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Last post Author Topic: Collectorz.com Book Collector 6  (Read 11677 times)

J-Mac

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Collectorz.com Book Collector 6
« on: December 10, 2008, 09:08:14 PM »
Anyone here using Book Collector V.6 from Collectorz.com?

I just purchased this new version last month. I already own both Movie and Music Collector Pro but this is the first version of Book Collector I've used. Unfortunately this version underwent a similar database surgery as the latest version of Movie Collector. You don’t get any choices as to where you get the details about the books you add; all goes through a central database at Collectorz.com. Also only books with US ISBN numbers can be automatically added. That of course eliminates most older books and specialty books, which is disappointing in itself.

But worse yet is the fact that a LOT of books simply are not found, even though they are easy to find on Amazon.com. After receiving a ton of support emails and a high number of forum posts about this, the CEO there, Alwin, recently released a build (6.3) that supposedly fixes a major bug he found. Of course, as is usually his style, this was revealed only after making a number of snide and sarcastic remarks on the forum to users having issues.

Today I installed Book Collector on my notebook so that I could stop lugging piles of books to my office for input using the Cuecat scanner. With the notebook I can bring the application and scanner to the books, wherever they are in my house. But once again, it just isn't working. the UPC barcodes on almost all my books do not match the ISBN numbers. The ISBN number is encoded in the barcodes, but Book Collector apparently reads them as scanned and rejects them as not be recognized ISBN numbers. Furthermore, more than half of my books are not getting cover images, and many are not even getting basic information, like the author's name!

I downloaded the previous version from the Collectorz.com web site. Does anyone here know if that was better than this current junk? I could just install it and try all over, but if it not much better than this stinker they recently released, I don’t even want to bother. I'd rather use another product altogether.

Thanks!

Jim

cthorpe

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Re: Collectorz.com Book Collector 6
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2008, 10:01:33 PM »
v5 does a better job that v6.  I don't know about non-US ISBNs, as most of our books are US versions.

J-Mac

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Re: Collectorz.com Book Collector 6
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2008, 10:29:04 PM »
v5 does a better job that v6.  I don't know about non-US ISBNs, as most of our books are US versions.

As I understand, V5 had a lot of different databases available for searching, including non-USA sites. I'm trying to find out if I can use my V6 license on V5.

Thanks!

Jim

TucknDar

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Re: Collectorz.com Book Collector 6
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2008, 02:00:54 AM »
As far as I know you can't use a v6 license for v5. If the program doesn't do the job, you should probably ask for a refund. Many things can and have been said about Collectorz.com, but they're pretty quick giving refunds to unhappy customers.

I too think the v5 was far better than the current version, especially since I could actually search the Norwegian National Library, which was very useful for me! The decision to drop pre-ISBN books in their database is pretty aweful, although at least they're not closing the door on a solution. I'll be very surprised if they really succeed with their new BoC and MoC strategy. At least I have lifetime licenses for both as well as for Music Collector... :-[

J-Mac

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Re: Collectorz.com Book Collector 6
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2008, 02:42:12 AM »
As far as I know you can't use a v6 license for v5. If the program doesn't do the job, you should probably ask for a refund. Many things can and have been said about Collectorz.com, but they're pretty quick giving refunds to unhappy customers.

I too think the v5 was far better than the current version, especially since I could actually search the Norwegian National Library, which was very useful for me! The decision to drop pre-ISBN books in their database is pretty aweful, although at least they're not closing the door on a solution. I'll be very surprised if they really succeed with their new BoC and MoC strategy. At least I have lifetime licenses for both as well as for Music Collector... :-[

Thanks for the advice. Guess I'll go ask for a refund then, because this program has caused me literally hours to get only about 50 of my books into it - and they're not even complete. Ridiculous!

Thanks again.

Jim

Carol Haynes

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Re: Collectorz.com Book Collector 6
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2008, 04:01:49 AM »
As far as I know you can't use a v6 license for v5. If the program doesn't do the job, you should probably ask for a refund. Many things can and have been said about Collectorz.com, but they're pretty quick giving refunds to unhappy customers.

I too think the v5 was far better than the current version, especially since I could actually search the Norwegian National Library, which was very useful for me! The decision to drop pre-ISBN books in their database is pretty aweful, although at least they're not closing the door on a solution. I'll be very surprised if they really succeed with their new BoC and MoC strategy. At least I have lifetime licenses for both as well as for Music Collector... :-[

Being cynical I think Collectorz are working hard to get rid of their lifetime upgrade customers by producing software aimed at another market. I don't know who that other market is and I am not sure they do either.

The irony is that they will not be able to use their own products - being based in Europe!!!

TucknDar

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Re: Collectorz.com Book Collector 6
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2008, 07:14:14 AM »
Yes, the software will certainly work better for US customers, although I've seen someone claiming that Collectorz were now aiming at the European market :huh: At least Book Collector 6 search is somewhat useable (since it uses other sources when it can't find a book in Collectorz database), whereas Movie Collector 6 search is pretty much useless for my purchases, except when I buy non-Norwegian editions.

mwfuss

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Re: Collectorz.com Book Collector 6
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2008, 07:25:51 AM »
I use the program Readerware and I am very satisfied with it. If I remember correctly from a brief trial of Book Collector a few years ago, Readerware may not be as visually appealing, but it does what it is supposed to do and it does it very well. You simply input an ISBN or a group of ISBN,s, tell the program which databases to search, and it will find your book and the necessary information. You can also use a bar coder to input your books, but I have no experience with that feature.

Readerware

Edit: I just noticed from the Readerware site that they are offering all of their products at a 15% discount until December 31, 2008.

Cloq

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Re: Collectorz.com Book Collector 6
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2008, 11:32:49 AM »
I sure hope they plan on adding back multiple sources for movie collector... or at the very least, provide a plugin architecture for others to develop plugins.

Crud.. didn't mean to go off on a tangent. I saw key words.. Collector 6.

Thanks Josh.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2008, 04:45:43 PM by Cloq »

Josh

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Re: Collectorz.com Book Collector 6
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2008, 11:38:20 AM »
Cloq: Read here

Darwin

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Re: Collectorz.com Book Collector 6
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2008, 12:02:12 PM »
I've been playing around with Librarian Pro, which is $29.95 and for which you receive a licence that allows you to install and activate under both Windows and OSX. You can also install it on as many machines as you like, as long as you're the main user of each machine. It will allow you to search Amazon for books, music, and dvd's and to specify the local amazon site you want to use (ie Canada, USA, UK, Germany, etc.). It will catalogue all media, including software, not just Books. Overall, it's pretty slick. I wish it would connect to more databases - at the moment it is almost as limited as are the latest generation of Collectorz apps. HOwever, it's only at version 1.4 and the developer may be receptive to adding more sources.

Reading through the link that Josh provided for Cloq above, this little gem caught my eye (posted by user MMMDI):

Quote
The old, cumbersome, disgusting way:
1) Type in the movie title - "Bikini Bloodbath Car Wash"
2) Click "Search", wait five seconds.
3) There it is on iMDB and DVD Empire. Click "Add"
--Done--

The new, totally awesome, automated way:
1) Type in the movie title - "Bikini Bloodbath Car Wash"
2) Click "Search".
3) No results found.
--Drats--



EDIT: grammar  :-[
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: December 11, 2008, 12:29:43 PM by Darwin »

40hz

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Re: Collectorz.com Book Collector 6
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2008, 12:24:05 PM »
I use BookCAT from FNPrg.com. It costs $40 USD.

I tried a bunch of other apps and ended up buying this one. Not the cheapest - and for Windows only. Meh!

Nevertheless, of all the book cataloging programs, this one worked best for me.

They also have versions for music, DVD, software, and stamp collections.

You can download complete documentation, and 30-day full evaluation copies at the website.

http://www.fnprg.com/index.html

Note: If you're really into tinkering or rolling your own, the PDF documentation (available for download) provides complete MSAccess table listings which you could use as a starting point for coming up with your own database design.
 8)


Darwin

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Re: Collectorz.com Book Collector 6
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2008, 12:31:20 PM »
Thanks for the note, 40hz. I've actually got a licence for SoftCat Plus Software Database lying around here somewhere. It was nice and quick but I didn't really use it much so unisntalled it. I'd forgotten that they do a range of cataloguing applications. Well worth a look  :Thmbsup:
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

J-Mac

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Re: Collectorz.com Book Collector 6
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2008, 01:32:06 PM »
40Hz: I have SoftCAT from the same developer and I love it - very nicely done program and also a helpful developer to boot.

I'll have to take a look at his book and movie collection applications.

Thanks!

Jim

J-Mac

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Re: Collectorz.com Book Collector 6
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2008, 01:33:36 PM »
BTW, I received a PM from Alwin at Collectorz.com in which he mentioned that a maintenance build for Book Collector 6 will be released next week that addresses my concerns. So I'm looking forward to that to see if it makes Book Collector more usable for me.

Jim

J-Mac

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Re: Collectorz.com Book Collector 6
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2008, 01:36:13 PM »
I've been playing around with Librarian Pro, which is $29.95 and for which you receive a licence that allows you to install and activate under both Windows and OSX. You can also install it on as many machines as you like, as long as you're the main user of each machine. It will allow you to search Amazon for books, music, and dvd's and to specify the local amazon site you want to use (ie Canada, USA, UK, Germany, etc.). It will catalogue all media, including software, not just Books. Overall, it's pretty slick. I wish it would connect to more databases - at the moment it is almost as limited as are the latest generation of Collectorz apps. HOwever, it's only at version 1.4 and the developer may be receptive to adding more sources.

I'll have to take a look at that one. I did just start building a library in Library Thing, an online collection vehicle. Interesting so far.

Thanks!

Jim

40hz

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Re: Collectorz.com Book Collector 6
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2008, 02:13:44 PM »
I did just start building a library in Library Thing, an online collection vehicle. Interesting so far.

You're putting the catalog up online?

Great googelly-moogelly Jim!!!


bones_frenzy.jpg

Do you have any idea what StarFleet Command will do once they find out
the kind of books this crew likes to read?


All kidding aside, I tend to think of my bookshelves as a window into my soul. Maybe that's why I always scan book, DVD, and CD collections whenever I'm visiting. Book and movie collections always give me a "vibe" about a person. I'd guess most people that read do the same.

 ;D

« Last Edit: December 11, 2008, 02:27:46 PM by 40hz »

J-Mac

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Re: Collectorz.com Book Collector 6
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2008, 02:18:38 PM »
I did just start building a library in Library Thing, an online collection vehicle. Interesting so far.

You're putting the catalog up online?

Great googelly-moogelly Jim!!!

 (see attachment in previous post)
Do you have any idea what StarFleet Command will do once they find out
what kind of book this crew likes to read?

Beautiful!  I don’t really worry about who sees my booklist - it's not all that exciting!

Thanks!

Jim

Carol Haynes

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Re: Collectorz.com Book Collector 6
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2008, 02:22:59 PM »
I think it is totally mad in this day and age to try and reinvent the book catalogue from user input. Everybook that has ever been written is already catalogued in countless libraries around the world (and many catalogues are easily searchable online).

Given the thousands of books that are released each year alone it means that the (I presume) relatively small user base of Book Collector 6 will never be able to keep up so users will be left with useless bar code readers and a lot of typing.

Even if they don't want to provide multiple lookups in the application surely it makes sense for the online catalogue to have a backend that can automatically search dozens of sources.

The other question they haven't (and certainly won't address) is what happens if Collectorz shuts down for some reason (e.g. copyright litigation sends them under - which doesn't seem unlikely in the long run as almost all of the material they are storing and distributing is copyright and I bet they don't pay royalties on every item they hold in their catalogues) - the single database version of the software will be just about useless.

TucknDar

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Re: Collectorz.com Book Collector 6
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2008, 02:36:44 PM »
I think it is totally mad in this day and age to try and reinvent the book catalogue from user input.
I don't think that's what they're doing though. At least it's not possible to add books to the database, like it is in Movie Collector, although... (see end of next reply)

Even if they don't want to provide multiple lookups in the application surely it makes sense for the online catalogue to have a backend that can automatically search dozens of sources.
They do this, actually. If I'm understanding it right, when a user searches ISBN through BoC, if it isn't found in Collectorz database it'll look for it in other sources. I found a book in the Norwegian national library this way. Also, when a user has searched this way (like I have), the result will be available in the database when the next user searches for the same ISBN. So, I suppose that's some user input that is used after all...

the single database version of the software will be just about useless.
Long live Book and Movie Collector 5.x :)

TucknDar

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Re: Collectorz.com Book Collector 6
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2008, 02:40:32 PM »
By the way, I was thinking of a suggestion to Collectorz. Since they're more or less abandoning v5.x of BoC and MoC, it would be interesting challenging them with this: Sell these "dead" pieces of software at 50% or even better $10 with ONE YEAR LIMITED SUPPORT and see how sales compare to the current version, 6.x.

40hz

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Re: Collectorz.com Book Collector 6
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2008, 02:43:34 PM »
Given the thousands of books that are released each year alone it means that the (I presume) relatively small user base of Book Collector 6 will never be able to keep up

R.R. Bowker's Books In Print® tracks 200,000 new titles annually. There are something like 3+ million titles in their databases.

Quote
so users will be left with useless bar code readers

May be less of a problem than anticipated. Many of these cataloging apps use the same barcode readers.

Quote
and a lot of typing.

But only if they're using a proprietary or locked database format.

One of the biggest selling points for me about BookCAT was that it uses MS Access datafiles. And the tables are fully documented in the user manual. If the company ever goes under, or if I want to repurpose my data, I can get at everything.

(BTW: I would have preferred they used MySQL; but you can't have everything. ;D)



Darwin

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Re: Collectorz.com Book Collector 6
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2008, 03:02:50 PM »
By the way, I was thinking of a suggestion to Collectorz. Since they're more or less abandoning v5.x of BoC and MoC, it would be interesting challenging them with this: Sell these "dead" pieces of software at 50% or even better $10 with ONE YEAR LIMITED SUPPORT and see how sales compare to the current version, 6.x.

Good luck with that, Tuckndar  ;D Alwin has been... "prickly" about any suggested re-direction of his business model. From what I have seen, always level-headed, but prickly... I don't think he is the slightest bit interested in user input WRT the direction Collectorz is taking. See the link Josh directed us to, above.

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

TucknDar

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Re: Collectorz.com Book Collector 6
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2008, 03:07:07 PM »
Trust me, Darwin, I know. This was just a kind of thought experiment ;)

40hz

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Re: Collectorz.com Book Collector 6
« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2008, 03:08:47 PM »
They do this, actually. If I'm understanding it right, when a user searches ISBN through BoC, if it isn't found in Collectorz database it'll look for it in other sources. I found a book in the Norwegian national library this way. Also, when a user has searched this way (like I have), the result will be available in the database when the next user searches for the same ISBN. So, I suppose that's some user input that is used after all...

Just out of curiosity - is there any good technical reasons why anybody would want to do it that way? What is the advantage to shoehorning all that data, and all those queries, through a keyhole. I'm not challenging their right to do it, since I'm not a customer, but I just don't get what the advantage would be.

If you're just writing webscripts for queries from individual users, it would be one thing.  Amazon et al.  might not like it, but it's doubtful they'd go after (or even notice) a lot of individual hits from different IP addresses. But if you're using your customer's queries to add to your own database, and all the hits come from one place, it starts to look a lot more like you're scraping content.

If Collectorz is worried that somebody like Amazon or Borders might come down on Collectorz for accessing their databases, doing it this way seems to have a lot more potential for legal action.


Just a thought. ;)