capsule review Book Collector

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Book Collector

The most useful feature (one shared by competitors, though), is ISBN lookup. You enter an ISBN number, and Book Collector will go online to search for it. If it is found--and not all ISBNs, but then again, I own some obscure books--you will be given a massive download of information, including cover art, plot summaries, author, publication history, etc. All of this is then auto-entered into your database. Even better, BookCollector is designed to integrate with a barcode scanner, and they sell different ones through their site, including the infamous CueCat. (Infamous not for its functionality, but for its role as a symbol of everything wrong with the Internet 'bubble'. The scanner itself works fine.)

You can, of course, enter data manually--and there are so many fields that aren't auto-filled that you will probably have to, if that information is of use to you. The bulk of users will be happy with only a few fields filled in--author, title, value, maybe one or two more. But if you need or want more... Book Collector is happy to provide. The publishing company, inclusion of extras (such as a CD or a map), major characters, owner, plot summary, links to Web sites (for example, a programming book can be noted as linking to a site with additional source code or example), and on, and on. Book Collector makes it fairly easy to add custom fields, such as new genre types, and new categories within a genre.

In comparison to BookCAT, I found Book Collector to be more intuitive and friendly, but also less customizable.

--Ian Harac

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Book Collector

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