capsule review

SundryTools

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder SundryTools

"It's a floor wax! It's a dessert topping!" So went the tagline to an ancient Saturday Night Live sketch, and it applies nicely to the well-named SundryTools XV. It organizes MP3s and DVDs. It has a scheduler. It has a notepad. It auto-kills errant processes. It currently won't clean the litterbox, but I'm sure it's on the to-do list for the developer, somewhere.

So it does a lot of things--the above doesn't list them all--but does it do them well? There, as the Bard says, is the rub.

While the idea of an all-in-one tool is great, it helps if the tools are thematically related. A combination hammer and axe is useful; a combination hammer and measuring cup, not so much. So it is with Sundry Tools XV. The parts simply do not gel into a useful whole, and I found the interface confusing and contradictory, even within a single tool. Adding CDs and DVDs, for example, was much more difficult than it should have been; it was not always intuitive what button to click, and when. It does have some useful tools and features--for example, it is integrated with the Gracenote online music database, and can download information about a newly-inserted CD. Despite this, none of the individual components are as powerful as those in more focused programs.

Still, it's a fun little concept, and it's free. Those who are short on disk space (laptop users, for example), might find that having so many different functions crammed into the same program is helpful for them.

Note: This program is donationware. It is free to try, but the author accepts and encourages donations towards further development.

--Ian Harac

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder SundryTools

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