Forwarding Address: OS X

Thursday, September 09, 2004

And this one comes from Adam himself.

I've been beta testing Delicious Monster's Library. It's the first application that has had me foaming at the mouth in a long time. Follow me on this one...

An application that would let you keep a list of all your DVDs would be very useful. Clearly. A quick search on MacUpdate turns up at least half a dozen of them.

It would be even cooler if it would let you catalogue CDs, games, and books as well.

It would be perfect if it would allow you to enter in the name and do a lookup on Amazon and then download all the info and pictures automagically.

But why stop there? Library uses your iSight camera to... get this... read the barcodes. So cataloguing my 500 DVDs consisted of holding them up to my iSight one by one and letting the application do all the heavy lifting.

A while back I coined Adam's Law of Good Software: "User Effort < User Benefit". Too much software requires you to learn and do a lot just to get some tiny little advantage out of it - frequently less benefit than the effort required to get there. This is one of those apps that turns that equation totally on its ear. If you can muster the energy to lift your arm, the application does everything else.

Of course it also allows you to create "borrowers" and places reminders into iCal, etc, etc. The app is not perfect, but it will create quite a splash when it is officially released. I'm under NDA at the moment, but I can point you to this posting on ThinkSecret that pretty much sums it all up...


  • So how does this differer from, say, ReaderWare (, which comes with a free CueCat USB barcode scanner, runs on OS X, Linux, and Windows (Java/Jython), and knows about Amazon and a dozen or so other sources for info? Admittedly, Readerware's not very cheap if you want to do multiple users, books, CD, and DVDs, but it's not outlandish.

    It's the not easiest program out there to use; I'd be amazed if Library didn't have a better UI, but my wife was able to enter a couple thousand books into Readerware in only a day or so, so it's not too bad.

    By Anonymous, at 2:04 PM  

  • Oh there are certainly other apps out there. And if it's critical that you be able to run on all platforms then Library won't help you much.

    I tried out Readerware, DVD@home, DVDattache, DVDcache, and at least four others. Some were okay, some were rubbish. I was using DVDcache until Library came along.

    Naturally YMMV and Library will not be the ultimate solution for everyone. But it's definitely worth a look. The attention to detail in the presentation and the cleverness in the functionality put it ahead of the pack for me.

    You said yourself that Readerware is "not the easiest" and I have to ask, these days, why the hell not? Why are we still making concessions to software over stupid stuff that developers ought to have figured out by now? It's nice to see someone putting some real effort into making the whole experience useful and pleasant.

    There will be diehards who stick with Readerware, but I suspect Library will steal a lot of users away from it and the other current offerings.

    By Sly Revolutionary, at 2:30 PM  

  • This sounds horribly cool. I want it!

    A stop over at Delicious Monster reveals little. When's this GA? Do they want more beta testers?


    By Anonymous, at 2:57 PM  

  • Readerware's generic java interface is what I don't like. Yes, the software does the job, but I do want a program that works and feels and looks like Mac software....

    By Anonymous, at 5:35 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home