Thursday, November 4, 2010

Collectorz Software To Organize Your Home Library



Collectorz.com is a company that creates software to organize your collections of books, music, movies, games, MP3s, comics and photos.  As members of the TOS Homeschool Crew, our family was given the Book Collector Pro Edition to review.


If my  bookshelves looked this great, I wouldn't need Collectorz to help me keep track of the books I own.  But my shelves aren't that organized.  They're double-shelved, topsy-turvy, and organized more by book-size than the Dewey decimal system.  Yes, I occasionally find I already owned a school book after I've either borrowed it from the library, or bought another copy.



That's where Book Collector saves the day.  If you have a list of all your books, you can easily check the list before buying or borrowing a book.  There are even apps that let you put your Collectorz database on your iPhone (or other mobile device), so you can check your personal library when you're out shopping.



If there were a fire, tornado, or hurricane that destroyed your home and personal belongings, then you'd have a list of books for your insurance company.  Just refer to a printed report of your book collection (which would need to be stored in a safe location outside your home.)  You can also export the data to a text file, html file, or pdf file which can be saved on a USB stick or saved elsewhere.










Book Collector works with Windows, Macs,  iPhones or iPod Touches, and other mobile devices.  However, the database can only be uploaded to a mobile device or iPhone if you've purchased the Pro edition.  If you don't want to type in the ISBN of each book manually, you can use a barcode scanner to speed up the data-entry process.  Once you enter the ISBN for a book, the software downloads book title, image, and publication information from the internet.  After you verify that it found the right book information, you can add it to your database.



There are two different levels of license:  Book Collector Standard and Book Collector Pro.   Collectorz.com explains the differences between them HERE.  The Standard version ($29.95) works well for a basic catalog that you want stored on your hard drive.  The Pro version($49.95)  allows you to copy your database to mobile devices, as well as offering more options for filtering your data and creating reports.   Collectorz.com offers a 30-day free trial of Book Collector Pro.




I don't have a barcode scanner, but I found it fairly easy to move a stack of books to my desk, and type the ISBN into the Book Collector software.  Once I started, I fell into a rhythm that moved quickly and smoothly.  The biggest part of the task is removing books from the shelves to bring to my desk, then returning them to the shelf.  If I had the software on a laptop, it'd be easier.  The task could be done at the shelf itself, especially if  one person read out the ISBN number and another person typed it in.



Book Collector seems to work very well.  I haven't been able to test its barcode scanner features, or its mobile device features, but the basic software has been trouble-free for us.  We haven't run into any bugs in the software.



I wish I had found the Book Collector software before our family had filled 8 large bookshelves in our home.   It would have been so much simpler to start cataloging my books when there were less of them.  At the moment, it seems to be an enormous task.  This is a project we'll have to tackle during our summer break, or work on a little at a time.  It isn't the highest priority project in our home, though, so it will be a slow process.



If you've been looking for a book catalog system for your home library, try out the 30-day free trial of Book Collector Pro.




This item was provided free for our review as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew.  We received no other compensation, and this review is our honest opinion.  Visit the TOS Homeschool Crew blog to read more reviews on this product by other Homeschool Crew members.


Trusting In Him,
April

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