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Topic: Database Software or just Excel?

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Subject: Database Software or just Excel?
Date Posted: 2/8/2008 11:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2007
Posts: 1,469
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Hi all,

Not exactly a question about PBS...but didn't know where else to put this question.

Who all has a database set up on their computer of their media...if if you do...what do you use. If you use a specific software...which one? How many just use a note book? In otherwords...please tell me how you keep from ordering the same book twice.



Date Posted: 2/8/2008 11:40 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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while it won't help me a lot, I keep track of the books I have and have read on goodreads.com.  I have read way many more books than I have listed there, but at least it is a start.

Date Posted: 2/9/2008 1:13 AM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2007
Posts: 181
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I created a database in Paradox (I could do the same thing in Access, but at the time, I didn't have Access on my computer) and use that to keep track of my books.  I copy it to my Palm so that I have it with me in stores.  It works well but is not foolproof.   The problems, of course, come from human error--mine!  Sometimes I fail to enter a book (or books) at the time I acquire it for one reason or another.  To my vast disappointment, one of the very first books I got from PBS turned out to be a book I had already read but for some reason didn't add to my list.  And what made it worse was that I didn't like it the first time in spite of the fact that it was by one of my favorite authors!  What a waste of a credit. 

Still, I could not function without that database.  I created it years ago when I got tired of taking books back to the bookstore because they were duplicates of ones I already had.  I kept thinking there had to be a better way.  And there was.  I prefer keeping my own list to having one on some site on the web because I have more confidence that it won't suddenly disappear on me (as long as I remember to back it up), but others may prefer the convenience of an online site.

My husband swears by spreadsheets but I find databases much more flexible for this kind of thing.   One problem is that database software tends to be expensive.  Another is that not everyone has the knowledge or the patience to learn how to set up a database.

Date Posted: 2/9/2008 8:41 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,695
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Personally I TAG all my books here on PBS.  That way when I'm browsing here looking for books on someone's bookshelf or just searching it has this nice little TAG that says "already read -clh" or "WL-clh" or TBR-clh" or "reminder-clh"  it is absolutely wonderful here.  As I browse I'm still adding books to all of the categories.

Date Posted: 2/9/2008 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2006
Posts: 130
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I use Delicious Libary, a database software developed specifically to keep track of media, and while I think its only for Mac, I'm sure there are other products for PCs. I paid $40, and recently finished cataloguing all the CDs in my house, cause that's where the duplication was a problem........I've also catalogued all the art and coffee table books, DVDs are next. As to books, I'm trying to use the PBS TBR list and bookshelf for now.....I do print them out occasionally.

http://www.delicious-monster.com/  (I have no financial interest in this)

Hope that helps!



Date Posted: 2/9/2008 1:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2007
Posts: 1,469
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Thank you all for your responses!

Date Posted: 2/9/2008 3:27 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2007
Posts: 181
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Elizabeth - I clicked on your link but am getting a "page not found" message.  Any idea what's up with that?

Although I've done my own databases for both books and CDs, I wouldn't mind finding ones that are better.  Designing databases is tricky and for some of these things, making it be what you really want is way too much work.  I'm fairly happy with the ones I've done for myself, but if I can find a professionally done one that's better, I might buy it.  So far, I've always preferred my own since they're customized to my needs, but who knows, it's definitely always possible that someone else has improved on my attempts.

Date Posted: 2/9/2008 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
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I have an Access database to track my books.

Date Posted: 2/9/2008 3:37 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2007
Posts: 181
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Melanie - Is it one you've done yourself or is it one you purchased?

Date Posted: 2/9/2008 8:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2005
Posts: 589
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I created an Access database for my books as soon as I bought my first computer.  One thing you have to remember is to back them up regularly.  My hard-drive died once and I lost several months worth of information because I hadn't backed it up in a while.

Date Posted: 2/9/2008 9:10 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 1,691
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Not sure why the link gave me the same problem (page not found), but I googled it and this link works:    http://www.delicious-monster.com/ 

It looks like great software, but I have a PC so I wouldn't be able to use it.  It looked very user friendly.

Last Edited on: 2/9/08 9:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/9/2008 9:20 PM ET
Member Since: 3/15/2006
Posts: 606
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I use BookCollector. I paid for it but it's well worth it. I had a CueCat so I scanned in all of my books (all 1250+ of em). I have them organized by Location. The main reason I bought BC was because it allows me to export my collection to my iPod. So when I'm out, I just check my iPod to see what I have :D

next, I'm making a database for all the books I don't have and really want. That ought to be fun..my amazon wishlist is 20+ pages

Date Posted: 2/9/2008 9:43 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2006
Posts: 1,467
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I use an Excel spreadsheet.

Date Posted: 2/9/2008 11:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2005
Posts: 4,469
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I use bookpedia(it's mac shareware)--they have dvdpedia and cdpedia that you can buy, too.  You can try it at bruji.com(I think to buy it's $18).


ETA:  Sucker that I am, I had to test the delicous library thing, and I like it much, much better than bookpedia--I can actually scan the barcode on their isight version without waving the book around like I do on bookpedia.  Plus, I don't have to buy the cd and dvd things seperately--and there's a $10 discount since I already own bookpedia. 

Last Edited on: 2/10/08 3:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/9/2008 11:56 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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I use Readerware for my books. They have alternates for videos & audios.

I use the cuecat to scan in the barcodes, and the software goes out to the Internet and finds the book on several sites, and then fills in all the standard information such as title, author, publisher, dimensions, pages, dates, a description if it finds one, series info if it's in one, location, condition of the book, category, keywords, and other things.

Then it has user definable fields which I've tagged for Swap/Keep/Sent || Sherry/Marcus/Karen || oversized || kids/teens || ToBePosted/ToBeRead/Posted || and others

I have nearly 9,000 books catalogued, and stil have room for more ;)


Date Posted: 2/10/2008 10:18 AM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2007
Posts: 159
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I use LibraryThing.com.  It's user-friendly, you can export it in a few different ways, and you can see people with similar tastes.  It's also cuecat compatible, if you have one.

Subject: The Groqit alternative
Date Posted: 2/11/2008 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2008
Posts: 1
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Thereís a new website that has a lot of list-creating and organizing tools, that can be used for free. The site is particularly designed to look up and translate from barcode information, since they market a portable barocde-reader/list-storage gadget. But you donít have to buy anything to use the site. It also makes it easier to create lists (when youíre doing it manually) by filling in some of the informaition automatically. For instance, when you type in a book title, it will offer to fill in author and some other stuff. Or if you type in the ISBN it will give back Title and Author from the siteís book database. The site has data already there, residing on its servers, which is very different from all of the software that IĎm aware of. The way it usually works is the program goes out searching the internet for data. Thatís slower and isnít always very accurate. This is less frustrating. At least thatís the way it seems to far Ė as I said, this is very new. The site is groqit.com. Unless you want to buy a gadget, everything there is free. Once you have made your lists, you can download them and print them out.

Last Edited on: 2/11/08 8:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1