I like it when things are organized and I’m not ashamed to admit that I alphabetize my nearly 300 DVDs on their shelves to make it easier to find. But how is it possible to keep track of all of those shiny discs that magically let me watch great films whenever I want?
A few months ago I started using Delicious Library, which is an almost magical way to keep track of about anything that you have that has a UPC code on it. I’ve used databases to organize my collections before (and even used index cards many years ago to keep track of my books), but this is different in that it’s a lot faster and more flexible. The brilliant and easy thing about Delicious Library is in using the built-in iSight camera of my MacBook Pro to scan the barcode on DVDs. It looks them up in Amazon (the Canadian store for me, but it also uses the American, UK, French, German, or Japanese stores) and adds all of the information to the database and presents your collection neatly arranged on shelves.
If you have an iPod you can sync your collection to it as a set of notes that has all of the relevant information, so you can always look something up when you are away from your computer. If you want to share your library you can also publish it online as a web page or just export it to a folder. But it gets even more sophisticated and useful in how you can keep track of who in your address book you are lending DVDs to. It even will give you a reminder after a couple of weeks and when you search for that particular DVD it won’t show up in your library (because someone else has it) but will still be visible as being translucent.
I love having everything organized and I’ll be organizing my books and videogames using it as well. It’s an example of great software that is well-designed with enough complexity to get the job done, but not so much as to make it difficult to use. To lend a DVD to someone, you just drag the DVD onto their name (but you still have to physically give them the DVD as it doesn’t move the actual case). Delicious Library is something that I’ve been waiting for and I’m very glad that it exists.