on loan with my coworkers/friends. It fills this need pretty well.
DVD Profiler (http://www.intervocative.com/dvdpro/Info.aspx) has a better entry method: use a barcode scanner to scan in the barcode on the back of the DVD case. It’s faster and easier than typing in the title or inserting the DVD into the drive.
Already using it and like it a lot. Thanks for the tip, Dany!
I’ve actually got something to this effect in BeOS, and I use the data and have a column that is ticked marked when I let someone borrow my DVD. That way I know who has it if I can’t find it. PLus it’s nice to give to insurance for protection and coverage.
There is nice program in Linux called Bookcase for cataloging books and other collections.
Check it out.
From the Bookcase webpage:
“Bookcase is an KDE application for keeping track of your collections. It provides default templates for books, bibliographies, videos, music, coins, stamps, trading cards, comic books, and wines.”
We’re not all developpers.
i’m not a developper either (maybe a developer though .
i appologize i suggested someone take action for their own need (and possibly other people’s need) for software. i was not aware that us software developer-types are always beating the average-user types with “develope it yourself” rhetoric.
but if i recall David Dawes was a physicist when he started doing XFree86 work, and Linus had only been programming in C a year or so when he started working on Linux, so its not like non- or early developers haven’t done great things in the past.
and if you don’t want to develope it, get your nerdy developer friend to do it for you. all i was trying to get at was don’t sit on your haunches and complain because something isn’t the way you want it. he made a valid request for software and i think he should pursue meeting that need, not just sit back and watch as software continues to fail to meet his needs.