This is a Catch 22 product – if it appeals to you, you probably don’t need it, if it doesn’t appeal to you then you probably do. I love lists. I love knowing where things are all the time. I like to know who has borrowed my things, and I like to know what I have borrowed from other people, so I love Delicious Library (http://www.delicious-monster.com/), but do I need it? Not really because I had already created a spreadsheet of all my DVD’s and CD’s, although to be fair not my books.
In theory I could have imported the data I had already into the Library as it will import data in a tab-delimited file, but my experience of this in the past is that whilst you often import the data OK, you then spend a long time formatting and structuring it, and besides I wanted to try out the iSight camera as a means of scanning the barcode of the item to import it into the Library. Yes, this was a very appealing feature – to scan the item directly into the Library, but unfortunately whilst it did work, it was a little “hit or miss” and too tortuous for me. I could have bought the $170 Bluetooth Scanner but that wasn’t attractive as I couldn’t think what else I would use it for. So, I spent many an hour manually inputting the UPC code, and on the 10% of items where the look up failed I imported via the option to type in the name of the item (Give Up) or the artist (The Postal Service).
It is impressive to see the shelves fill up with the cover art of your item, and the information field holds lots of information on the product, the most depressing being the original list price and the current Amazon “Buy Used” price, and this is where you add your own notes, for example who has borrowed the book and when you expect it back, and this date automatically shows up as a Library Loans calendar in iCal, which is a neat feature.
It was easy to create specific shelves for my Library, for example Music that I have downloaded, but this brings up about the only criticism of the product – it would have been nice if it linked to my iTunes purchased folder and picked up the details from there, and ditto my audiobooks purchased from iTunes and Audible. The ability to add your own shelf is an adequate work around, but it would be nice not to have to. Only other frustration is that when the import doesn’t fetch the album art you get a very bland brown cover, which is OK, but if you like a tidy shelf this will wind you up, and “no” Fetch Art doesn’t work with it probably because they both use Amazon as their content provider, although Delicious does allow you to choose which country you want Amazon to search.
In summary, it is a fun spend of $40, and they where very responsive when I emailed them with a question. The product shows of the Mac really well, especially the synchronization with the iPod, and has the ease of usability you expect from a product designed for the Mac. It is well worth a look, and I am pleased that I bought it.