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Last post Author Topic: Collectorz.com... again!  (Read 53032 times)

TucknDar

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Collectorz.com... again!
« on: November 29, 2008, 05:15:42 AM »
One more strange and unpopular decision by this company. There have been issues before, mainly concerning their changed upgrade policy.
See here: http://www.donationc...23.msg59808#msg59808
and here: http://www.donationc...dex.php?topic=8807.0

This time they're announcing version 6 of their Movie Collector software. So? Well, the main change is that they're gonna stop using multiple sources to search from when adding/updating movies in your collection, and only use their own database. The reason why I'm posting this complaint, is that they don't want to listen to the so-called "vocal minority" and instead only focus on getting trial users to purchase a license. They've already changed the behaviour of Book Collector, even with several complaints.

I suppose they're at least somewhat honest about their intentions.

Too bad their products are the best of the bunch (at least before v6 of Book and Movie Collector), or I'd switch in an instant. Please recommend other collection apps that can search multiple sources, and that listens to the "vocal minority".


Some major edits since trying to be more reasonable about disagreements.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2008, 08:26:56 AM by TucknDar »

Josh

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Re: Collectorz.com... again!
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2008, 05:32:49 AM »
The single source should not have come as a surprise. They announced it well over a year ago when they started building and requesting user feedback on the database. I really see this as a step in the right direction as now they have control over the info and can thus control the quality of entries. They can also lessen the amount of time spent on debugging scripts used to retrieve data from the various sources. Am I disappointed with the decision, slightly, but they have done a good job of making the database very robust.

TucknDar

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Re: Collectorz.com... again!
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2008, 05:51:28 AM »
Actually, for Movie Collector, they didn't announce it. They started a thread requesting feedback, and almost all the feedback was negative, yet they still decided they'd change.

The database is obviously improving, but it's still lightyears away from IMDB in terms of included movies. Also my main complaint with this isn't so much the move to single source as it's the feeling that current customers don't matter as much as new, potential customers. I also don't see what would be so difficult with having the Collectorz database as default and letting "advanced users" choose IMDB, Amazon, etc...

Some major edits since trying to be more reasonable about disagreements.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2008, 08:28:27 AM by TucknDar »

Rhutobello

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Re: Collectorz.com... again!
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2008, 03:32:50 PM »
I own both book and movie base, but I stopped on ver 4.....
It is a good product, but there are so may free product that give me almost the same....like Itunes.

As for the search option.
If you have built a big base for your own use, will you then give it free to others who will sell their product under the "claim" that they can use your work as promotion for easy handling of their software?

I think many of the sources will not give collerctorz this "present", because if they do, others will come, bandwith will increase, cost will increase...and for what...for customers of others product shall have an easy life?..No I think building on own base was the only way to go...I am sure they have got more and more pressure to pay for putting in search option on others work....
So yes....they are a company...and as company they only survive by selling...you don't need to take all upgrades...I still get the offer for 50%, so if I can wait 1 or 2 more version...then I might evaluate an upgrade...if not...look elsewhere..that is a way to protest too :)

J-Mac

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Re: Collectorz.com... again!
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2008, 10:27:17 PM »
I don’t know - mixed feelings about this.

I do understand that it might be more economical for them to use only their own database. I say "might be" because I don’t know that the other databases are indeed charging Collectorz.com to allow their users to access their data. I can see it as a possibility, and even a probability at some point. Witness the Zap2It unannounced cancellation of all free subscriptions to their TV listings database late last year and starting a new paid-only service. But I don’t believe that it is yet a fact or Alwin would no doubt be using that as the prime reason for his elimination of other databases from Movie Collector 6.

On the other hand, the Collectorz.com movie database is woefully incomplete. Virtually all movies in their collection have only the front DVD case cover art and a fair number have no cover art at all. Also, the details of the DVDs are often sparse, especially compared to the DVD Empire database. Last but not least, many DVD movies are not in the Collectorz.com movie database at all. Several posters have posted specifics regarding which are missing - and many appear to be DVDs published for outside the USA. I have a fairly modest DVD collection compared to many users at their forum - 200+ DVD titles - and there have been approximately a dozen or more DVDs that showed no results from their database. Many more were in the database but had very minimal information. Like title and duration in minutes, nothing else. (Three were like that for me).

So I could live with only using the Collectorz.com movie database IF they seriously improve it and bring it up to or better than the quality of the databases they are eliminating.

Of course a big part of the problem is also Alwin himself. Not only doesn’t he mince words - which doesn’t bother me at all - but he can also get pretty abrasive to users in his forum. Personality trait, I guess. That never helps in situations like this!

Jim

TucknDar

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Re: Collectorz.com... again!
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2008, 04:05:52 AM »
Of course a big part of the problem is also Alwin himself. Not only doesn’t he mince words - which doesn’t bother me at all - but he can also get pretty abrasive to users in his forum. Personality trait, I guess. That never helps in situations like this!
Wouldn't bother me if it weren't for the fact that he's the president of the company.

Should add that several of their employees are both responsive, quick to provide good support and seem genuinely interested in providing service to their customers.

Some major edits since trying to be more reasonable about disagreements.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2008, 08:29:33 AM by TucknDar »

Carol Haynes

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Re: Collectorz.com... again!
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2008, 06:45:18 AM »
It was pretty much my experience with the firm too - 'like it or lump it' on other issues raised during the change of upgrade policy.

For me one of the points of the software was that you collect information from a number of sources.

As it is presumably they are expecting paying customers to populate the database with information that they then charge the paying customers to use!

If this was an open source project it would be OK but they are just in it for money making purposes - and is one of the reasons they sell the same software (basically they are all the same) about 6 times rather than inventing a single 'Entertainment' database system.

Out of curiosity did they ever actually pay companies like Amazon for using their databases or did they just allow customers to leech information? It would explain why regular updates were required when companies changed their backdoor search engine technology. Mybe they have actually been asked by amazon etc. to cease and desist!

TucknDar

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Re: Collectorz.com... again!
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2008, 06:48:14 AM »
Mybe they have actually been asked by amazon etc. to cease and desist!
I doubt it, as that would have certainly given them reason to stop using other sources, and a valid reason at that.

Josh

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Re: Collectorz.com... again!
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2008, 02:55:22 AM »
It looks like not only is Alwin talking down to his users and making it known that people who have already paid are not their primary focus anymore, but he is deleting posts that he does not agree with. While this is his right, I find it highly detestable.

See here

Josh

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Re: Collectorz.com... again!
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2008, 06:55:27 AM »
It also appears that the administrator, Alwin, is removing all negative posts so that users "Which are happy" can post. He even deleted his post about him deleting other users posts. A good majority of the posts complaining about the change mentioned above have been or are in the process of being removed. Am I the only one who feels he is shooting himself and his company in the foot with this move?
« Last Edit: December 17, 2008, 06:59:49 AM by Josh »

CWuestefeld

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Re: Collectorz.com... again!
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2008, 12:41:58 PM »
How about that. I'll be the first to say that he has the right to do so. But it's sure distasteful and poor form to actually do it.

Looking at it from a few steps back, it might be a good thing. This could show that he's pretty desperate because the reaction to his "upgrade" has been so bad. Perhaps he'll be forced to bring back the old searches.

FWIW, part of the issue he's trying to address is correct, he's just stumbled on a bad solution for it. He is correct that the current Add process is clunky. Currently I enter my search, find the first entry that matches the edition I've got, then go back and transcribe that UPC into the search field and re-execute the search. He could have streamlined the process and eliminated the controversy just by automating that "transcribe the UPC" step.

Josh

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Re: Collectorz.com... again!
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2008, 12:55:36 PM »
As I said, I respect fully that they want to stand up a sole database that they control. Heck, it has proven to work for DVD Profiler by Invelos, but if they are going to do it, wait 2 versions for it to mature to a point where the every day user can find the primary movies they want. I have since come to understand more about Alwin's motives through PM with him, and respect his desired move, however, I think that forcing it in v6 was the wrong move. v7 would have been a great idea. 2 full versions worth of notice and user submissions, and we would have a great product. We shall see how this turns out

Darwin

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Re: Collectorz.com... again!
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2008, 02:17:37 PM »
I don't see why this can't be made to work, either. As Josh said, it could have been handled better. I just received a book in the post published in 1967 and had no trouble retrieving its information from within Book Collector 6. Maybe they could have had a big announcement about this change over coming in a future version and stressing the need for their databases to grow, and then letting people opt-in or out of a scheme to be introduced in either a new version or a new build of the current version of the Collectorz catalogue that might see their DVD, book, Comic, etc. searches and results uploaded into the relevant Collectorz database. Don't know what the legal implications of that would be... or the fall-out from disgruntled users contributing to a database that is set to make Collectorz money, but then they're already facing that criticism!

Just a thought.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

maxic

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Re: Collectorz.com... again!
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2009, 11:07:01 AM »
All My Movies program supports IMDb as a movie details source as well as many other online movie databases. The latest All My Movies version is able to import Movie Collector database, so you don't need to start your database from the scratch.

Josh

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Re: Collectorz.com... again!
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2009, 11:32:30 AM »
It now appears that collectorz has come out and said that their products will report back the serial number on each search as a way of product protection and anti-piracy. See here

Josh

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Re: Collectorz.com... again!
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2009, 10:41:43 PM »
Be advised all, you are reporting back to collectorz, on each search, your serial number. I guess they think that their users are going to pirate the program, or switch to a pirated serial number, once validated after install. Let's talk about treating your users as guilty until proven innocent.

TucknDar

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Re: Collectorz.com... again!
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2009, 04:32:09 AM »
Only applies to searches to their online database if I'm reading those posts correctly, so if that's the case users of v5.x can just uncheck searches to the database if there are privacy concerns.

Josh

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Re: Collectorz.com... again!
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2009, 04:34:32 AM »
Their online database is the ONLY search method available for 6.x users, however.

TucknDar

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Re: Collectorz.com... again!
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2009, 04:52:00 AM »
Their online database is the ONLY search method available for 6.x users, however.
Yes,  I've noticed ;)

Like many others (a.k.a. "the vocal minority") I prefer 5.6 though, but I don't really have a problem with their knowing when I search their database.

Josh

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Re: Collectorz.com... again!
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2009, 05:05:48 AM »
I don't care if they know, but do they have to validate my license each time I search?

J-Mac

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Re: Collectorz.com... again!
« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2009, 12:25:36 PM »
I don't care if they know, but do they have to validate my license each time I search?

I think that a lot more developers do this than most people realize.

I don’t really care.

Jim

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Re: Collectorz.com... again!
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2009, 10:40:39 PM »
I just received an email notification from the Collectorz.com forum for an old thread in the Book Collector forum. While there I stopped in to look at the Movie Collector forum and noticed that all threads relating to the general user unhappiness about Version 6 are gone. Deleted it seems. I clicked on the link to show all my own posts and the ones from January are simply not there, so they did not just move them to an archived forum there.

Kinda surprised, but I guess not that surprised.

Jim

Carol Haynes

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Re: Collectorz.com... again!
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2009, 03:45:32 AM »
It just shows how stupid they are and how prepared they are top bury their heads in the sand rather than listen to customer feedback. It also shows the level of contempt with which they treat their customers.

The net effect is that manyh users will simply stop recommending their software and will never buy another title.

Personally I think the whole thing is a way to alienate people who have lifetime licenses! Bad idea as they have formed the bedrock of their sales team.

J-Mac

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Re: Collectorz.com... again!
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2009, 02:30:19 PM »
It just shows how stupid they are and how prepared they are top bury their heads in the sand rather than listen to customer feedback. It also shows the level of contempt with which they treat their customers.

The net effect is that manyh users will simply stop recommending their software and will never buy another title.

Personally I think the whole thing is a way to alienate people who have lifetime licenses! Bad idea as they have formed the bedrock of their sales team.

I think that is probably happening right now, the negative recommendations. It's a shame, really. Their products are truly well done, but the developer, Alwin, is very foolish IMO for responding arrogantly to all the negative comments made in his forum. Don't get me wrong: many of the comments were really nasty - we all have seen just how malicious some forum folks can be when they are unhappy. The general anonymity of the Web seems to often breed a belligerence in attitude and a recklessness in language used by people who are probably not nearly so rude in person. Nature of the Internet, I guess, though that's no excuse for such behavior.

But Alwin cannot simply ignore the comments and continue with business. I think he must be quite a hot head personally, though I've never met him nor actually spoken with him. A wiser developer who made the same business decisions after analyzing his company's economic needs would post strictly factual answers as to his reasoning for changing the program structure once, and then make his answers pinned threads. Then he should not respond to any further nastiness from users except to warn those who go beyond the rules of civility in his opinion, and ban those who persisted. He should still reply to serious comments and questions; just not the really rude comments that seem to be attempts to bait him. Things would blow over soon enough. He might lose some customers but if he were picking up many more new users - as he continually claimed his business projections indicated - the pain would be short-lived and relatively minor. He took a completely different path, though, and posted very sarcastic, arrogant, and even rude, offensive replies. Then finally deleted them all but only after a couple months of chaos in his forums.

Arguing with his customers and calling them names might have made him feel good somehow at the time, but I have to believe that his extreme arrogance hurt him more than his new version of Movie Collector!

At one point he and I had an exchange of PMs - he PM'd me about some of my posts about the early Book Collector build issues. He praised some of my posts where I alerted them to bugs but he also asked if I could try not to sound negative in others. I disagreed but I mention that the Movie Collector forum was where the negative posts could be found. I mentioned his unusually caustic tone there. He replied like he didn't realize he was being caustic at all. So maybe he truly doesn't see it. Who knows?! 
 8)

Thanks!

Jim

Darwin

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Re: Collectorz.com... again!
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2009, 03:11:07 PM »
Yup - I follow the Collectorz forums for those apps for which I have lifetime licenses. You're right on the money, Jim. Collectorz seems incapable of NOT pissing off its longtime customers, which has had people on their own forum, and certainly here, speculating that it may all be by design... The general attitude is not confined to Alwin, though. I had a protracted exchange with another Collectorz big-wig over the swtich in licensing model and while I got what I wanted personally, none of my advice was taken (ran along the lines of yours above - post and make sticky a general explanation of the decision and how it affects current users and acknowledge that it was VERY badly handled). I digress, my real point is that even when conceding that my argument was sound and offering a solution that was acceptable to me, he couldn't resist getting digs in at me. Some fairly large egos there, I think.

Personally, I'm not pleased that the two Collectorz apps that I REALLY love (mp3 Collector and Photo Collector) are withering on the vine. mp3 Collector is slated to be merged with Music Collector, but I'll wager that even with lifetime licenses for both products there will be an upgrade fee to pay. That wouldn't necessarily be the end of the world for me, but I know that that would lock the end-user in to paid upgrades for the new application from that point on...

I get that this is business, that they need to evolve to keep revenues coming in, and I have no problem with any of it, I just don't understand why otherwise sensibe, articulate (in a second or third language no less!), and highly capable people would bungle things so badly, all the while seeming oblvious to... Well, the fact that their actions are offensive and alienating for a start and to the fact that it would be so easy and painless to do things "right". They could have their cake and eat it too...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin