Kate asked me to review the new “Pedia” media managers which organize books, CDs, DVDs, and games on your Mac.
The whole suite is a nifty collection of the way you want your stuff to be organized on your Mac. I have just one complaint. A mini rant, so keep reading.
Bruji is the publisher of DVDpedia, CDpedia, Gamepedia, and Bookpedia—four separate applications which fully organize all the respective media on a Mac.
Individually, or as a suite, these ‘Pedia’ utilities are a superb way to organize and track your media with detail and precision you never thought possible, and ease-of-use that is nothing short of remarkable, depending on how anal retentive you may or may not be.
Do you know where your DVDs are? Simply put, DVDpedia is a movie cataloging utility that takes your DVD collection and brings in all the information you need to know about a particular movie and stuffs it into a nifty database.
Think of DVDpedia as iTunes or iPhoto for your DVD collection, complete with cover art, details on stars, directors, and so on and you don’t have to do much to have it all show up in your Mac.
Scan or enter the DVD name and DVDpedia takes care of pulling down all the details from the ‘net. It even acts as a librarian so you can check out DVDs to family and friends and know who got what and how long they’ve had it. Even assign overdue fees when they don’t return it on time (alright, that’s not really a feature, but it should be).
And you thought iTunes was the cat’s meow for categorizing your music. It’s nothing compared to CDpedia. Slip in the CD and CDpedia starts the online search for info and details and you don’t have to do anything.
In the end, what you get is a similar refrain. Organized CDs. Again, it’s like organizing in iPhoto but even better. Sort, search, know what’s in iTunes and what’s not. Even track which of your friends still hasn’t returned the CDs they borrowed (how about a feature with an automatic reminder sent to your friends via email?).
See how this works? It’s using your Mac to organize what you have so you know what you’ve got.
Books are a bit different because you can’t just slide them into your Mac on the CD tray to have it pull down data from the ‘net. Bookpedia will do that but you need to enter some information about the number, or scan the code first. Still, there’s no easier way to get so much information about the books in your library without reading every single one first.
I’d like to see a feature that automatically dials those who’ve borrowed my books and threatens them with bodily harm unless they return the book pronto.
Does your Mac do games? Now that the Mac has Intel Inside, the game market just expanded, so look for more games. More games means more organizational requirements.
Gamepedia is for games what the other three utilities in the Bruji suite are for DVDs, CDs, and books. Organize, organize, organize.
The borrowed feature with due date is there, and so is export to iPod, .Mac. Got games? Get ‘me organized with Gamepedia.
As you might suspect with all these ‘Pedia’ utilities floating around, they share some common ground. The borrowed feature with due date is common. So is export to iPod and .Mac. Ditto for Spotlight integration. Each can use a scanner or iSight camera to input data. Each stands alone but exports a web page so you can publish your library to the whole frickin’ world to attract thieves.
Each has plenty of ways to sort, categorize, and make smart collections. Each integrates with Address book (for addresses and phone numbers so you can track down the family and friend thieves who won’t return anything).
Even better, you can download each one and try it out without purchasing first. There’s a simple limitation of the number of items for each. If all you have is 10 books, 10 CDs, 10 DVDs, and 10 games, then it’s like getting the whole suite for free. The nice folks at Bruji even save you money if you buy two, three, or all the ‘Pedias’ to enhance, enrich, and organize your life.
These are sweet suite tools which can make your disorganize media life a little more organized. I recommend hiring someone to do the actual work, especially the need to hire a big rough motorcycle rider to go to your friend’s homes to collect overdue books, CDs, and DVDs.
Rant Begins Here
There’s only so much time in a day. How much organizing do we really need in our lives? I have a few hundred CDs, and a similar number of books and DVDs. No games. Yet. They’re on a bookshelf. The CDs are also in my Mac and iPods. Books are on another matching bookshelf.
Is it necessary to organize every detail of what I own? Why not have a Mac utility that organizes my pantry? It could sort by cans, bottles, boxes. Recipe information could be based upon what’s actually in the pantry instead of what I think is there. A Foodpedia utility would tell me what’s too old to use, then check online for prices and compare one store against another.
That would be very, very cool. Foodpedia. It’s an idea whose time has come.
Or, has it. All of this organizing takes time and effort, then requires maintenance time over time. Buying stuff means managing stuff. I’m up to my ears managing work, kid, pregnancy, husband, and the 100 utilities and applications on my various Macs throughout the house. I don’t look forward to organizing anything else unless I can get someone to do it for me.
End of rant.
Don’t mind me. It’s just the hormones talking.