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Last post Author Topic: Your experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features  (Read 17349 times)

Crush

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Hi,

A long time ago I decided to catalog my complete software collection. Therefore I tested (benchmarked) nearly all existing catalogers, read user opinions at shareware-sites and saw that there are very much useless features included, the most important functions were not working the way I expected and so I now want to code a new disc cataloger software. I made a list what I could implement or miss in other programs, but the best helpers are people that have experience with one or several of these programs and can help me. What functions do you like or dislike - use often or never - I´m interested in everything you say.

KenR

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Re: Your experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2007, 04:25:32 PM »
A few things that I think are important

- cataloging the files that are inside of archives - zip and rar at a minimum
- being able to search by file name as well as contents of file
- cataloging the information in a file in a specifiable location, which can then be appended to
- being able to specify when searches are performed instead of having it suck away resources all the time keeping track of things on an ongoing basis
- having the option of being able to index the contents of some of the files, such as doc or text files, as an example

Ken
Kenneth P. Reeder, Ph.D.
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lanux128

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Re: Your experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2007, 08:37:03 PM »
Crush, there's a mini-review on such a program here -> http://www.donationc...dex.php?topic=5230.0
maybe you can pick up a few pointers & good luck with your venture!

Crush

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Re: Your experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2007, 06:02:33 AM »
At first a big >THANK YOU!< for the first answers to my request!

@lanux128
I read all the reviews on Donationcoders, but the Information about the facilities of Disc Library sounds like nearly each other app. In no review I found timings, benchmarks or numbers of any kind. Sometimes they wrote: "This program is faster than light!" or "quickly finda all you search" - with these tests a normal user cannot imagine the real behaviour. I ask myself why the most people forget to mention numbers, because the differences of disk catalogers are very impressive (often hundreds or thousands of times). I tried only to read my C:-drive with Disc Libary (28309 files, 4219 dirs) and became big eyes  :o : It slows extremely down with each entry. After 60 Minutes I had 2/3 of its content (without looking in Zip-Folders - all additional infos deactivated!) and only 2-3 entries a second are added? I stopped after 1 hour - this way it´ll take ages to read my complete collection. This is slower than everything else I´ve seen till now. Neither the options/features nor the visuals are enough to change my opinion. The most other programs manage the same task in a few seconds.

More interesting things for me are seldom features like FTP-support, the read and search speed. Import- Export- Options. Special File-Operations (comparison, diffs), similarity-search of picture-contents, fuzzy-search options, encryption of database, batch searching for different words in saved result-lists and more. Standard-Features are not of interest. What special features of programs no others have are for you most fascinating or used. Do you miss something special no program offers at the moment?

I need infos that go a bit deeper.
Examples:
What search options are used most: Searching by filename / file-extensions / dirname / date / Text-Content or simply browsing in virtual drive-structures.
Are you often using very special search-terms like several words that have to match, some others that mustn´t match (like a filter) in combination with directory names and last modify date?
How often do you such programs? Once an hour, only 1x each day / week / month?
The sizes / countage of your collection. How many CDs & DVDs are archived? >10 >100 >1000 or perhaps >10000?
Whats most important for usage: Speed of reading discs, speed of searching, Details of Infos you can extract, small size of the collection-database, low memory usage?

I personally want to archive a very big amount of several thousands CDs/DvDs with millions of files. The search (this is the main used function of such a program) should be very fast - faster than every other program offers at the moment. Unnecessary infos mustn´t be read - no picture previews and text-content. Additional remarks for each entry should be possible. Possibility of a very low memory usage if I request for it. I´d like a minimal size of the database.

@KenR
At the first step of development I didn´t want to read contents like Google Desktop Search or others like that. The reason is the incredible amount of memory that the hash and lookup-tables create. A content-table needs to read and analyze all text files totally from the first to the last byte - this consumes very much time and memory. I tested different ones only with about the half text-contents of my laptop partitions. After nearly an hour a 640 MB database was the result. Don´t forget that harddiscs are MUCH faster than CD/DVD-drives (about 80-120MB/second). If I only take 8-10 DVDs full with ebooks, internet site-mirrors or sourcecodes, the database would be doubled in size and the time for this action will be 10-20 times longer. Perhaps something like that will be implemented in the future, but not in the first shot.

A lot of users wrote they especially want small databases, fast search speed and in most cases it´s not necessary to preview or know the text-content of external drives - for others you can get very good freeware Desktop-searches. I don´t want to integrate functions that will be used only by 0,0001 percent of the users.

The main problem of nearly all disc catalogers is the search speed. Nearly all of the programs on the market must load the whole database in the memory before you can search through the data and the results also are hold in a list of strings and further infos in memory. The others think that they increase the speed this way. Normally this would be right - but they´re wrong! Some bottlenecks are not within the search itself - only very few of them were able to see this and found a quick solution. There are other factors that influence the speed much more. I already started the main-features and experimented with some new homebrewn algorithms - no GUI till now. The result is, that the search speed without loading all datas to memory is now sometimes several hundreds or thousands of times faster than others. This speed increases very much if I cache the datas in memory or prepare some special speedup-hashes.

For the benchmarks I calculated the objects/second and the speed in comparison to the actual version of my program. I deactivated an algorithm that speeds up the search about 5-10 times, because the database cannot be compressed very good containing these infos - perhaps the final version will give you the choice to create these data or not. There are some new ideas I´ll test in the next weeks and I expect a multiplification of the search-speed up to 10-100 times.

I show you an extract of the benchmarks:
there were 3 searches through my complete harddisc:
1.) The direct search for a filename appearing only 1 times with perfect name-matching
2.) The search for all .exe files on the drives the result is about 4% of all entries
3.) The search for *.* that shows up about 165000 files and dirs as result

All additional informations (zip-files, etc. are deactivated) - only filename/dirs/dates are collected - no additional filters - search by name - disturbing programs are deactivated (Virus killer, firewall, pest patrol) - same computer - same cpu-settings - no other programs used in the background (like Firefox or anything other cpu-consuming hd-accessing things)

1 - 2 - 3 Program name

22860550 - 4228446 - 2286055   My program with precalculated speedup-information
8382226   - 5624437 - 425982   My program with normal (slow) search but other improvements
206827   - 51707   - 12927      Whereisit V3.11
23717   - 3953   - 233      CD Search V2.0
11732   - 7821   - 499      CDWise 1.0
10672   - 2668   - impossible   Disccat 3.0 b4
70535   - 30229   - 2273      InsideCAT 2.22
68445   - 3803   - 95      MAKara CD Catalog 1.1
28402   - 644   - 33      MyFindex V3.4
23707   - 4255   - 138      CDTree 2.1.8 std
155330   - 77665   - 77665      Cathy 2.20.4
31066   - 3612   - 1726      JBCat 2.0 b1
77665   - 25888   - 1006      CD Bank 2.7.6
41341   - 20671   - 111      DiskFinder
1102   - 1074   - 60      CD Catalog Expert 9
82682   - 13780   - 322      Disk Explorer Professional 3
55121   - 27561   - 1050      CD Bank Cataloguer V2.7.8
82590   - 23597   - 319      DriveScan Plus 2006 3.5b
82625   - 13771   - 648      Advanced Disk Cataloger 151
414103   - 27607   - 998      Broken Cross Disk-Manager 3.94
331496   - 165748 - 82874   Advanced CATaloguer 2.6 pro
331390   - 27616   - 1624      CDWinder 2.6.1
82848   - 16570   - 118      JeeKey CeDor 5.3
41424   - 1821   - 50      Catalog Max 1.66
1175142   - 19140   - 1043      Deductus 1.61 b 266
297568   - 2976   - 111      Analinx Filookup 1.1.120
411343   - 164537 - 10284   Locate32 V3 RC2
3022   - 1662   - 141      Whatdisk 1.0

There were many others I didn´t include. Some of them had in some searches technical problems (exceptions) or were not able to use the right search-term or to read contents others than CD-drives. Others have restrictions in the number of result-output some only about 1000 others up to 10000 or 100000 as maximum.

I look forward  :Thmbsup: for further personal experiences and suggestions!
« Last Edit: January 31, 2007, 02:52:00 PM by Crush »

rjbull

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Re: Your experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2007, 08:48:20 AM »
Crush,

I am a registered user of CatDisk for DOS by Rick Hillier of The Software Connection.  Back in the 90s, I used it to catalogue a collection of floppies (remember those?) full of shareware and freeware.  I never bothered to update, but here's a Windows version, CatDisk 2003.

The DOS version is/was a good product, probably the leading one of its day.  I particularly liked the ability to import text files like FILES.BBS and modified FILE_ID.DIZ so you could add descriptions.  Nowadays I suppose you'd have to add PAD files.  A disk cataloguer that doesn't allow comments/descriptions would not interest me.  CatDisk for DOS came with some additional command-line tools, so you could do some kinds of searches/reports from batch files etc.



cranioscopical

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Re: Your experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2007, 05:05:12 PM »
I use and am happy with Advanced Disk Catalog.
Home page is here, with a trial version on offer: http://www.elcomsoft.com/adc.html
Currently it's looking after > 116,000 entries for me.
I've used it for years to keep track of stuff  that "I might need one day." :)
It's fast and has never let me down.

Crush

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Re: Your experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2007, 07:32:00 PM »
@rjbull  :up:
I already planned to import description files like .diz. I knew nothing about pad-files. This is really very interesting to check for software-updates! I thaught about looking somehow by ftp- or other search-engines for new versions of specified programs. That´s a great hint! I´ll check the features and bench CatDisk for my list.

@cranioscopical
I tested Advanced Disc Cataloger 1.51 as you can see in my last post. The speed and features are ok. 116.000 Entries are not very much. Even my drive F: (Sourcecode, docs, manuals and coding utils) contains more files. I expect several millions in a bigger collection - and a search in an amount of 20.000.000 files could be a real problem for Adc (because of the amount of data that has to be kept in memory).

A former version of it is by the way a few times faster in searching:
128622 - 42874 - 4764 -> ADC 1.43
82625 - 13771 - 648 -> ADC 1.51
They became quite slow in newer releases.

Perhaps you have the time to answer some questions?

For what kind of data do you use it?
How often and which way are you searching?
Do you look at pictures in the preview, look for ID3-Tags for music, type in filetype and a part of the name to search for software?
Is there something useful missing or disturbing in the program?

The search behaviour of users is very important for me to know because of the program and data-design.

cranioscopical

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Re: Your experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2007, 08:16:59 PM »
Quote
@cranioscopical
I tested Advanced Disc Cataloger 1.51 as you can see in my last post.

I apologize, Crush, for some reason I failed to notice it in your list or I'd not have responded.

For what kind of data do you use it?
File names

How often and which way are you searching?
Once every couple of months,  simple wildcard searches

Do you look at pictures in the preview, look for ID3-Tags for music, type in filetype and a part of the name to search for software?
Pictures, no; tags, no; filename wildcards, yes.

Is there something useful missing or disturbing in the program?
Yes, it's clumsy to catalogue an individual folder as a volume.  If I want to do that (for peculiar reasons of my own, such as writing manageable chunks in DVD-sized collections) I first have to mount the folder as a volume.

Nighted

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Re: Your experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2007, 08:49:53 PM »
I used to use ADC (Advanced Disk Catalog from Elcomsoft) but switched to CD Catalog Expert because it's got a cleaner interface, shows systems icons related to files, and MOST importantly, lets me add categories in the tree (ADC doesn't).

BTW....no one mentioned Advanced File Organizer, another excellent program.
I`m a firm believer in the philosophy of a ruling class, especially since I rule.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2007, 08:52:46 PM by Nighted »

Crush

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Re: Your experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2007, 02:46:28 AM »
@Nighted

:down: CD Catalog Expert 9 has been listed and is veeery veeery slooooow. It´s senseless for quick searches within bigger databases.
1102 - 1074 - 60 CD Catalog Expert 9
The last number (60) means: Searching in Databases with about 165000 entries manages only 60 files for checking and listing per second! You can watch a serial or a short film before you can take a look at the results, because you have 45 minutes (2747 seconds in detail) spare time and no CPU power free during the search.

I tested Advanced File Cataloger 2.61 and can tell you that this one is the fastest of the better ones (nice optics/features) and the 2nd placed after Haxial´s. Only the memory-usage is like all others quite high.

1024216 - 931105 - 93111 Advanced File Organizer V2.61 b490

The fastest in the list is now the (in my opinion) uncomfortable and functionally extremly simple program "Haxial Disc Catalog". The development seems to be stopped after version 1.3. Users tried to contact the authors several times and got no answer.

2500000 - 500000 - 125000 Haxial Disc Catalog V1.3

Is it really so important to see the system-icons in the result list? You don´t have any advantage if you search for a specified filetype (in most cases you know this before starting the search).

Could you also please answer the 4 questions of the previous posting?
« Last Edit: January 27, 2007, 03:02:20 AM by Crush »

Nighted

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Re: Your experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2007, 03:06:32 AM »
Meh....I like it the way it is. Speed isn't a huge issue. I like an enjoyable, pleasant interface and a stable database. It's a lot faster than pulling out binders (or stacks) of cd's and going through them one by one. When I need to find something on a disc that's packed away somewhere, I can find it fast. This isn't something I need to do often, so if it takes .5 seconds longer, I can live with it!
I`m a firm believer in the philosophy of a ruling class, especially since I rule.

Crush

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Re: Your experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2007, 04:34:59 AM »
 :D Your´re right, it´s no big difference between 2747 seconds or 2747,5  :D

I´d be interested in your search-behaviour. Please answer the 4 questions if possible.

peteg05

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Re: Your experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2007, 07:14:28 AM »
sorry, a little of topic, but does anybody know what happened to CD Bank Cataloguer (www.qunom.com)? Is it an abandoned project or did it move to another website?

Thanks!
peteg06

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Re: Your experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2007, 02:15:17 PM »


Keep watching for a "Shootout" type review for this type of software.  I hope to have at least a preliminary version by Monday.

Crush

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Re: Your experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2007, 02:49:38 PM »
@peteg05
According to the wayback-machine www.qunom.com was the last time updated at 24. april 2006. After that date the domain has disappeared. The french and russian sites are still online - but their last news have been posted during 2005!
I think this company seems to be dead.

@cthorpe
I´m looking forward to read your review!
« Last Edit: January 31, 2007, 02:59:21 PM by Crush »

Nighted

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Re: Your experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2007, 10:21:50 AM »
2 more, both freeware:

CDVista

Visual CD (found this here in these forums actually)

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chedabob

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Re: Your experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2007, 03:35:17 PM »
This would be something interested to code.

Although, ive totally ditched all my cds, and I now have a backup of all my important discs on one of my HDDs. CDs are a major pain for me. Im too lazy to label them, put them away somewhere, and then look for them. I used to have stacks of unlabelled cd-rs, or cds without cases.

Crush

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Re: Your experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2007, 04:18:52 PM »
I started to work on it. Even terabyte-HDs aren´t be enough to get all my contents on it. If I calculate further in time the collection will grow without any problems 100 times witin the next 20 years (don´t forget the also increasing size of future contents!). Four or five of them could be enough for the most important. The problem is: What if the HDs blow up? This happens quite often after a few years.

I look forward to the release of the Hyper CD-ROMs that seem at the moment the only solution for this problem: http://www.dntb.ro/u.../frdbuc/hyper-cdrom/

KenR

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Re: Your experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2007, 05:41:52 PM »
I purchased a copy of Where Is It? and it is hard to imagine finding anything better. It's fast, collects information from your files as well as public databases. It's catalogs (data files) are pretty compact and you can specify what kind of information you want it to collect. It's very reasonably priced (just under $40) with permanent free upgrades. It has creative and unique features to help you organize and classify your information. It's pretty configurable. If you want a disk cataloger, give this one a try. I'd be very surprised if you didn't like it. If curious, here's a look at the UI.

Screenshot - 3_16_2007 , 5_39_19 PM_thumb.png
Kenneth P. Reeder, Ph.D.
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Darwin

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Re: Your experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2007, 06:09:32 PM »
Ha ha, Ken. You sent me off checking out Broken Cross Disk Manager (which I liked) on this thread and I, too, wound up buying WhereIsIt? (which I love) the night before last. I feel exactly as you do - I can't imagine finding anything better. Note, though, that Crush (OP) did test WhereIsIt? as part of his own shootout and gather that it didn't fit the bill.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: March 16, 2007, 06:34:26 PM by Darwin »

KenR

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Re: Your experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2007, 06:30:03 PM »
Ha ha, Ken. You sent me off checking out Broken Cross Disk Manager (which I liked) on thiss thread and I, too, wound up buying WhereIsIt? (which I love) the night before last. I feel exactly as you do - I can't imagine finding anything better. Note, though, that Crush (OP) did test WhereIsIt? as part of his own shootout and gather that it didn't fit the bill.

I read that review (or think I did), but didn't really come away with that opinion of it. Also, having lived with both of these programs, there is really no comparison. I wish I would have found Where Is It? before buying Broken Cross, but I looked and looked, scoured the internet, asked people, blah, blah, blah. So, what can you do? Also, I don't think Broken Cross is bad, I just think that Where Is It? is infinitely better with clever, creative, and novel features for how the information is stored and organized IN ADDITION TO the information the programs acquire. So for my money, it collects more and organizes it much better.

Thanks for the reply on this on Darwin. It's interesting you and I had exactly the same experience.

Ken
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MerleOne

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Re: Your experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2007, 02:23:37 AM »
There is also Disk Explorer, shareware, at http://www.tjelinek..../main.php?section=dh

depro_s1.gifYour experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features
.merle1.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2007, 02:25:08 AM by MerleOne »

Crush

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Re: Your experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2007, 04:22:50 AM »
I also like Whereisit very much (but don´t use any Disc-Cataloger regularly till now ... only sometimes Locate32), especially the appearance, the plugins for different filetypes, the speed, usability and the storing format is very reasonable. Please notice that there is no unicode version! At the moment it´s not as problematically, but unicode is used more and more often and all CD/DVD/HD-Formats support and sometimes use it. Only very very few programs (3-4 I think) support unicode at the moment. One of them is the Broken Cross Disk Manager :) that has flipped totally over to unicode and only one supports utf-8. At the beginning of catalogers Whereisit was far away compared to others and even today only very few have its quality and capabilities.  :up:

Now the bad thing  >:(:
Whereisit 3.73 had heavy problems with larger result-lists / databases that have to been loaded at first to memory to be searched. The hardest issues are that the search stopped and the results were shown at about 2/3 before ending the complete search during the last ("*.*"-search) test. After this sometimes an exception appeared that forced Whereisit to quit and even if it seemed to work further, new searches were impossible - only a restart helped. This is only testable with full-versions, because the exceptions only appear with data-amounts higher than the Trial-Version offers. Collections with more than 200 CDs/DVDs should break this barrier from working to issues.

@KenR: Please test Whereisit with about 2-3Mio (file/dir) entries without any plugins activated, searching only for filenames and directories: All special features turned off. Perhaps newer versions don´t suffer from this problem. Repeat the different searches several times - they don´t appear reliable! You can add the same big HD-partitions several times to your database to get this amount of entries.
 :feedback:

Don´t understand this the wrong way: This doesn´t mean, Whereisit is a bad program.

Beside Whereisit there are many many programs with extremely hard issues and I wonder why most of them are commercial ones like Smart CD Catalog Pro 200, Drivescan Plus 2006 3.5b, Analinx Filookup 1.1.120, CD-Rom-Archiv 1.6, CD Bank Cataloguer V2.7.8, AyeahCatalog V1.0, CD Catalog Expert 9, CDCatWin1.01, CD Bank 2.7.6, FileArchivist 5.0, CDTree 2.1.8 std, Disccat 3.0 beta 4, (now some Freeware) MAKara CD Catalog 1.1, NGDiskcat 1.06, Catalog Max 1.66, Gwhere 0.2.3?!!? Is featuritis or laziness the reason? Don´t the developers test their pograms intensively with high and flexible datasets? Perhaps harder problems come up with additional features activated? I haven´t tried this because I was only interested in the maximum search speed during my tests.

So I want to show up that bad behaviour is the norm!!!
I have found only very few one´s that worked in each case perfectly. The rule I discovered was in nearly each case the same: The simplier the program and less the database the more was the probability to work without any problems.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2007, 04:30:33 AM by Crush »

manimatters

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Re: Your experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features
« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2008, 06:38:11 AM »
Something that would make a disk cataloging software more usable for me would be the ability to detect whenever any disk is inserted and then popup to ask if that is to be cataloged, if not already done so. It could sit in the system tray to do that as long as it doesnt slow up the system. Any one support that?

Crush

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Re: Your experiences with disc catalogers and most wanted/used features
« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2008, 09:03:42 AM »
Lazycat can perfectly do what you want. It´s one of the best of my disc-cataloger tests. Try to get V1.2beta. It´s shareware but has no limit. The development has been stopped 8 years ago  :(