Delicious Library: A Review

4 03 2009

After showing the grandparents Delicious Library’s iSight scanning feature, they set me on a mammoth of a task; they wanted me to set up a catalogue of all their books. And what a mammoth that was. A big, furry, brown, knock-your-door-down woolly mammoth. They have a three-part floor-to-ceiling bookcase with 18 total shelves, 6 shelves in the study and two bookcases in the bedroom, 8 total shelves. The shelves in the study and bedroom are stacked two deep on every shelf. As you can probably guess, this took quite a while, giving me some very extensive use of Delicious Library (Version 1). So what was it like?

Setting Up The Library

Getting the library to the point of being able to start the process was a doddle. Just open the app and there it was, ready to import all the books. I wanted to sort all the books by location, so I added a virtual shelf for each physical shelf in the house. This was very quick and easy to do, just clicking the “+” sign at the bottom of the Collections panel added each one.

Importing The Books

Importing the books was also simple, and even quite fun. The main way of importing is using the iSight camera (unless you already had a wired one, there’s no way to get one now – only built-ins available now) to scan the barcodes of the books. Any cynical readers out there will most definitely be saying to themselves right now, “That can’t possibly work for every single book”. And in some ways, you’re actually right. 97% of the barcodes I scanned did work, and Delicious picked up, from Amazon, what the book was from the scan. Another 2.9% of them didn’t actually have barcodes (they are my Grandparents, remember), or the barcodes were too old to still work on Amazon, or the books were American and so had different barcodes. The last 0.1% just refused to scan altogether. However, this last 3% was easy to import still because of the fact that you can search for a title, author, or ISBN number – which means that no book is impossible to import.

Organising The Library

Obviously there’s no point importing all those books without doing anything with them. I was planning on sorting by location, so I moved the books to their appropriate shelves by dragging. This was very intuitive. To be able to then sort by location later, all I had to do was select them, click in the Location  In Building field and typing in the location – Study, Shelf 4, for example. There was also the option to add custom art – that is, the picture shown for the front cover of the book.

Sharing The Library

Seeing as they wanted the library to remember where all their books were, I needed to export the library to give it to them. This is where the disappointment came. There was only one option: to export as a .txt file. Even this was, to be honest, rubbish. It doesn’t get formatted and isn’t even set out logically. To get the library to them, I had to download the free trial of Library 2 so that I could export it to Excel. I was not happy about this.

Report Card

Set-Up – 5/5          Importing – 5/5          Organisation – 5/5          Exporting – 0/5

Overall – 15/20

Final Thoughts: Delicious Library is a great app, but it is let down on its one export feature. If I had the option, I’d get Version 2, but I don’t. I recommend you do though.


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Happy Birthday!

18 10 2008

Today, as you probably guessed, was my birthday. Well, I say this, but it was also Harry’s birthday as well. How’s that for bad planning? Anyway, what did I get other than Spore?

An iPod Touch (which I’m using to type this)
A 1TB external hard drive (which we had to send back as it didn’t work)
$100 (yes, it was American dollars!)
A case for my iPod
3 books
Another £40 to make £105
£20 iTunes voucher

So, it was a good 15th birthday! And to top it off, we went to the Thai Elephant 2 in Peacehaven for an all-you-can-eat dinner!

Check out one of the cards I got!

PS Episode 2 of Mr Cheese’s Stop Motion Show went live today. See you soon!