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Much of the fun is in collecting, obsessing, and becoming Comic Book Guy.
Delicious Library catalogs your shelves of DVDs, games, software, books, CDs, and other media. After entering what you own—a fairly quick process, thanks to slick barcode reading—the index shows your inventory alongside reviews, price, and other data slurped in from Amazon.com. That concept won us over, but Delicious Library often left us asking, “Now what?” Too many flaws hobble it as a must-have system for lending or selling belongings, publishing your list of stuff online, or doing much more than exporting data in the hope of adding it to FileMaker or another database app.
We fell into a steady pace adding items to Delicious Library, thanks to its great scanning features. Compatible with the built-in iSight or an external video camera, the software easily reads barcodes found on media.
A scanning beep lets you know if it captured the badge, and a synthetic voice speaks the name of the product after it identifies the item online. The software adds iTunes items automatically, although those thankfully can be viewed separately from physical media.
The scanning process sometimes needs a little finesse for the camera to read the codes—we often patiently held an item, gently tilting it until the beep signaled success. And a few times, seemingly due to reflection off the code from shrink-wrap, we had to manually enter the product name. Thankfully, Delicious Library still downloads other details after its automatic, online search.
We wouldn’t even bother with Delicious Library without the iSight feature, but the app is also compatible with even-faster handheld scanners. We tested the ROV Scanner with Bluetooth ($299.95, www.microvision.com), making even quicker work of creating our library. This laser scanner added new items in about a second, versus roughly 3 to 4 seconds with the camera scanner. If you have a lot of media, we recommend going with a handheld scanner.
Once everything is catalogued, Delicious Library offers a few ways to access and display data. You can scroll through virtual shelves containing your stuff, browse text lists, and search for items. iTunes-like Smart Shelves can sometimes create complex lists, such as DVDs released in 2006. However, the variable menus are disorganized, and some just didn’t work right for our most specific searches, such as an attempted list to show recently purchased Wii games that support four players.
Loaning and selling features also get short-changed. A single click pushes you to a webpage to sell an item through Amazon, but eBay and other options aren’t supported. We couldn’t even create a simple email or text document with product details for Craigslist beyond the typical export options. After dragging Address Book contacts into Delicious Library, you can keep track of loans by dragging items to that friend’s contact info. But the app doesn’t draft or send email reminders about an upcoming or expired due date. It’s up to you to micro-manage the process.
Exporting options publish lists online or allow more powerful database applications to read your library. Elaborate webpages look good hosted on your own site or automatically uploaded to .Mac. But those sites don’t let you search for items or let friends request to borrow something. Worst, the software doesn’t offer to password-protect the pages for you, leaving your bad taste in music and valuable book collection available to the world at large.Delicious Library is light—and even fun—featuring great graphical lists of items, quick scanning, and even a few Easter eggs. (After we imported a Star Wars game, a hushed voice whispered, “I am your father.”) But, while it creates impressive lists, it lacks the next steps to be worthwhile as anything more than a catalog.