Library Status Update

12.23.16 Book Catalog Program Reviews

I have been talking to Owen about issues with Booxster all semester. Wednesday, it malfunctioned again and deleted my new book entries. This motivated me to write my review of the program and evaluate some other software.

 

My final judgment is: “Readerware.”

 I searched online and found a bunch of software. I excluded software meant for large libraries. I also excluded any software that did not have customizable fields, import/export function or a barcode reader.

I prioritized programs that showed up in multiple search results and had multiple user evaluations on different sites. I also checked to make sure the company was current and continued to provide customer support and updates.

I searched free and paid software. Most of the completely free software did not offer any support. Some of it looked quite good, but I thought the lack of support could be a problem.

I downloaded trial versions and manipulated them at home with some of my own books. I gave each program a fairly thorough evaluation.

I like the readerware format. It does everything we need. It allows some things that Booxter does not, like large batch editing and export to csv. It seems to have some issues editing authors but so does Booxter. I think most of the issue is that the database information is sometimes wrong.

Ordering the authors is frustrating but I would say the problem is fairly annoying on both ends. Booxter forces you to manually prioritize authors by dragging them up and down within a tiny box that is hard to see. Readerware makes you delete them and  add them again. I don’t think either is any faster or easier.

Readerware has a report generator. Like Booxter, it is HTML based. It is better simply because it is more flexible. I can control how it looks so it can be printed more easily.

 

 Individual Evaluations

Booxster, Personal Librarian at Your Service

“Booxter helps you track your collections of books, music, movies and comics on your Mac. It is powerful, fun, and easy to use.”

This is the program we already have on the Mac in the Art Library. It is a functional database that should be able to handle books, music and video.

Pros

  • Bookster is easy to use.
  • It has user defined genre and location fields. We need those.
  • We already have it.
  • The books are all scanned in.
  • It could be hard to switch since it does not seem to have a common database file.
  • It has good auto save. Everything is saved as you go, so you don’t have to remember.

Cons

  • It does not have a common database file to export to. This is my biggest concern. I hate to do so much work cataloging when I know the data can’t be manipulated by any other program.
  • No function to edit multiple books. This is really annoying. It would be nice to be able to change genres to lots of books at nice.
  • It is hard to print from. It would be nice to be able to print inventory lists in a more orderly manner.
  • It seems to be buggy. It has shut down on me twice for no apparent reason. Both times it lost data.

 

CollectorZ, Book Database Software

Book or Music: 29.95 or 49.95. I can’t find the add on costs.

This is another database program. It appears to have separate Apps for Books, Music, Comics and Games. It does not seem to have a video system but the music system might work. It comes in Standard and Pro versions. It comes with Free Cloud Database Backup.

Add ons Available

“Book Collector Connect” which allows books to be edited from any location.

Mobile App to export database to a tablet or phone

Barcode Scanner

I downloaded the software to my home computer to have a look at it.

Pros

  • Reasonably easy interface but not as clean as Booxter.
  • Import/export database from XML and Text files. Not sure if this is usable. I think bookster does XML. I don’t understand how it works. I think that text files would allow the “Comma separated values” to be imported or exported.
  • I like the music software. It can scan each CD in and organize all the tracks as MP3s. I understand that we have already begin that process in some form. It would be nice to have it all organized.

Cons

  • Seems a bit overpriced since you have to pay for each part separately. Then you have to pay more for add ons.
  • The layout isn’t awesome. It isn’t as customizable as I would like.

 

Readerware: Books Database

“The easiest, fastest way to catalog your books, nothing else comes close. If you love books, are an avid reader, collector, researcher or anyone who needs to maintain a library of books, then Readerware is a must-have product.”

Book, Music or Video Software: 39.95

Includes

Mobil App

Offers

Music and Video Databases separately

I installed the trial version on my home computer to evaluate it. It was buggy and did not install all that smoothly.

Pro

  • Easy to use
  • Large Batch edit
  • Barcode Reader (might need an add on, can’t tell from overview)
  • Want List – I like this function. I think we could use it to let people put in requests.
  • Font Adjust – A small but happy convenience
  • Copy Citation Tool. It only does APA and MLA, which is too bad since I think we are more likely to use Chicago, but it is a nice feature. It isn’t terribly hard to convert APA to Chicago.
  • Option for Portable Installation of program and database on a drive. This is useful. We can easily run the program from anywhere if we need to.
  • It can maintain an author database as well. I don’t know that I want to enter it, but it can be done.

Con

  • The auto catalog makes you select each site. Booxter automatically does the Library of Congress and then amazon. Maybe selecting is better. You can prioritize it yourself. I would need more books to figure that out with.
  • Same as Collectorz. You have to buy the Music, Book and Video software separately. Also, I was hoping for a program that would also let us catalog the art in the cabinets. I am not sure this could do that.
  • I uploaded three books. The author was either wrong or not listed on all three. I need a bigger pool to tell how significant the problem is. Booxter does it too so it may just be a database issue.
  • Editing the author category was annoying. I had to delete the author and then add again to get them to list the correct primary author.
  • I wish it would export to excel but I think a CSV can be converted to excel pretty easily so it’s not a big deal
  • Does not seem to do label printing (not that Owen would let me label the books anyway)