Teachers teach. Students learn. Sometimes, it’s the other way around. One of the teachers in the school where I work as a Mac system administrator asked me about Booxter.
I’m up on many hundreds of Mac apps, but not Booxter. A student told his teacher to use Booxter as a library for books, music, movies, and comics. What’s Booxter? A very capable Mac app that tracks collections of books, or music, or movies, or comics or all of them.
Collectors Need Collections Tools
Students, teachers, and the rest of us are collectors. We collect things. Digitally, our Macs collect photos and movies in iPhoto, movie clips and productions in iMovie, music, TV shows and iPhone apps in iTunes.
That’s three complex applications to store common digital media collections.
Booxter is a Mac app that manages Mac media collections in libraries. If you collect things, specifically books, music, movies, and comic books, then Booxter becomes the librarian with features not available in iPhoto, iMovie, or iTunes.
How do you get the details for books, music, movies, and comics into Booxter? Scan bar codes using your Mac’s iSight camera. Or, use a Bluetooth or USB barcode scanner. Scan each object and Booxter digs around on the internet for all the details.
Once information is found online and attached to your scanned item you can edit, update, or add or retrieve information. The Booxter interface is straightforward but appears busy and complex.
You can add a collected item one at a time or in batches. Items can be grouped into smart lists. Even with thousands and thousands of items, simple filtering makes it easy to find what’s in your collection.
View your collections three different ways. The List view above, or the Filter view so you can easily find a specific item or collection, or the Tag view (below).
Any app which proclaims to be a collection management app needs to be easy to use. While getting media scanned and into Booxter is straightforward (it’s hard to beat a barcode scanner), after that Booxter becomes rather complex.
Items are stored in libraries which lists all the details. Assigning tags to each item is tedious. Smart lists are quick to create but with many hundreds or thousands of items to be filtered and categorized, seems like a lot of work.
Details can also be imported from other library or collection apps using standard comma or tab-delimited text files. Conversely, your library details can be exported using CSV, XML, even HTML files.
One benefit for true blue Mac collectors is the ability to export and view your library on your iPhone or iPod touch.
That’s very handy for collectors who share items is the Lending function which tracks what you lend and to whom (using integration with Address Book).
Much of the online searching for detail is accomplished via Amazon (various countries), the US Library of Congress (and other national libraries). Music is limited to searches on Amazon. Comics have only two databases to search.
Other than the clumsy, somewhat cluttered interface, Booxter works. It’s not as pretty as Delicious Library (but more expensive), but easier than buying four apps from Bruji—DVDpedia, Bookpedia, Gamepedia, or CDpedia, or cross platform like Librarian Pro.