Is your Mac a good tool to organize everything in your house? Can it turn your book, CD, DVD, and game collection into a library, complete with bar code scanning and, gasp!, borrowers?
Yes. Add another spoke to the digital hub with Delicious Library.
There was a time when personal computers didn’t do much. The original Macs had a word processor, a paint application, and… a nifty bomb icon when the computer crashed.
We’ve come a long way, baby. Years ago, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the Mac was a digital hub.
If so, we’re adding spokes to the hub at an alarming rate. iTunes for music, videos, and TV shows. iMovie HD for movie creation, iDVD for DVD creation, iPhoto for digital photographs.
There’s iCal and AddressBook and Mail and Safari and Keynote and Pages. That’s not to mention using the Mac for everything else. I mean everything, not just spreadsheets and word processors and databases and graphics applications.
Enter a delicious library application called Delicious Library. This nifty looking Mac application garnered tremendous praise when released a couple of years ago.
What you get in Library is an attractive design that lets you organize and catalog and display your media collections.
Not the digital collections of media on your Mac. The real ones. Atoms, not bits. Books, music CDs, movie DVDs, even games.
Library is deceptively simple. In the center is a rack similar to what you’d see at a book store, or the DVD/VCR rental stores. Shelves of books, CDs, DVDs, games.
The left column displays icons for books, movies, music, games, and then a few sections such as Children, Science, etc.
Below that are the Borrowers. You didn’t think you could have your own library without borrowers, did you? That’s what I thought, but apparently not.
Your borrowers are pulled from AddressBook. You can add or subtract borrowers accordingly.
Click on the icon of a particular movie on the shelf, say, Finding Nemo or Toy Story 2.
The right column displays details on the movie. The publisher, release date, the stars, theatre debut, original retail price, the UPC code, the movie’s rating, run time and a synopsis of the movie.
All that is very nice if you have a decent collection of books, movies, music and games that you want to organize. The library shelves look great. Borrowing a book or CD or DVD or game is as simple as dragging the icon to the borrower. Done.
What could be cooler than a cool looking library on your Mac that holds, organizes, and tracks your books, CDs, DVDs, games?
There’s just one problem.
How do you get all your books, CDs, DVDs, and games into the library in the first place? Adding items to the library can be done by using any Firewire digital video camera which gets used as a bar code scanner.
Point the camera at your book or CD or DVD, scan the UPC code, and Delicious Library will bring in the details, the colorful icon, and let you place the item on the proper shelf.
Wait a minute. Delicious Library is $40 by itself. Now I have to have a digital camera, too? Those are $100 or more. Apple’s iSight is $130.
Remarkably, the scanning actual works. Point the iSight at the bar code and you get a beep; just like the scanners at a store.
All the details on the scanned item show up in Delicious Library. Click and save.
What could be easier (besides having someone else do all the scanning for you?)?
So, here’s my problem. I don’t loan out my DVDs, CDs, or books very often, as in seldom, as in almost never.
All those things sit on my shelves, I know where they are, I can find each item easily enough (it’s a collection; it collects dust; that’s what collections do), so I really have to wonder about the value of organizing everything.
Is Delicious Library a solution looking for a problem? Is this an implementation of cool technology that’s more cool than useful? Yes, for most of us.
For some, Delicious Library is the cat’s pajamas and the coolest thing you can do on a Mac. For others, including me, it’s the coolest looking new technology for my Mac that I’ll probably never use.
Delicious Library is from Delicious Monster. A cool name and a cool utility does not always for usefulness make.