Someone might ask why catalog data on a computer, since the system itself catalogs it in several ways. There is a lot of truth in this, today system metadata “does the job”, but not in every case. The solution I have provided will be useful to people who, like me, process large amounts of data and are forced to periodically archive it and delete it from the computer / cloud. With today’s prices and hard drive capacities, fortunately, this task is much simpler than in the days when CD-R and DVD-R discs were the kings of archiving. The tool I use comes from those “dark” times.
DiskCatalogMaker is a program that I have been using since time immemorial, used to instantly catalog what we have on disks and discs. These are scanned automatically and databases can be quickly updated when needed. The program saves data on all files, including those hidden inside packages. It can also save files that are invisible to the user.
From the database level, we can open our files, of course, if, after finding it in the directory, we attach the indicated disk from the archive to the computer. Together with an external dock for quick connection of “naked” hard drives, it creates a set that makes finding files even from many years ago a piece of cake. You will find the program here.
In the case of cataloging photos, I went through various stages and I remember most pleasantly the Aperture program, already killed by Apple. I used Capture One for a while, which I received when buying one of the cameras, but I must admit honestly, I was not compatible with the logic of its operation.
After a few months of torment, I jumped to the Lightroom I had, and so due to paying for Creative Cloud. I liked the Adobe product more, but I still had the impression that it required too much attention to work with photos to the extent I needed, while at the same time offering too little modern, intelligent solutions.
Finally, I ended up with the system Photos, which in the meantime have developed significantly (initially they did not reach the heels of even the old iPhoto) and are probably the most convenient solution for today. If I had more “professional” photos at the moment, requiring some advanced processing, I would probably separate the bases and leave the private ones in the system application, and transfer them to Lightroom for work.
Of course, the program is one thing, but in order to catalog the photos well, it is worth remembering about describing, segregating and rating photos. It is also important to learn to throw away some of them, then those left aside actually become a souvenir that you can use from time to time. Otherwise, they will be a growing ballast taking up more and more disk space. Hence, I try to clean the base on a regular basis (not always successful), and once a year I sit down and do a final purge;)
Digital music and movies
I decided to keep music files and movies in the system databases. As always in the case of Apple, these programs are aesthetic, fast and stable in operation, although often competing solutions may have greater possibilities. Their ecosystem capabilities are their added value. I am not looking for other solutions, the future is streaming, possibly supported by a collection of vinyls, so I do not bother looking for a bit better solutions.
Digital books and publications
He is the only one to catalog books mainly in… Finder, with the help of an extensive structure of folders. Unfortunately, even because of the DjVu format, in which I have a large part of the books, it is impossible to choose one program for comprehensive service.
I tried to import the database to Caliber once, but unfortunately there is chaos in the metadata of Polish publications, that the serial import of data ended up in a garbage can in the database. The additional one, with my amount of books and publications, swelled so much that problems with computer performance and disk space began.
Physical CDs, films, books, vinyls
It is true that physical formats are becoming less and less popular and are losing out to VOD, Spotify services or even ordinary YouTube, but some of you certainly have large collections of this type. Additionally, paper books still outperform their digital counterparts.
Unfortunately, living in Poland, the larger a library of this type we have to archive, the bigger the problem will be. If creating the database is to be simple, we should be able to read the barcode, for example with an iPhone, and the program should do the rest itself. It is also good for him to integrate with contacts or have his own personal base that allows you to manage rentals.
We will find at least a few programs of this type, unfortunately with Polish titles it works badly, or not at all … I have tested a lot of programs of this type and I have one application selected, which maybe in the future will allow me to create such a directory from its true meaning. It is the Delicious Library 3 program that allows you to catalog books, CDs, as well as e.g. tools and household appliances.
It has the aforementioned rental management system, barcodes can be scanned with a scanner, a computer camera or an iPhone application. So far, I enter the data into it completely casually, monitoring from time to time whether the automatic title search has improved.
The program is not without flaws, it does not allow, for example, to catalog e-books (at least Polish) on the basis of e-ISBN, it also has a bit of strange ergonomics. However, out of all the programs I tested, this one is closest to what I would expect from such an application.
I have tested quite a few programs for the future and I have a selected application that, perhaps in the future, will allow me to create a catalog out of real meaning. It is the Delicious Library 3 program that allows you to catalog books, CDs, as well as e.g. tools and household appliances.
It has the aforementioned rental management system, barcodes can be scanned with a scanner, a computer camera or an iPhone application. So far, I enter data into it completely non-binding, monitoring from time to time whether the automatic data search by EAN or ISBN has improved, so far it’s not good.
The program is not without flaws, it does not allow, for example, to catalog e-books (at least Polish) on the basis of e-ISBN, it also has a bit of strange ergonomics. However, of all the programs I have tested, it is the closest I would expect from an application of this type, and if the developers manage it well, it has a chance of being useful. You will find the program here or in the Mac App Store.
Another option is to run your own database in Numbers / Excel, but this one will either be very primitive or very time-consuming to create. Personally, I chose a temporary solution for now, I run a loan database at Numbers (because of the pandemic, there is nothing to do;)), and I have books, like digital ones, “systemically” divided on shelves.
Articles from the Internet
Today, a huge amount of knowledge can be found on the Internet, so many interesting articles appear that people are often unable to read them. Dropping them into the clipboard in Safari is pointless (garbage can), and some of them are worth archiving. In this case, I use Keep It where it saves entire pages as WebArchive. The program has a built-in tagging mechanism that allows you to maintain order and means that if you delete a page, we will keep the texts you want. At the same time, if they need a link to the article, for example to indicate the source, it is also saved in the program automatically. You will find the program here or in the Mac App Store.
Every conscious Internet user today has dozens of randomly generated passwords, which also forces their cataloging. System Keychain is, unfortunately, a primitive tool, just like its branches, e.g. in Safari. Personally, I use 1Password for this task and although it is paid as a subscription, I cannot imagine my digital life without it.
In the Family version, it allows us to group logins so that we can manage access to services in an individual way for family members. Of course, there are cheaper solutions on the market, but after trying to find an alternative, I found 1Password to be the most consistent service of its kind. You will find him here or in the Mac App Store.
As you can see, you will get some valuable tools from Apple for free. Some require you to pay between PLN 20 and PLN 200, but they pay off with a lot of advanced features. The biggest problems are caused by the Polish mess with data on physical releases, many of which have to be manually patted into their databases. In this case, the program will help us only partially and will not differ much from running a database in a spreadsheet. Hope it gets better, however, most recently bought books are already recognized.
Source: AntyWeb by antyweb.pl.
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