As collectors of physical media, we often find ourselves stuck questioning ourselves as to whether not we have a copy of a film in our collection when we’re out and about shopping. Whether it be at a pawn shop, Walmart, Best Buy, Target; the need for maintaining a cataloged inventory of our collections often goes unrealized until you accidentally pick up a duplicate title. While most offer a similar set of features, I’d like to take a brief moment to highlight some of the tracking options that are out there, not only to help bring awareness to the subject, but to help ease the decision making process in trying to find one that works.
First up, we have libib. This cloud-based cataloging application has recently made its introduction into my life as well as a few of my colleagues from the /r/dvdcollection subreddit. As a library management service, it caters to both home and small organizational libraries. Their software allows you to create multiple libraries, catalog books, movies, music and video games. Libib boasts its ability to create tags, leave notes, import/export, as well as much, much more. I’ve personally started to use this cataloging service myself and I will say that I am quite impressed with it. I was able to catalog all of my films based on format, video games based on console, books and am currently working on cataloging all of my CD’s; and it really is quite nice to have everything in one place. One personal note to mention about this utility is the search function could use some more work as it doesn’t always bring up what you’re looking for; however, using their built in scan feature for the mobile application yields some rather solid results. Other features of libib include:
- Library Management: Whether you have 50 items or 100,000 items, your library is precious. With libib, managing your private library of books, movies, music and video games is a snap. Each user can have up to 100 different libraries.
- Automatic Information: Scan, search or enter an ISBN/UPC and libib will automatically retrieve that item’s cover art and all pertinent information.
- Socialize: Post, discuss, and follow your friends with libib. They offer a fantastic way for you to share your thoughts on books, music, movies and video games with other libib users.
- Meaningful Statistics: You can create useful data the second you begin cataloging, and that data can say a lot. Check out your reading, purchasing, and rating statistics at a glance.
- Scan Your Items: For a cost-efficient bar code scanner, they recommend this handheld laser barcode scanner. However, since we are in the age of smart devices, you can use the libib mobile application for iPhone or Android to scan and catalog your items.
- Import/Export Libraries: Exporting your entire library using a CSV file allows for easy backups. It’s a great way to identify your assets for insurance purposes. You can also import your entire library from another source.
- Publish and Review Items: Libib makes it easy to publish libraries for everyone to view. You can also review your items for the public to read and they offer half-stars.
- Tags and Notes: Categorize your items using their tagging system; no need for layers of sub-categories as everything is accessible and categorized by tags. Use notes to write a private synopsis or keep track of additional meta data.
- Manage Libib Anywhere: Use their website, mobile website or mobile applications to manage your libraries whenever, wherever.
- Keep Your Inventory: Keeping an inventory of your collection is vital. Should you run into the unfortunate disaster of someone breaking in and stealing any or all of your collections; a quick export of your library will provide a complete list of every item that you’ve owned
Secondly, there is the Blu-ray.com tracking system. Blu-ray.com itself has become such a notorious tool within the dvdcollection community. Whether it be checking for a film’s release date to checking to see what’s on sale or even confirming whether or not there’s a release in another country; needless to say, it’s become quite useful. In addition to all of that, they have released their own cataloging service that is free to the masses and is quite commonly used in the community as well. Features of the Blu-ray.com app include:
- Multi-Format Support: Catalog your collection and your entire collection. Supporting formats like Blu-ray, DVD, UltraViolet and more.
- Statistic Information: View extremely detailed statistics on titles, actors, years of theatrical release, and much, much more.
- Free Mobile Applications: Blu-ray.com provides free mobile applications for iOS and Android platforms and supports in-application barcode scanning for ease in addition of pickups.
Next up, we have the MyMovies Pro App, another commonly used one amongst the community members. While it’s not a free solution, offers a pretty solid experience when it comes to managing your library. However, due to my recent changeover to Libib, I did find that several of the items that were in my MyMovies library had incorrect data, including the UPC that it pulled. Their developers are top-notch, in which if there’s a title that’s not in their catalog, you can easily upload information for their database technicians to investigate and ultimately get your film added so others can add it too. Features of the MyMovies app include:
- Multi-Format Support: Catalog and manage multiple current physical formats; including DVD, Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD and HD DVD.
- Free and Paid Versions: They offer a free version so you can try it before you buy it. The free edition limits you to cataloging only 50 titles, so if you want to check it out; certainly do so before spending any money on it.
- Mobile Applications: While not free like other solutions, MyMovies does offer support for both iOS and Android Platforms.
Next, there is the Collectorz cataloging software. Collectorz is known for their variety in cataloging applications and their versatility. Features of the Collectorz application include:
- Discount: When you sign up for the free trial of the application for Windows or Mac OS X, you will receive a coupon code for a $5 discount should you decide to move on with purchasing the application.
- Peripheral Support: Native support for USB laser bar code scanners.
- Pricing Options: They do offer multiple pricing options as well as special offers and bundles that include a scanner.
- Software Options: The desktop application comes available in two different flavors, Standard or Pro. The Pro option entitles you to a FREE Connect Sync & Share account allowing you to share your collection online with friends and family.
- Mobile Applications: Support for both the iOS and Android mobile platforms.
- Ease of Use: Easily add movies to your database, automatic download of cast, crew, cover art and movie synopsis.
- Mobility: Take your collection with you using the add-ons for iOS or Android or the web based Connect software.
- Customization: Manage personal information, location, wish list, loan manager and view counts.
- Management Versatility: Sort, filter, print, export or group your movies in any way that you see fit.
Next, there is a utility known as the Delicious Library. While I personally do not have any experience working with this application, a friend of mine has and he loved it. This application unfortunately is not a free one (it’s $35 for the full version), however they do offer a free trial allowing you to decide whether or not you would like to move forward with the purchase. This utility is only available for Mac OSX Platforms and only offers support or extensibility to the iOS Mobile Platform. Features of the Delicious Library include:
- Barcode Scanning: Scan your films UPC codes using either iSight, built in webcams, Bluetooth scanners or their free companion application for iOS devices.
- Shelving: Create custom shelves, including smart shelves that will automatically update whenever a new release is added.
- Automatic Information: Supports automatic release information retrieval from all of the Amazon sites worldwide.
- Reporting: Export your collection information to HTML, CSS, and images allowing you to host your catalog on your own website, including mobile versions.
- Sharing: Pool resources by sharing your collections with friends. Borrow items you want, loan items out.
- Recommendations: This application generates smart recommendations based on your profile. Discover more things you might just love.
Last, but not least is Film Aficionado, formerly known as DVD Aficionado. Unfortunately, I have no experience working with this tracking application. However, from reviewing their abilities, they do share a lot of common features as the others mentioned previously. More information on Film Aficionado can be found by visiting their website.
As you can see after reading through this article, there are quite a few voluptuous options for tracking your collections. While they may not offer everything that you’re looking for; most will cover a lot of your needs as a collector. So, definitely check them out. If I were to give my personal recommendation on a tracking application, I would definitely recommend going with libib. It did take me a bit of getting warmed up to; however, once I started working through it a little bit, I was really happy with the end result.