Monday, May 10, 2010

Have a Mac? Catalogue Everything You Own

And I mean quite literally everything.

On Saturday, I was introduced to a marvelous program that's only for Macs. (So everybody who tries to bring Macs down by saying that programs only exist for the PC...well, you chaps are just dead wrong.) This program, the Delicious Library, allows you to hold the UPC code of any item you own up to your iSight camera built into your Mac. The program scans the barcode and then searches the Internet. (Read as: to use the search and look-up function, thou requireth a connection to the Interwebs.) Voila! A database of books, movies, CDs, video games, etc. made with nary a word typed.

There's the option of purchasing a little scanner gun for upwards of $200, but I don't think it's all that difficult to just hold a book in front of my Mac. The program costs $40 on its own, and that's a fantastic deal by itself. The scanner gun looks cool, but the pragmatist in me is wary of purchasing a little gizmo that's only going to be useful for Delicious Library--especially at such a pinch to the wallet.

Also, the Delicious Library has a feature that allows you to "publish" your library listing to the web or to upload the library database to an ftp sight--an ideal way of allowing friends and family know that you already Deep Impact and that--by the 1-star rating you gave it--you have neither the need nor the inclination to own another copy. Except as a very expensive coaster to protect the woodwork of your coffee table. That's a good use for Deep Impact.

Right, going on. For items without barcodes, you can still search or enter by hand. I have a lot of old books, and was able to even find those. But on the barcodes--I must offer a warning. Be careful with mass market paperbacks. Not a single one that I entered came up with the item it should have. I got smutty romances, books on toilet training babies, and occasionally some educational software. These three things do not compete.

The solution? Just search manually by ISBN. No way to fool that, unless you mistype the number.

In the end, for Mac owners, the Delicious Library is a fast and easy way to archive your stuff. And for those of you who aren't running out and buying Delicious Library, stop off at the Mac store on your way home from work, buy a Mac. It'll correct 74.253% of the world's problems. Because it's a Mac.


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