Cool Tool Alert – Delicious Library

Okay, yes- Christian has been doing his own ‘Cool Tool Friday’ for a while now, so I’d been laying off the off-topic blogs. But I’m forced to make exception today for this Mac OSX gem. If you, like myself, have astronomically-large CD/DVD/book/videogame collections and haven’t taken the plunge to try and catalogue them by hand, Delicious Library is your answer. A native OS 10.3.x application, Delicious Library can use your iSight (or other webcam) to scan barcodes off your media, automatically grabs the associated product data/cover art from Amazon’s web service, and provides a VERY fast (and elegant) way to catalog your entire media collection. But that’s not all- it integrates with your Mac Address Book and iCal to allow you to loan items to contacts and set due dates/reminders for returns (something I’m horrible at tracking in analog), as well as to search for related items/suggestions at Amazon based on your currently-owned items.

Sure, you say- sounds tasty, but does it really work well in practice? Case in point- I catalogued my entire 300+ DVD collection in less than an hour via iSight, and it only missed two of them in the lookup (which it subsequently found by keyword searching from within the Delicious Library UI later)- including some very obscure international titles and anime compilations. You can also purchase a portable, wireless Bluetooth barcode scanner device from Delicious (which allows caching of barcodes if you’re out of Bluetooth range- nice touch).In my opinion, this application is a world-class example of occasionally-connected applications leveraging web services, seamlessly integrated with external hardware and OS-level applications. Kudos to the development team (who apparently came from the well-known Mac/NeXt development shop Omni Group). I purchased the full license only 10 minutes after downloading the demo, if that’s any indication… :)