I've finally switched to DVD Profiler.
As with others here, I refused to "upgrade" my Collectorz software. And the version I had continued to deteriorate, such that it could only scrape from two sources anymore.
DVD Profiler suffers from the same approach as the newer versions of Collectorz, in that it's a closed system: no scraping from various web sources, just from the company's own repository. It's not quite the same as with Collectorz, though, because the DVD Profiler community is rabid about the quality of their data. Although the same questions about availability of data persist (I've got a fair chunk of Chinese videos, for example), what's there is almost certainly good.
This is a mixed blessing, though. To ensure quality (and to avoid copyright issues), DVD Profiler is militantly anti-IMDB. For those videos that aren't in their repository I'd be happy to scrape in IMDB data (it's much better than nothing), even if it prevented me from uploading that data to their own servers. But they won't have any of it: I'm not allowed to have IMDB data at all. I could transcribe it all by hand, but they wouldn't even be happy about that. (So far I've said to myself "screw them", and copied at least some key data: cover scan, overview, running time; I'll be good and not upload that). It seems to me that I'd be better off if they let me worry about the accuracy that I want in my own database, and not worry about it; they can implement whatever they need to flag records that have been "tainted" by IMDB.
DVD Profiler has a different pricing model from Collectorz. The latter has switched to a subscription, but DVD Profiler still operates on a single one-time charge (and a very reasonable one at that).
But the main decision point was how flexible DVD Profiler is. In particular:
- Reporting is completely customizable, with a real GUI tool to do the customizing.
- Searching is far more robust.
- The "movie pick" tool, which helps you find a movie to watch based on similarity to other movies, is wonderful.
The process of migrating from Collectorz to DVD Profiler took me probably 3-4 hours. Although there are user-supported plugins that should do the job, I wasn't able to make it work for some reason. But one prolific member of the community, mediadogg, was kind enough to actually take my exported Collectorz data and import it for me, putting the resultant DB onto his web server for me to download. Thanks for the help!
From there it was a matter of, first, patching up the data that was missing. There was a good-sized list of videos that didn't import fully because they weren't in the DVD Profiler database. This was due to a mixture of being oddball titles (like the Chinese stuff I mentioned earlier -- there is international coverage in their repository, but it seems not as robust as USA), and, more frequently, because I'd done a bad job of entering the data into Collectorz.
A final step was to build a report that matched my needs. Most of the canned stuff, and available from the community, tends to focus on attributes that I don't care about. In particular, many of them are concerned with where you purchased a video, and how much you paid. I track finances in Quicken, and use that tool to make sure I'm not over-budget; after that I'm not too concerned with the price I paid for my copy of Avatar specifically. I just want a list of movies next to the TV so I can decide what to watch. That involved finding a similar report, ripping out stuff I didn't care about (studio and DVD features, for example), and replacing them with more Genre information and a rating (their repository provides for user-supplied reviews).
I'm pretty happy with the way things have turned out. I think I did the right thing, and a conversion to DVD Profiler is a good way to get away from the hated Collectorz.