Monday, January 17, 2005

Browsing Your Neighbor's Collections has a short article about Macintosh software called Delicious Library that focuses on cataloging books, movies, and games. The idea is that people would "catalog" their own collections of books or music and then share it with others. You would be able to browse other's personal libraries. Similar to the software that is written in someone's garage, this has been written in a coffee house in Seattle. I find their selling points interesting. Although we already have most of them in our current automation software, it is enlightening to find a list of what these young, non-librarian developers think is cool in such a system:
  • Scanning the barcode to retrieve basic bibliographic information
  • Links to recommendations (maybe via Amazon?)
  • Dragging books/CDs/games from virtual shelves into email or IM
  • Copying bibliographic information onto iPod
  • Import/export using tab-delimited or XML files
  • Speak a title and it is highlighted
  • Provide your own ratings
  • Organize virtual collections any way you want
  • Scan barcodes using wireless
  • Check-out materials and provide due date
  • Search bibliographic information by keyword
  • Print information in compact format
  • Interactions between Amazon and your collection
  • Browse dust jackets and covers
Caveat: In the list above, I use the term "bibliographic information" pretty loosely. I'm not sure what or how much is provided or allowed in the software. Interesting list. I see a desire to easily move the information to other formats so it can be shared with friends (email, IM, iPod), to easily interact with popular existing web sites (e.g., Amazon), and to customize the collection in personal ways (personal recommendations, custom organization). What do you see?

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