Dec 11 2004
Delicious Library by Delicious Monster
is a beautiful looking personal inventory application. You scan the barcodes,
it translates the bars into numbers, looks up the number on Amazon and finds
your DVD, CD, book or game and adds all of its information to your personal
There are other such programs around, in fact, my friend DigitalBill from the
Wizards of Technology is an IntelliScanner Collector user and I have long
envied his abilities to simply point a handheld barcode reader at the UPC code
on any of his DVDs, CDs, books or games and have them be recognized and added
to his library. The problem was that the hardware and software required ran
a minimum of US$199.99 and required me to buy a device for which I would have
no other purpose–a barcode reader. That made the act of keeping an inventory
of my entertainment library a luxury and something I put on indefinite hold.
That is, until Delicious Library came along.
What makes it different? It allows me to use my webcam or digital video camera
to do the barcode reading!! Sure an iSight isn’t cheap, nor is a digital video
camera, but at least once I’ve bought either of these items I will be able to
make home movies or have a video iChat with a friend across the country. Just
try using a barcode reader as a webcam–you’ll go blind before you get it to
work. Delicious Library makes a versatile multitasker out of my humble little
iSight for a measly $40.
Oh and if you do happen to want to buy a barcode reader, Delicious Library
supports the Flic Wireless Laser Barcode Scanner which will connect to your
Mac via Bluetooth leaving you completely untethered as you prance around your
home scanning everything with a code. Geek on, my brother. While you’re at it,
plug your iPod in to your Mac once you’re finished and DL will sync your library
details to your iPod Notes section.
As I said, Delicious Library looks beautiful and with a
teaming themeing community already supporting the application it’s bound
to look better and better in coming versions.
You can view your entire library as if it were stored in a vast warehouse on
metal shelves or view categorized collections on wooden shelving–either the
standard “Books”, “Movies”, “Music” or make up
a special shelf of whatever you want. You can even add people from your Address
Book as “Borrowers” to keep track of who took out what and when.
As you scan codes with your camera, you get a camera’s eye view onscreen with
simulated red laser guidelines to make sure you’ve got the best shot of getting
an accurate scan. Then you’ll hear a satisfying “beep” to let you
know the code has been scanned, followed by a voice synthesized reading of the
item’s title…and maybe a bit more. Certain titles I scanned revealed easter
eggs within Delicious Library. Very cute.
Okay, I think I’ve raved about this thing long enough. What don’t
I like about it?
A lot of what I found disappointing in my barcode scanning experience wasn’t
the fault of Delicious Library. Sometimes, DL didn’t recognize my DVDs. Well,
when you realize that UPC codes in different regions are not all the same, you
can’t exactly put the blame on Delicious Library for what isn’t in Amazon’s
Some of the items recognized didn’t have covers attributed to them. Again,
Amazon’s fault, not DL’s. Delicious Library does its best by giving the item
a plain brown wrapper with the items title typed across it. Which was kind of
humorous when I tried to scan the barcode for “Bruce Campbell vs. Army
Of Darkness – The Director’s Cut (Official Bootleg Edition)” and Amazon
didn’t have a cover shot on file…
not that far off…
There are two things that I am disappointed about. If you would
like to export your library to the web as IntelliScanner Collector does, I understand
that the user community has found ways of doing it, but the software, as is,
does not support it. And though you can export your library and import libraries
from other similar applications, you are unable to create separate libraries
for your stuff and the stuff your friends have. You must let them intermingle
and then make custom shelves for the various collections. Both are minor points
that I expect to see resolved in version 2 or sooner.
One other thing that bears noting is that, when you view the details on your
library items, you can look up a list of items similar to it that is taken from
Amazon’s database. If you decide to click the link to buy one of these similar
items from Amazon, Delicious Library will take you to Amazon via the developer’s
(Delicious Monster) own Amazon Affiliate account. So Delicious Monster will
get a commission for what you buy. I personally don’t have a problem with this.
Delicious Library is an awesome program at an awesome price and if the guys
at Delicious Monster can make a bit more scratch for their trouble, I think
they have earned it. Besides, if it really bothers you, when you get to the
Amazon website after clicking the link, just remove the affiliate ID from the
URL and buy it that way…but don’t be a twit, support these guys and help make
it possible for future versions of Delicious Library have new features as awesome
as the ones it this initial release.
Delicious Library is beautiful, simple and addictive for anyone with a media,
book or game library to big to keep track of or too good not to share.