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DVDs - John C. Kirk — LiveJournal

Jan. 17th, 2007

07:02 pm - DVDs

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From:billyabbott
Date:January 17th, 2007 10:35 pm (UTC)
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I use DVDProfiler from Intervocative
The normal version is free, you enter dvd by barcode number (or reader if you have one) or can search for it in their database. The database is user maintained and the obsessive DVD collectors keep it pretty much up to date (I may occasionally be one of them...).

It's a windows app that lets you publish your collection to their site (mine is at - http://www.intervocative.com/dvdcollection.aspx/cowfishbill) and the software allows you to mark where dvds are in location as well as who they have been loaned to (it can be used by small/medium video shops).

The pay-for version gives you a few more features and "high res" cover scans...I've never felt the need.

And if you want to borrow any of my DVDs, let me know - that page is pretty much up to date, although I need to do an audit (the software prints out lists to do that as well...I quite like it, you may be able to tell :)
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From:johnckirk
Date:January 17th, 2007 11:05 pm (UTC)
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Interesting, thanks - that certainly looks a lot more "professional" (for want of a better word) than DVDLender. The Windows app isn't a problem for me (and probably not for my SJA friends), although I'm guessing that it may be a limiting factor for people like nou. If I created an account there (which I haven't done yet), would I be able to click a button to say "Please lend me X", or would I need to contact you separately about that?

The other site I'm looking at is BillMonk (partly because it reminds me of the "Monkfish!" sketches from The Fast Show). There's an interview with the guys who developed it here, who both used to work at Amazon.com. I think that shows in the app itself, since it has a handy "bulk entry" feature, where you can enter a series of codes (e.g. ISBN numbers) and it will look them up against the Amazon website of your choice. Conveniently, it will accept line breaks as a separator, so I can run a SELECT query in my existing database, then copy/paste the results. So far it's been doing pretty well about matching the results; it couldn't find a few ISBN-13 numbers, but it did recognise the corresponding ISBN-10 numbers. The bulk entry page stopped loading properly in IE7 after my first go (it keeps saying that I have a local copy of the page that's out of date), so I'm using it in Firefox 2.0 instead, and that's working fine.

One advantage of BillMonk is that it can track more than just DVDs, e.g. books/music/games/clothing. They also have a system for tracking financial debts between friends, although I doubt I'll use that. The main disadvantage is that they limit each person's "library" to 500 items, which in my case is woefully inadequate :) Following up on sulkyblue's post about social networking sites, BillMonk will accept FaceBook accounts; that's no use to me, but I can see it being helpful if it's one less password to remember. The way visibility works is closer to LiveJournal than DVDLender is; rather than me defining a "gang", each person defines their own group of friends. That's more flexible, but it also involves a bit more work and duplication of effort for the individual people involved.
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From:rjw1
Date:January 17th, 2007 11:38 pm (UTC)
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obvioulsy they need to use openid.

also didnt lorna write a dvd sharign thing a while back. or rwas that books i forget.
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From:sulkyblue
Date:January 18th, 2007 09:56 am (UTC)
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Yes I did. I got bored and didn't finish it.
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From:johnckirk
Date:January 18th, 2007 12:44 pm (UTC)
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I did find something similar: The Open Media Lending Database. I don't know whether it supports OpenID, but it has links to a few other global catalogues. The main drawback there is that it's something I'd need to install on my own website, rather than being hosted elsewhere. Also, the last release was almost 2 years ago and their demo site now seems to be a page of spam links.
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From:billyabbott
Date:January 18th, 2007 06:37 am (UTC)
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DVDProfiler is a dvd catalgoue that lets you note who you've loaned things to rather than a lending system, so you'd have to look up things on other peoples pages (if they've synced them to their home collection) and then contact them seperately.

As for the bulk uploading, the software downloads a complete copy of the title and basic metadata database to your machine, so after you enter a barcode it find the dvd pretty much instantaneously. It then looks up all the DVDs you've entered on the dvdprofiler site and downloads all the user entered info from there - which is a cross between IMDB, Amazon and random obsessive information enterer's info. I don't think it's got a bulk imprt where you can just give it a text file though - you have to type/scan things directly into the app.
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From:johnckirk
Date:January 18th, 2007 11:03 pm (UTC)
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I've just installed the software, and it recognised the first barcode I tried, so that's quite impressive. Unfortunately, it's storing all of its data files in the installation folder (under C:\Program Files), so it doesn't work properly when I'm logged in as a basic user. There are a couple of workarounds for that (e.g. changing the permissions on that folder), but it's really a bug in the program itself. I've created a new topic in their forums, so I'll see how people respond to that.

Meanwhile, I submitted a couple of suggestions/requests to BillMonk last night (one of which was about their 500 item limit), and the automatic acknowledgment said that they'd reply within 24 hours, so I'm waiting to see how they get back to me as well. They can duel for the privilege of giving me a free service, mu-ha-ha!
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From:billyabbott
Date:January 19th, 2007 10:10 am (UTC)
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"Bug" it may be, but it's a bug that pretty much all small fee and free windows software seems to have. It's getting better, but not that fast - maybe Vista will be better...

I remember the experiment that one of our windows devs tried a couple of years back - he tried to develop using visual studio and a non-admin account. He lasted a few weeks, but gave up in the end.
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From:johnckirk
Date:January 19th, 2007 12:00 pm (UTC)
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I remember the experiment that one of our windows devs tried a couple of years back - he tried to develop using visual studio and a non-admin account. He lasted a few weeks, but gave up in the end.

Yes, I remember you mentioning that, and I've been meaning to write a post about my experiences with non-admin for the last year or so :) I gave a talk about this for my SJA skilled presenter training, so I'll try to transcribe my notes over the weekend.

As for the app itself, I am generally impressed by it, to the extent that I think I'll switch over to this as my primary database (replacing the Access file I've got at the moment), so thank you for the recommendation. I've entered most of my disks now, and I should get the rest of them finished tonight. I also found a couple that weren't already in the main database, so I have one contribution pending ("Battlestar Galactica: Season 1 & 2") - feel free to review that and vote on it :)
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From:johnckirk
Date:January 18th, 2007 01:24 am (UTC)
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Following up on this, BillMonk can't handle DVD barcodes at all, which is a black mark against it. They can accept ASINs (Amazon's own unique ID system), but since those aren't printed on the DVD box they aren't a great deal of use :)
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