GCstar 1.5.0beta1 – Manage your collection!

Lets face it, most of us have far too many disks in our collection.  Cataloging DVD's is one of the many options you have in GCstar!
Lets face it, most of us have far too many disks in our collection. Cataloging DVD's is one of the many options you have in GCstar!

Lets face it, the days of shelves bowing under the weight of DVD cases & CD’s is coming to an end, but even if for you its not, in the days of cheap online stores and what seems to be all year round “everything must go” type sales, most peoples collections are going to be rather large.  Whilst GCstar won’t put all your CD’s into their correct boxes, nor will it put them in an alphabetical order on your shelves, what it will do is allow you to document your entire collection on a database.  So why is this preferable to any other database package? I hear you ask.  Well, if you fancy setting up your own fields with “genre”, “year” et al, then be my guest.  Its already been done though with GCstar.

But GCstar is so much more than that, don’t want to type in all the details for each title you own? No problem, GCstar will search on-line databases and copy the data into your collection, saving you a considerable amount of time and being far more accurate than you when you are trying to keep your attention after entering your 1000th title.

Currently in version 1.5.0beta 1 (released on 19/07/09) GCstar has matured into an essential database package for all your collection needs.

INSTALLATION

GCstar appears to be one of the rarer titles that comes with its own generic installer, making it simple to install the latest version with very little command line experience (“./install” is about as complex as it gets)  it will then proceed to check you have the correct dependencies and then install to a target directory of your choice.

Having deployed this on three machines (each with a different distro) I can report that the process is flawless.

FEATURES

GCstar caters for numerous types of collection: Movies, Music, Books, TV shows and er….Mini vehicles? as-well as many more.  It also has a database of websites that it can grab the data from in order to make cataloging your collection even quicker and easier.

There’s a whole host of other features such as being able to link a file to a database entry and open that associated file.  You have various filter options for the fields and you can also log if you have lent the title out and to whom.

Here are a list of collections you can create (from the website)

GCstar 1.5.0.beta1 manages these collections:

  • Movies
  • Video games
  • Books
  • Music
  • Numismatic
  • Wines
  • Board games
  • Comic books
  • TV shows episodes
  • Stamps
  • Periodicals
  • Mini vehicles
  • User defined collections

Cataloging your games is another feature of GCstar.  Never loose track of who you have lent that title to!
Cataloging your games is another feature of GCstar. Never loose track of who you have lent that title to!

USING GCSTAR 1.5.0beta1

Very simple to use, GCstar offers you the choice of database at the very beginning.  Once that is selected, the screen is split into two, with your database being shown as a list on the left, whilst the detailed view is on the right.  Making a new entry is simply a matter of having to click “add” and in order to keep things simple, a new record entry has search button at hand for looking for titles.

Everything about this package is self-explanatory and I wouldn’t expect many users will encounter any difficulties in using this software.

Operation speed is excellent, with searches being performed quickly even on slower machines and large databases.

CONCLUSIONS

If you want to catalog your collection(s), you really cannot go wrong with this piece of software.  Now more mature in its life (its now a collection of data-base’s instead of single packages) its functional, fast, user-friendly.

When speaking with Linux newcomers they often complain that they are never privvy to the latest software versions since they are dependent on the repositories (and are not sure how to compile code or search other sources) that’s where the GCstar 1.5.0 installer will come into its own and why maybe other packages should consider including this approach.

The whole experience, installation & operation is faultless.  I cannot recommend this title enough.  What I would say is do not download it from your repositories (always visit the site)  I’ve noticed on a few distro’s they have packaged much earlier versions and when the software is this good, I recommend getting the latest stable release.

This package really does “exactly what it says on the tin” and Ive noticed that there are many shareware titles offering alot less than GCstar and requiring you to pay.

I say that this is the definitive cataloging software for your collections.

You can visit the GCstar homepage here: http://www.gcstar.org/

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Milkshaker Maker Man says:

    I like the idea of getting rid of the “hard copy” of the DVD, but some people still like to have the original box. I can see this becomming a main stay in people’s homes as we get more multi-media systems, but “old skool” folks still doing it the old way.

    1. openbytes says:

      Whilst GCstar offers you the ability to catalog your original DVD’s (it gets its data from IMDB and similar sources) I think “old skool” folks may not get much of a choice.

      The business model for the media world is changing IMO, whilst records have been a mainstay of many music fans, records have never been seen as disposable as DVD and other digital media. Since an exact perfect copy can be made of it and the fact that miniturization is todays common theme, I cannot see shelves of DVD’s being favored for a HD (in terms of physical space)

      We may not have a choice either, piracy is massive and companies are looking for new ways to protect their IP. In addition consumers are demanding a new business model as we see the rise of the bt protocol and the mass popularity of p2p.

      I don’t believe it will be profitable for dedicated DVD retailers much longer (especially when you consider the deals that can be had on the net)

      That will be the start, but ask yourself this, if the “three strikes” rule is being considered in the UK, then file transfer is obviously making a big difference to the “physical” market.

      Will we see a free BT model? Could be, TPB are allegedly still selling and its promised that there will be a “new” method of delivering copyrighted material and compensating the IP owner….that remains to be seen.

      In the meantime P2P, IRC and newsgroups continue to thrive, taking a massive chunk of the profit for distributors of physical media.

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