I’ve got hundreds of signed first editions and, up until now, I’ve been using My Book Collection, a Filemaker-based program, to slowly catalog them. It’s a pain-in-the-butt and laborious. But along came Book Collector, a fantastic piece of software that uses a barcode scanner to catalog your collection, though you can also input books manually using title, ISBN, etc. The software downloads cover images, plot information, page count, price, and a ton of other details for you from a wide variety of sources in an instant. You can also tweak it in a number of ways to suit your own needs. I was able to catalog my entire, 800+ collection of signed first editions this weekend in about three hours. It’s an amazing piece of software and it’s cheap, too…it’s $39.95. The scanner, which you have to buy seperately, runs about $100 (mine is a Wasp handheld, which I bought on sale a few weeks ago at Frys).
I was so enthusiastic about that procrastination experience, I wanted to get my hands on a program that would do the same for my DVD and VHS movie & TV show collections. The folks behind Book Collector have a similar program called Movie Collector. I downloaded their trail version and compared it with another program called DVD Profiler. Personally, I found DVD Profiler much better at locating titles, cover images, and detailed information about obscure titles (and British titles) and it’s ten dollars cheaper, too… though they offer a shareware version that’s free.
I’ve put both Book Collector and DVD Profiler on my desktop and laptop so I can go where the books, DVDs, and tapes are rather than having to haul everything to my desk. From now on, adding new books or DVDs to my collection will be fast, easy, and nearly effortless.