Nov 24, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Metadata Post

 A few thoughts on my database software.

I've used the software for years now. When I worked at Sunrise Records in London, Ontario, every now and again we would get a dewy-eyed person come in with a list. It would inevitably turn out to be a list of CDs or video tapes (it was some time ago) that had been lost in a theft or in a catastrophic house disaster. The lists were for insurance purposes. It may come as a shock, but back then, I didn't have nearly the same amount of stuff I have now, let alone the extensive collections I have. But some years later, after the store had closed down, I realized that my comic collection was indeed that significant a collection that I should think about getting it insured.

Yeah. Looked into that for all of three milliseconds, saw how much it would cost on a monthly basis, and decided to simply be very careful about playing with matches in the house.

The next best thing, I thought, would be to have a comprehensive list of my comics. My Dad got me a copy of an early Collectorz, and thus began my database. I think I've lost the data once in about 10 years, but I'm a much more careful computer used now.

The layout of this program is great. Neat, simple, customizable, but not to the point of ridiculous minutiae (at least, not that I've yet discovered). The above picture is how I usually have the window organized. This gives me a good look at all of the relevant data, both through the list view and the cover view. Increasingly important these days is that little eye icon which, if bright, means I've read the comic already.

The view is nicely manipulable, however. Here's a few examples:

No list view isn't great, but it does give a nice view of the cover. I kind of wish more of the information was available on this view. That big empty space seems a bit wasted to me. Ah well.

List view isn't the only option, though. One can also have a number of different views of the comics while retaining the detail window at the bottom:

The card view is one I don't use very often. I find it clunky, and the information provided on the card not be quite as useful as that which is available in the list view.

 More often than not, especially when I have the display set to only the comics that I have uploaded covers for, I'll have the screen configured in this way - it's nice to see all of the covers, and I'm at the point in my 40 Years project that there are comics I've forgotten that I've read, so to see these covers is a nice reminder.

When I don't have the thumbnail gallery of covers up, I have the cover flow, which lets you scan through nice-sized representations of your collection, with the comic whose details are displayed taking center stage. It's nice, though of the three ways I prefer to have the collection displayed, this is the least useful. But it looks pretty. Especially when you full screen it:

And that's the program I use, and some of the ways it looks. Check out They do database software for all kinds of media collections, and they're pretty great.

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