10.5: Delicious Library 2 - Track more of your stuff

Aug 11, '08 06:35:00AM

Contributed by: robg

The first version of Delicious Library was a Pick of the Week way back in 2004. At the time, Delicious Library let you easily catalog your books, movies, music, and video games -- it could read bar codes using an iSight camera, and then look up data for those bar codes on the web, greatly simplifying the task of creating a digital version of your collection. Your collection is then displayed with virtual representations of the books, movies, etc., using images that are also downloaded from the web.

Version 2 picks up where version one left off, with a slew of new features and performance tweaks. In addition to the original categories, new categories allow you to track tools, toys, software, gadgets, and clothing. The user interface has been overhauled, replacing the sidebar of version one with a lower window pane that presents a variety of information related to the selected item. You can see a synposis of the item from Amazon; detailed info such as publication date, retail price, purchase date, etc.; snippets of reviews from Amazon; and recommendations (again, from Amazon) for other related items that you may like.

For those who loan out items in their collection, it seems like the loan-and-return interface is now easier to use. However, I don't use this feature at all, so I'm not in the best position to comment on it.

The program now uses CoreAnimation to display your library, which provides for fast scrolling and resizing, as well as some nifty animations when you add or delete items from the library. There are strong links between iTunes and DL2, so much so that changes in iTunes song info, for instance, are automatically read into DL2.

One of my complaints with the previous version of DL was that it got slow, even with my moderately-sized collection. Between the use of CoreAnimation, a change to a SQL database back-end, and other behind-the-scenes changes, speed is no longer an issue, even (apparently) for those with thousands of items in their collections. I certainly haven't noticed any slowness while using the program.

There are tons of other changes in version two as well; this page on the Delicious Library site does a much better job of covering them all than I ever could. Suffice it to say that if you liked version one, you'll probably love version two. And if you've never used Delicious Library, check out the demo to see everything its capable of doing. You'll be limited to, I believe, 25 items, but that's enough to get a sense of the program's capabilities.

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