A few years back, I picked up the Apple Design Award winning cataloging app Delicious Library for keeping track of my ever-expanding DVD collection. One of the (then) amazing features of the program was the ability to scan barcodes of DVDs, CDs, books, etc., with your Mac’s iSight camera, and download details about the object from Amazon.
The obvious caveat was the fact that you needed to have the stack of objects sitting beside the computer. Okay if you only have a few, but when you have a few hundred DVDs, books, and CDs to deal with, it could be a challenge.
After quite some time of not touching it, I went back last week to play with Delicious Library 2 again only to discover that I neglected to transfer it and it’s data whenever I moved to my current MacBook Pro last year. I thought it’d be fun to scan my DVD’s again, so I went on the hunt for an iPhone app that’d help with the task.
It turns out, surprisingly, that there is no official iOS app for Delicious Library. It has to do with limitations in the license of the Amazon API, so the hopes of seeing one anytime soon is nil.
I did, however, have barcode scanning app RedLaser installed on my phone. I’ve used RedLaser in the past for QR codes, but it also works quite well with standard barcodes, so I thought I’d try to figure out how I might be able to get my scans from it to Delicious Library. Turns out it’s quite simple.
- Clear your previous scans in RedLaser.
- Scan the items with RedLaser. Make sure that the “Multiple” toggle on the bottom of the screen is on.
- When you’re finished scanning, go back to the Scanned Items list.
- Hit the share icon in the lower left corner and select Email Product List. Email the list to yourself.
- Back on your computer, save the raw-barcodes.txt file attached to the email you just sent yourself.
- Rename this file “Scanned UPCs Log.txt”
- Drag this file into the left-hand sidebar of Delicious Library 2. Voilà.
There’s a couple of downsides to this method. For starters, it’s not as fast as a dedicated barcode scanner, but if you’re just doing it for kicks like I was, you probably don’t care. Secondly, if one of the UPCs you’ve scanned is not in the Amazon database, you won’t know until you go to import the entire batch. It lets you know it can’t find the items with those barcodes, but unless you’re a Raymond Babbitt-esque savant, you’ll have to match up your Delicious Library with your physical one to see which items are missing.
Then again, if you are Rain Man, you likely don’t need software to help you keep track of your media.