Quick Review: DVDPedia for Mac OS X

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.Click for a larger view 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.

Overall: 8.5/10

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