Bambi wondered if a book, CD or DVD library application was a solution looking for a problem.
For some, iCal or AddressBook might be a solution looking for a problem. But both solve problems most of us have.
I’ve got books, CDs, and DVDs and friends who borrow each. That’s a problem and now I have a solution.
We started a bit of an uproar when Bambi described Delicious Monster’s Delicious Library as a solution looking for a problem.
Hamburger for one, is steak for another. One person’s problem is another person’s idea and a customer’s solution.
Jack and I combined two families and the end result is that we have a book collection which rivals Borders and nearly as many DVDs as the Blockbuster down the street. Neighbors come here first when a new DVD hits Blockbuster. Oh, did I mention hundreds of CDs?
Each collection of DVDs and books has its own shelf. Until this week we had no real idea exactly how many books or DVDs we had. CDs? Hey, they’re all inside iTunes where they belong.
That’s it. We have a problem. A growing and messy collection of DVDs and books and CDs. As a rather large family made up of individual families, we have relatives and friends who “borrow” both books and CDs.
Do I keep track of who got what? Of course not. At least, that’s what it used to be.
Enter Bruji Software. And Bruji the dog. Bruji (the software folks who named their dog Bruji) develop and publish DVDpedia, CDpedia and Bookpedia, applications which act as a library for your media and books.
So, if you don’t have a huge book collection but have plenty of DVDs, just use DVDpedia. Reverse that for books and CDs. All three applications are Universal Binaries so they’ll run on PPC Macs and new Intel Macs and still cost you less than Delicious Library.
What do you get with each? For DVDpedia you can use your iSight camera (or a scanner) to scan bar codes on your DVDs.
That simple process gets information about the DVD into DVDpedia, including DVD covers, movie information, all the detail you don’t want to enter into a list by hand.
The screen layout is different than Delicious Library, opting more for the iTunes, iPhoto layout of left column, main column, so navigation is straightforward.
Just as straightforward is the Borrowed DVD feature, including a due date. That means you can loan a DVD to a friend or relative, set a due date, and their contact information comes straight from Apple’s AddressBook.
Since all the information you’re collecting goes into a database, there’s statistics, Spotlight integration, sync with .Mac, even a wishlist.
Bruji includes a Widget for your Mac’s Dashboard, though most of us know that Widgets truly are a problem looking for a solution.
Bookpedia works pretty much the same way. iSight can scan the book’s bar code and pull up information about the book.
There’s the Borrowed Book feature, AddressBook integration for borrowers, a Wishlist collection, and so on.
There’s also a nifty MLA style bibliography draw-up which comes in handy when you have books that may show up in school book reports.
DVDpedia and Bookpedia export information to iPods so you always know what you’ve got in your home Borders or Blockbuster.
Applications which catalog your books and DVDs are certainly a solution to those of us with problems managing our collections. The larger the family, the more books and DVDs to worry about.
Books run $10 to $50 each, on average. DVDs are $5 to $25, sometimes more for the collections that Jack so loves. Multiply each times a few hundred and the total collection is valuable enough to keep track of.
Just as you’ll be impressed with the look and functionality of Delicious Library, so will you like the straightforward, intuitive DVDpedia and Bookpedia.
I’ve added both to my collection of Mac applications which have managed to provide a solution to a problem. Now I just need a Mac Applicationpedia to keep track of all my Mac utilities.